Crucial m4 256GB
As we’ve said before and we’ll continue to hammer any chance we can get, the single biggest bottleneck in modern systems is the traditional plattered hard drive, and using an SSD in your system will make such a massive difference that you’ll want to cry if faced with having to use a traditional hard drive afterwards. Make no mistake, the speed boost is that pronounced and alluring.
As we’ve seen with Solid State Drives in our extensive testing, the controller is the always the biggest difference in performance. The Crucial m4 gets an upgrade from its C300 predecessor in its Marvell controller, and the results are a marked improvement as Crucial has made some great strides across the board in all test results.
However, the m4 isn’t quite as fast as the new SandForce drives. Is this a sign of inherent weakness in the m4? Not really. The fact remains that the updated Marvell controller produces some impressive performance results which need to be taken into context. The reality is those numbers are still lightning quick, and users won’t really ever notice the difference in daily use.
Of course, 256GB of blistering speed doesn’t come cheap, with the m4 showcasing a a hefty price tag though at about $480. Against the SandForce drives, it is cheaper by about $70 and you do get more capacity (256GB vs 240GB) so that does make for a surprisingly good value.
The Pure Point: The Crucial m4 isn’t the fastest SSD out there but it’s still lightning quick and well-priced for a high capacity drive.