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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  • TheRealAnvil - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    It's just the wrong image.
    The image used is for another model.

    The 64GB shares the same sticker as the other models in the C300 series
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Crucial sent me the correct image and I have updated the picture. Sorry for the confusion. :-)
  • numberoneoppa - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    They logically done the following math: 355MB/s*8 = 2.84Gb/s, which is within SATA II specifications. Sounds reasonable to me.
  • GullLars - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Actually, SATA uses 2 bits ECC pr 8, so it's 3Gbps/10=300MB/s.
    The controller of C300 64GB is identical to the 128 and 256GB versions, and unless they limit firmware it will be SATA 6Gbps. The interface is identical for 3 and 6Gbps (and 1,5Gbps for that matter).
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Where's the rest of the review? It wasn't labeled as a "this just in", so I finished the first page and expected to move on to see some benchmarks and other analysis. How does it hold up to other similarly priced drives?
  • jaydee - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Agreed, was looking forward to a full review! The OCZ Agility 60GB is $120 after $10 MIR at newegg right now (I've seen this deal a few times, it's a fairly regular price), I'd be interested to see how these stack up.

    The Corsair Reactor 64GB is $100 after $30 MIR, but reading the newegg reviews, they have some major issues with the BIOS not recognizing the drives it looks like.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    It has the "News" tag... our new way of doing things. We're still working on separating the news out in a clean fashion, but it's coming. :-)
  • wheat_thins - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    One Please.
  • DukeN - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Price gouging at it's finest I believe.
  • Roland00 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Both Lexar Media and Crucial Technologies are subsidiaries of the parent company Micron Technologies

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