We have always liked Crucial products, their Ballistix memory for instance was a firm favourite of ours for a long time, finding its way into our review systems on many occasions. Their build quality and warranty terms have always been at the top of their field – when you buy a Crucial product, you know it is a quality item.
For the last couple of weeks we have been concentrating on the new Sandforce powered solid state drives, so it was refreshing to review the Marvell controlled Crucial M4 256GB today. While the M4 256GB is clearly ahead of the previous generation C300 drives, it is fair to say that it has a tough time competing against the latest Sandforce 2281 powered solid state drives. Overall performance is lower, and when compressed data can be utilised, the M4 is markedly slower. This is a similar situation that the Intel SSD 510 faces.
The market right now is fairly one sided, because SandForce products are dominating the performance charts. The 2281 controller is clearly superior to the Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2.
Pricing right now however is very competitive, as the 256GB M4 can be bought directly from Crucial for £370 inc vat. If Crucial could drop this by another £20, it would make the deal that little bit sweeter, especially when the strong five year warranty is factored into the overall purchase cost.
- great performance
- works equally well with incompressible and compressible data
- the latest Sandforce controller is faster
KitGuru says: A very capable solid state drive, but it faces some very stiff competition from Sandforce 2281.