To get the bad news out of the way first, the 256GB version of Crucial’s RealSSD C300 series will cost you just over $600 and the 128GB version about $350.   What that investment gives you is an SSD designed around the new SATA 6Gbs using Marvell’s 88SS9174 flash controller.  There are 8 memory channels which should offer some nice speeds, especially on the larger drive as it can operate thanks to the extra parallelism you can get from more flash memory.  The Tech Report only had the 256GB model to test and found that while it might not have come on top of the results for some tests, it was always in the running.  This is a big deal for an SSD as they all usually have a Achilles heel that they perform poorly in; often small sequential file transfers, but that is not so much the case with Crucial’s new drive.

“In the world of mechanical hard drives, the new 6Gbps Serial ATA specification means very little. This third-generation standard’s claim to fame is a faster host interface capable of shifting bits at 600MB/s—twice the speed of the old 3Gbps spec. However, that 300MB/s “SATA II” interface was hardly a bottleneck for traditional hard drives. Even Western Digital’s latest VelociRaptor, which is the fastest mechanical drive that plugs into a Serial ATA port, can only sustain transfer rates up to 152MB/s. The ‘raptor’s cache didn’t push much more than 236MB/s in our burst speed tests, either, giving the drive little chance of living up to its 6Gbps interface speed.”

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