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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  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    while cleaning out our lab a couple years ago I came across an ancient HDD, was a dual 5.25" form factor and 5MB capacity. Reply
  • marraco - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Sadly, the OS and software requirements grew even more.

    In 1996 2.1 GB was much more that 64 GB today.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Really? DOS 5.0 took up about 5MB of my 40MB drive (1/5). Windows 95 ate around 100MB if memory serves, so that would be 1/20 of a 2.1GB drive. Today a clean Win7 install uses around 5GB, though you need more like a 16GB drive in order for everything to function properly.

    As for applications, I think things have calmed down quite a bit. Most users probably only use about 15GB of application including the OS; what eats up the space are videos, images, and music.

    Anyway, outside of SSDs, hard drive capacities are such that it's seldom a concern.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Yet Amiga OS 2.x would boot up with a single floppy and have a full GUI interface. But installation onto a Drive required about 3+mb of space (fonts, and printer drivers - since many printers rand off "EPSON" mode). Reply
  • Belard - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    You're a youngster... 2GB drives came around 1995.

    My first HD, used - was a 25MB drive for my Amiga 1000. That "M" as in Megabytes.
    The SCSI controller itself was about $250+ and the drive was $150 (again, used).

    Then I bought my Amiga 3000 (new, but was being replaced by newer models) for $850 and it came with a 50MB HD & 25mhz CPU (original MSRP was $2500). But it had the fastest SCSI controller on the market at that time.

    What we get nowadays for $300~500... or full blown notebooks for $600~800 (good ones) - I laugh at people who think these prices are HIGH.

    Spending $1000~2000 for a root canal and cap when the Dentist does about 1 hr of work while the rest is assistants, but the whole thing takes about 2hours.
    Reply
  • Snooper - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Yeah! When I bought that old Seagate, it was the fastest non SCSI drive out. Biggest too. Most of the drives were still in the 540MB range. That ST32401A was a huge leap at the time.

    Now that I think about it, I might still have that thing buried in one of my electronics stashes somewhere...
    Reply
  • medi01 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    So, is Seagate trying to do Apple like marketing, or you were just trying to sound funny?

    It's hard to tell, these days...
    Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    lol... in 1986 a 20 meg HD was $2-300 Reply
  • neoflux - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    "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."

    How can it do over 300MB/s when the box says it's only SATA II?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Technically there is no such thing as "SATA II" or "SATA III"; those are marketing blips AFAIK. SATA specification 3.0 lists a variety of items, including 6.0Gbps transfer speeds. The old SATA 2.x specification was limited to 3.0Gbps, and the latest revision was 2.6. You can find the full list of 3.0 specs here:
    http://www.serialata.org/technology/6Gbdetails.asp

    As for the C300, I have no idea why the box says SATA II, but it supports 6Gbps links:
    http://www.crucial.com/company/media/releases/pres...
    Reply

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