Crucial M4 256GB SSD review
A high-speed SSD that makes other drives look overpriced
Review Date: 14 Apr 2011
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £312 (£374 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
A notable first for Crucial is the move to 25nm NAND flash, rather than the 34nm chips found in the M4’s predecessor, the RealSSD C300. The higher data density promises lower manufacturing costs and increased performance across a range of capacities from 64GB to 512GB.
Crucial has also used a new Marvell 6Gbit/sec controller, similar to that found in Intel’s 510 Series, which should deliver an additional performance benefit over the previous generation.
In AS SSD’s synthetic benchmark tests, the 256GB M4 drive averaged sequential read speeds of 416MB/sec and write speeds of 257MB/sec. Unlike its Intel-branded rivals, random access performance was impressive too: AS SSD’s multithreaded 4K read and write benchmarks saw the Crucial average 159MB/sec and 204MB/sec – over twice as fast as the Intel 510 Series.
Windows performance was equally strong. Writing 1.5GB of large files to the M4 saw an average write speed of 328MB/sec, while read speeds hit 284MB/sec. Small file performance is always slower, but with read and write speeds of 181MB/sec and 158MB/sec respectively, the Crucial M4 is still as quick as solid-state storage gets.
The real coup is the price. Thanks to the reduced manufacturing costs of 25nm flash memory, projected pricing sees the 256GB drive cost a very reasonable £1.46 per gigabyte – far cheaper than Intel’s latest models.
The M4 still isn’t as cheap as Kingston’s SSDNow V100, which remains the best budget drive on the market at £1.17 per gigabyte. But if you’re looking for an affordable SATA 6Gbit/sec model with cutting-edge transfer speeds, Crucial’s M4 is a high-performance hit.
Author: Sasha Muller
value for money rating?
"A high-speed SSD that makes other drives look overpriced"
"The real coup is the price."
"very reasonable £1.46 per gigabyte – far cheaper than Intel’s latest models"
What would it have to do to have a higher VFM rating, then?
By brizza4 on 20 Apr 2011
Do not buy this or any Crucial M4 drive until Crucial fix the current spate of problems. I've just finished trying to get an M4 to work with an Elitebook and then found that others have the cold boot/black screen issues. Crucial are 'working' on a fix. Yeah ok.
By rhythm on 17 Jul 2011
- Still on Windows XP? There's now an unofficial service pack
- Round-faced LG G Watch R teased ahead of IFA
- 1,500 fake apps kicked off Windows Store
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Kobo dives into waterproof tech with Aura H2O
- Google promises faster Chrome with 64-bit support
- iPhone 6 release date, rumours, specs and features: when is the iPhone 6 coming out in the UK?
- HP recalls laptop power cords over burn risk
- Motorola Moto 360, Moto X+1 and Moto G2 UK release date, specs and price
- Size matters: Apple working on 12.9in iPad
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to edit PDFs: make change to a PDF
- Building a patently better future
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office