Crucial RealSSD C300: 64GB for $150

The SSD battles continue unabated, with SandForce, Crucial, Intel and others vying for supremacy. Our first encounter with the C300 series showed some impressive results, particularly in the sequential read tests where the SATA 6Gbps interface allowed a single drive to break the 300MB/s barrier. While there were some teething issues with firmware initially, the latest revisions seem to have cleared things up and prices are generally competitive. One of the biggest benefits of SSDs is the increase in performance for general Windows/OS tasks, and to that end many users are interested in a lower capacity SSD that can still offer good performance.

To date, the least expensive SSDs worth consideration have come in at around $100 give or take. We looked at several contenders, consisting of the Intel X25-V 40GB, the Kingston SSDNow V Series 30GB, and the OCZ Onyx. Intel obviously uses their own controller, Kingston uses a Toshiba controller, and OCZ uses the Indilinx Amigo (essentially half a Barefoot) controller. In terms of price per Gigabyte, Intel charges $2.96/GB, Kingston $3.00/GB, and OCZ leads at $2.50/GB. Depending on the workload, all three are viable options and should substantially boost performance over conventional hard drives.

Perhaps the biggest issue many have with these SSDs is their total capacity; even with 40GB Intel is still on the small side in my view—my daily use laptop uses 40GB for the Windows, Program Files, and ProgramData directories, and having some spare area is always a good idea. Crucial is partnering with Lexar Media and is now shipping their 64GB RealSSD C300 for $150, or a price of $2.34/GB. That makes it one of the lowest prices per GB for a viable SSD, and with 64GB it can actually store enough data to work in most laptops.

Like the other budget SSDs, the 64GB C300 isn't going to be as fast as the 128GB and 256GB models. The reason is parallelism, as the lower capacity drives are not able to read/write as many NAND devices at a time. This primarily hurts in write-heavy scenarios, and the 64GB C300 is still rated for read speeds of up to 355MB/s and write speeds up to 75MB/s. While we wait for 25nm NAND devices to double capacities at current price points, the 64GB C300 is a very tempting option that's available now.

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  • Snooper - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    The first hard drive I bought was a Seagate ST32140A. This was a 2.1GB (yes, GIGA) drive I bought in 1996. For the 'cheap' price of $490! So that makes this solid state drive about 1/100 the price of that drive not to mention it has got to be 20 times faster as well.

    Not bad.
    Reply
  • davepermen - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    20 times faster? this should dance around your harddrive at 100 to 1000x the speed, depending on the usage :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    My first drive was a beastly 40MB unit in a 286 16MHz system. It "only" cost me $220 back in 1989, and then Wing Commander came along and sucked up 25% of the drive! Good times... I think those old drive maxed out at around 1.5MB/s, with seek times of around 35ms. So in raw transfer rates we're 50X to 350X faster, and seek times are about 20000X faster. Sadly, modern 7200RPM drives are only about three times as fast in seek times as drives 20 years old, which is why we really need SSDs. Reply
  • JMcGrath - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    Wow, saw these posts and had a horrible flashback to my early years in IT (before Anandtech even existed!) While I can't remember the first drive I purchased I still have a box in the basement of my first computer parts LOL!

    If I remember correctly my first upgrade was to 2MB RAM in the form of SIMMs for just over $500! That's over $250 per MB (yes MB, not GB!)

    My first HDD Upgrade was to a 6MB Corvus(?) at nearly $200 per MB!

    My next system was a 486SX and I'll never forget paying an absolute fortune for a Math Co-Processor, and later an "Overdrive" @ 100Mhz! Not to mention the 4MB RAM for $700!!

    Last but not least, I skipped the original Pentium generation and I'll NEVER forget this system - A Pentium MMX 233, 32MB RAM, and a 5.25" Bigfoot Hard Drive @ 2.1GB. I can still remember myself talking to salesman at our local computer store saying "There is no way anyone could ever use 2GB of storage!"

    Wow, did I think I was special after I upgraded to 1GB RAM and the original 3DFX add-in "3D Accelerator"! At the time most enterprise servers were shipping with less...

    Thinking back to the early years really makes you think, especially how much we take our "new" technologies for granted! In my mind, even to this day (other than massive HTPC / Media Servers I really can't imagine many people using more than a few TB or storage, more than 3x/4x SLI / CF, or 12-24GB RAM, or needing any faster speed than the fastest SSD's on the market...

    Really think about that, how a 16Mhz CPU was more than enough just a short while ago! How the 3DFX card changed gaming and evolved into parallel processing, how a plain old RUST HDD was made almost obsolete overnight! Then try to imagine where we'll be in 5 or 10 years from now - how much is really enough?! Just the thought that the smallest cellular phone is 20x faster than a full tower computer was a few years ago is mind boggling!

    Sorry if I seem to be rambling on, I'm a bit tired but these posts really got me thinking of my past... $1,150 for 6MB of storage!! WTF was I thinking!? LMAO!
    Reply
  • brdavis9 - Monday, December 13, 2010 - link

    HAHAHA -

    My first HD was 15MB, and as I recall I was able to use a couple of "tricks" to get 18MB out of it. It was a 3 1/2 ...by that I mean it was 3 1/2 inches high (it fit into a 5 1/4 bay).

    ...on a 640K PC-XT 10MHz , running DOS ...hmm (been awhile) ... DOS 3.3.

    It was a couple of years later I got a 286 12MHz w/3MB (1MB internal, and an add-in Evertech card, and was able to switch between several open applications sequentially using a utility called Software Carousel): whoo-hoo!

    ...you kids these days ...heh.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    First drive was 120 MB, and my entire operating system and all games added up to about 1100 files. I know the number of files because every time I started DOS SHell it would count up all the files. I have way more files than that just in teh system folder now. Reply
  • Snooper - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    No. The SSD is not 1000x faster than that old hard drive. Not even close. You could probably make some comparison to seek times if you wanted to "justify" that 1000x number, but that would just be marketing BS.

    But anyway you want to look at it, even a cheap SSD is a BUTT load faster than any HDD, even a "fast" HDD like my velociraptor (sp?). Even at 20x, that is still the difference between 1 hour versus 3 minutes!
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    I think you could justify close to 1000x if you did random reads/writes. They are what kills hard drives. An Intel X-25V is 86x faster than a 600GB Velociraptor at 4k random read (http://www.anandtech.com/show/3756/2010-value-ssd-... Reply
  • GullLars - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    My first drive was a 40MB(?) 5,25" monster in a 386, wich we upgraded to a 200MB wich was so insanely high capacity we never filled more than half of it even though we had 3.11 and i put on all games i got hold of XD
    Good times...
    Reply
  • salb - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    a huge (physically speaking!) 20 mb was my first drive in 1986 on a 8086, very useful to avoid swapping of 5.25' floppy disks, but it was about 500$. Now my 128 Gb laptop is too little, and 256 Gb seems the minimum to me (I've no games, and my music is on a SD card) Reply

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