Conclusion: Despite having only four NAND flash memory chips on a tiny 1.8" PCB, the mSATA m4 managed to keep pace with larger 2.5" drives, including Crucial's original m4 and most of the 2.5" SandForce SF-2281 SSDs. In fact, in both of our real-world application tests, the mSATA unit delivered the highest or second-highest score, succumbing only to the OCZ Vertex 4 . Likewise, the drive fared decently enough in our file copy tests.
Summary: Final Thoughts
Crucial is a name we always know for reliability and quality-made products and the M4 drive is no exception. It is very well made and besides the controller everything else inside is made by Crucial (Micron). Crucial does offer their standard 3 year warranty with the drive, but I would expect it to last much longer than that.
If you look at many of our comparison graphs you may be saying to yourself wait those other drives perform faster.
Pros: – Exceptional speed, – Does not rely on realtime file compression to achieve highest levels of performance, – 3 year warranty, – Available in up to 512GB capacities
Conclusion: Consumers looking to purchase a high-end SSD upgrade are likely to make their choice based on three criteria; performance, capacity and price. Based on those key factors, we've seen few SATA 6Gbps drives as compelling as Crucial's 128GB m4 SSD. Priced at a hugely competitive £170, the 128GB m4 SSD is over 15 per cent cheaper than the equivalent 120GB Vertex 3, while offering an additional 8GB of storage capacity.
Summary: Compared to the older C300, Crucial's m4 SSD is more of a shift in performance priorities than a new design with improved performance all across the board. We see substantially improved performance in scenarios like Large File Copy and Game Patching. On the other hand tests like Windows 7 Startup and Photoshop Startup run slower than on the C300.
Pros: Up to 10% faster than Sandforce drives, Supports TRIM, 3 year warranty, Nice looking, rugged metal case
Cons: Higher price than C300, No significant performance update over C300
Conclusion: IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete.
Pros: Impressive 446/281 MBps read/write speed with ATTO, Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 supports SATA 6Gb/s interface, Native TRIM Garbage Collection, Sanitary Erase, and SMART, High-level enthusiast operational I/O performance, 3-Year Micron product warranty support, Lightweight compact storage solution, Resistant to extreme shock impact, Low power consumption may extend battery life, Upgrade kit makes transitions easier for builders
Cons: Expensive enthusiast-level product, Unimpressive gains over RealSSD C300
Excerpt: The M4 is the latest SSD from Crucial. Compared to its predecessors, it uses a new Marvell memory controller while the storage chips themselves are made using a smaller, more efficient 25nm manufacturing process. The result of all this new technology is one of the fastest SSDs we've seen. The M4 wrote large files at 252.8MB/s and read them at 319MB/s.