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  • tachi1247 - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    The article mentions that the reviewer has found several SSD drives where TRIM is either not functioning well/properly or at all. I'd be very interested to see what drives are on this list besides the C300. Is it available anywhere? Reply
  • coachingjoy - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    So far so good.
    MS performance index score went from 5.9 to 7.8.
    Initially I had twin Intel 80G G1's in raid0.
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    It appears that the performance drop off size increased with a couple (or more) GB. Might it be possible to run 100 TRIMs to increase the drop off point from 55-58GB to a place close enough to max capacity point? Reply
  • Calin - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    By the way, how long a TRIM command takes, and how long for a secure erase? Reply
  • davepermen - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    trim doesn't take time. not on the user side that is. it looks like some ssds collect the trim info and clean up later. the intel doesn't, trim always reacts instantly.

    but all trim is is the trim info, and the address range, so it's sort of "TRIM 0x0015b481 0x0153af34"

    and done.
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    By the way, how long a TRIM command takes, and how long for a secure erase? Reply
  • Hastarin - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I've had the worst luck buying things lately, and I just installed one of these a couple of days ago. So far I couldn't be happier with it, but I certainly hope this issue is something Crucial get sorted ASAP.

    I don't like the idea of having to do a secure erase of the entire drive on a semi-regular basis.
    Reply
  • eldiablopotato - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    What advise would you give to those who already bought this device. Any comforting thoughts, are we all up the creek without a paddle? Reply
  • ClagMaster - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    What Mr Shimpi has related in his C300 issues is Crucial does not know whats going on with its firmware. Did they write this firmware and possess a firm (no pun intended) understanding of how it works or did they contract this out to some third party who is no longer available ? Reply
  • Lerianis - Friday, April 02, 2010 - link

    I'm betting that they did contract this out to a third-party, and now the person has fled after doing a half-assed job on it.
    I hate to be so suspicious, but that's been the mean for problems like this recently, it's ferried out to the 'lowest bidder'' and that hurts every single tiem.
    Reply
  • ClagMaster - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    If true, this is unacceptable.

    For such devices of such obvious long term significance to the industry, I am shocked the SSD manufactures are NOT taking ownership of the firmware of their SSD products seriously by maintaining staffs that write and are accountable for the firmware and utilites for their SSD products.

    This tells me that compared to hard-drives, the SSD is still a rinky-dink development that need careful scrutiny before adoption. To me this situation is unacceptable. I only buy from manufacturers who take long-term stewardship of their products.

    Since Intel maintains a staff of competent programmers who write and take ownership of their SSD firmware, and the other vendors (excluding perhaps OCZ) do not, I now know which manufacturer I am going to purchase SSD's from -- Intel. Sure is not going to be Crucial or Mushkin.

    @Mr Shimpi

    Would you please provide a list of SSD vendors who maintain staffs who write firmware for their SSD's products to assist us in making better informed purchases. Crucials response to your C300 issue is unacceptable hardly inspires confidence?
    Reply
  • glpdx - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Andand,

    I was very close to purchasing the 128GB model of the S300, but then saw data that it's write performance is MUCH less than the 256GB version, enough so that I don't think it could be considered a top contender. These specs are stated right on Crucial's Data Sheet. Any chance you'll get your hands on a 128GB? Thanks for your reviews. ~g
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Yeah they do ultra extrem testing but miss that trim does not work. Sounds like pr-cr.. to me.
    It's like saying we really tested this car well in many possible situations but the hand break does not work yet.

    Seems more and more like in software. well the most important part of an ssd is software, hm...
    Reply
  • blowfish - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Anand, you ought to write a book! Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    I think you'll run into the TRIM problem on these drives fairly soon, rather than a several months or years. If I'm understanding it correctly, getting the drive "full" has nothing to do with the free space on the drive - but rather how much data has been written to the drive, even if you later delete it. So all the random writes that windows performs in nomral use will all count towards the drive being "full" - isn't that correct? Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Sounds right to me. The wearleveling should have every cell written to before re-using cells, even if it's just temp data being written. Reply
  • kmshark - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Anand, how did you test if TRIM isn't working properly? Did you have to do the "secure erase"? Is that a crucial utility? It would be great to get a summary of the SSDs that have failed on you and why.

    I recently purchased a summit 2 for my laptop and two X-18m drives to raid in my main system. Feeling more like an "early adopter" as I read more about SSDs that just die.. thought that when they crapped out they would still be accessile.
    Reply
  • Voo - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Every disk can fail so if "drives just die" is an assessment for "early adpopting" than everyone who buys a HDD is one ;)

    And secure erase just writes data to the complete disk, so that's nothing special from Crucial
    Reply
  • kmshark - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Part of the selling point for SSDs is the reliability.. I can't remember a HDD that died on me without some warning.. I've had many with issues, but you see the warning signs if you're using the system regularly and can do something about it...

    I just feel like the number of reports of bricked SSDs with no answer to why, is too high.. that may not be the case and maybe 99% of them don't die.. would be great to get Anandtech's experience with them to see what percentage of theirs had to be returned. It's hard to go by Newegg reviews because you don't know how many were sold vs the good/bad reviews.

    Silly me, not knowing about secure erase... I assume everyone without TRIM or a vendor-supplied wiping tool uses it to refresh their drive.
    Reply
  • Voo - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Well seems like you got lucky, there are many cases where HDDs just die without any of the usual warnings - and yes I do zerofill my drives before using them so I usually get those drives that would fail after some weeks.

    Cost per GB is on a alltime low, so backuping really shouldn't be a problem. Maybe SSDs have a higher failure rate (I doubt it, but maybe I'm visiting the wrong forums), that's inconvenient if it happens, but they're still great if they work and I haven't had a problem with my Intel G2 so far (woha one drive! great statistic I know ;) )
    Reply
  • NT78stonewobble - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Agreed. To me harddrives are a known and developed technology. However I do know that they fail once in a while which is why I back up my personal stuff once in a while.

    I can't be arsed to get expensive tape backups for the bigger stuff that can either be redownloaded (70 gb steamfolder anyone?) or reripped (dvds).

    However as you mention you do get kind of a warning sign that harddrives are going to brick soon (telltale clicking or other noise, performance and so forth).

    How the hell am I gonna hear that my brand new expensive SSD is gonna crap out on me in xxx amount of time?
    Reply
  • NT78stonewobble - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Also: Mechanical harddrives are so cheap nowadays that you can buy extras just for raid 1/5/10/1+0/0+1 or just backup drives to increase security of the data. Atleast for an average consumer.

    Personally when I buy a new harddrive to increase capacity I keep the old one for more regular backups.

    How about an article on data security for the home user?
    Reply
  • semo - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand,
    do you have any comments on why C300's random read is slower than the random write. In all other SSDs is the opposite isn't it? Do you have any comments?

    Crucial's explanation makes sense. I still think that in this day and age a non-vital system component shouldn't prevent POST (you should be able to boot from USB or another internal drive).
    Reply
  • viewwin - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Any luck testing the Sandforce 1200 drives yet? Reply
  • 0x00 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    i'd also really like to see a test of some sf1200 drive here :) if possible, please also test the performance loss with compressed or encrypted files.
    i'm required to use full disk encryption software and i wonder whether sandforce, due to this compression thingy, will work much worse than other SSD drives.
    Reply
  • pmonti80 - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Seriously Anand thanks for these kind of things, they make our us lifes easier. Reply
  • straubs - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    No kidding. If Anand wasn't reporting on this and making the manufacturers fix their products, we'd all be losing out. Someone has to do the detailed testing that others aren't doing. So thanks. Reply
  • georgekn3mp - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    It was aready known that SSD's in a RAID set could not get TRIM commands from the ICH10R chipset until very recently...but does this mean that the Crucial really isn't implementing TRIM in a single drive?

    Intel just updated the RAID Storage Manager for ICH10R and now it CAN pass TRIM slong...hopefully Marvell controllers can too.
    Reply
  • merid14 - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    So, are you saying that the ICH10R chipset does TRIM now with any SSD that does TRIM? I'm very interested in this as I would like to raid a couple of SSD's. Thanks! Reply
  • 529th - Friday, April 02, 2010 - link

    Where did you get this info that a RAID-0 array can not utilize TRIM and is the source credible ? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    TRIM support isn't the problem, the issue is that the drive's internal firmware doesn't appear to be cleaning the dirty blocks properly when they are no longer needed. It's most likely stuck in a loop of cleaning/recycling the wrong blocks (hence the high performance for the first ~55GB of the drive) and not touching the rest of the drive.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    In real life, maybe having the first 55GB of the drive cleared with TRIM will be enough, as long as the rest gets a TRIM when needed. Reply
  • TheLastOracle - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    After I red your first review of C300, I bought one (256GB) from on-line store. The C300 was shipped one day before you disclosed the drive has firmware issue. I just got this drive today and not open the box yet.

    Shall I return the C300 or wait until the Crucial release the firmware fix? If I return the drive, which 256GB SSD do you recomand?
    Reply
  • leexgx - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    M225 256GB {that i now own} or vertex as both are Parters with the parts that are inside the SSD so they tend to get the Firmware updates first Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Wow. I had no idea TRIM wouldn't work on some drives. There are others that do this too?

    Hopefully their fix works as advertised, because as it stands now, that's a no sale right there.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    All of this just makes me wish someone could make a reasonably-priced PCIe x4 or x8 caching SATA RAID controller with battery backup. I don't need the performance of an SSD, but I'd love to get a little more performance out of the basic RAID-5 on my desktop without having to pay $200-300 for a controller, and then ANOTHER $200 for a battery kit that probably has a 150-200% profit margin.

    If I could get a hardware-RAID controller with a modest cache (or a socket for an add-your-own-SODIMM-setup) AND battery for $150-200, I'd consider it. Meanwhile, I'll settle for ICH10R --at least going from the Matrix Storage to Rapid Storage Technology drivers seems to have bumped up performance a little.
    Reply
  • 529th - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - link

    I am soooo itching to buy one of these 256g models.

    If I bought one now while NE has lowered the price, would I have to to a full OS re-install after the firmware comes out? And where can the firmware be downloaded at? I've checked their forums and they seem to be a little dis-organized.

    Any last things I should be concerned about before buying this drive?
    Reply
  • vniwaja - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - link

    The NE price doesn't look that low at $680 unless you are able to get some sort of additional discount. I ordered one last weekend from TigerDirect for $700. With weekend BCB at 15%, the final price was $595. Currently, BCB for NE is 2%. Might want to wait for another 15% deal as they do return periodically. Reply
  • leexgx - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    and where is the spam button Reply
  • Mike11317 - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    I just bought a 128 MB C300, and I am NOT happy with it. Maybe what's going on is related to the need for a firmware update? A completely clean install on Win7 where Win7 created the partitions (I needed two). The starting offset in msinfo32 shows the partitions are aligned, an integer when divided by 4096. I've done all the tweaks to prefetch, superfetch, defrag, swapfile, and then tried them back on again (except defrag). This is in a Dell Mini 10, which I travel a lot with. The C300 works very fast for about 1 minute, then stalls for about 15-20 seconds, then repeats, fast for about a minute, then stalling. The stall is so bad that the window title bar says "Not Responding." Then it' fast again, then stalls. Doesn’t matter which program, just Windows Explorer stalls, as does every other program. I've used task manager, resource monitor, and other tools to detect the cause, but nothing stands out so far. Minimal programs running. The hard drive that was in it was an excellent performer compared to this C300. Any ideas? Thanks! Mike Reply
  • R1ru - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    I was thinking about about finally making the big jump to the SSD world but I think I will wait and see how this issue with Crucial pans out. I was ready to buy the C300 256 but.... Reply
  • Obsoleet - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Forget Sandforce, Indilinx and Crucial. Just get the Intel ssds and be done with it if you want to jump on the SSD ship. They WORK and consistently. I moved over all my SSDs to Intel drives. I had a feeling it was wise to wait on these other manufacturers to see if they had any bugs. There's really no evidence that the Indilinx controller has any bugs (I had a Vertex), but the Intel controller (even my X25-V) is superior in daily use.

    Get an Intel if you want a SSD! They are still cutting edge without the bleeding edge. I have the X25-M 160 and 40. Reliable and fast. Still the best choice on the market IMO.
    Reply
  • sethmeisterg - Sunday, May 02, 2010 - link

    I ordered a 128G C00 RealSSD from Amazon and the drive appears bricked as well. What I want to know is, Anand, if Crucial told you if all you had to do was wait long enough for the drive to self-recover, or is it hosed totally and must be factory-wiped? Reply
  • sethmeisterg - Sunday, May 02, 2010 - link

    ...forgot to mention that this happened only 3 days after I bought it (I did copy a ton of data to it (~100G), then erased it, then another ~100G, then again a third time. The drive has firmware version 0001. Reply
  • sethmeisterg - Sunday, May 02, 2010 - link

    Whew. I just left the drive plugged in and it *DID* recover, eventually (I do not know the exact amount of time), but it is now working again. I am *so* looking forward to that firmware update -- Tuesday they say! Reply
  • IanJamesTi - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 - link

    Today I noticed the ISO file posted for a Firmware 0002. I am curious if you plan to bench & test the board with this new firmware.

    Those of us who were chomping at the bit for this SATA 6GB/s monster were all dissuaded initially by your warning. I am hopeful that this firmware will resolve the issue. I bought a pair of these along with a Asus Rampage III Extreme that I hope to put in RAID 0 (as posted elsewhere, the Intel controller doesn't work in RAID 0 with SATA III, but the backup Marvel controller will support it per Asus).

    Return policy ending soon, hoping to see an update to this article :)
    Reply
  • spudit88 - Thursday, May 20, 2010 - link

    Just spent a day rebuilding a system from the ground up for my new C300- It ran for one day and has *died* so to speak. Exactly what happened to Anand. System will not boot, in fact I cannot boot into any OS with drive attached.

    New new firmware has been reposted as of today, so I'm going to attempt this. What bummer- I can reimage, but it isn't what I had hoped for when purchasing this drive.
    Reply
  • spudit88 - Thursday, May 20, 2010 - link

    Couldn't get Firmware 0002 to update on 3 different machines- It would either not find the drive, or would freeze during the booting of the Fimware itself. RMA'd today- Crucial said they would replace with an already updated drive. Reply
  • karunadheera - Friday, August 26, 2011 - link

    I got Crucial 256GB 2.5" RealSSD C300 on 2010/09/03 for 999 SGD. On 2011/08/16 it was totally DEAD.

    I went to Fuwell(where i bought). They asked me to go to Convergent Systems. Went there. Gave them the drive. They told it is not working and they do not have any replacement drives too. (Lucky that I had a full system backup 14th night). Said they have to send it back to Crucial and asked me to wait for 4 WEEKS!!!
    Reply

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