When we first started looking at SSDs, it was last year, when 128GB drives were starting to really drop in price. At that time, we took a look at four completely different mid-range SSD solutions from OCZ, Crucial, Patriot, and Kingston. The two that stood out were the OCZ Agility 3 128GB, and the Crucial m4 128GB. They each earned a “Recommended Mid-Range Hardware” award – one for sheer speed/price ratio, and the other for a more reputable track record in terms of reliability (at the time, SandForce drives were commonly having BSOD issues, but those are gone now).
Today we’ll be looking at the award-winner’s big brother, the Crucial m4 256GB. When it comes to SSD technology, a bump up in size almost always results in a bump up in performance. In addition to that, Crucial have upgraded their firmware at least twice, each adding a bit of a performance boost. So let’s see how the 256GB model does today!
The Crucial M4 256GB has dropped significantly in price recently, and can be found for as little as $249 online. Compare that to the likes of the 240GB SandForce powered OCZ Vertex 3 at $280, or the Intel 520 Series at $330. In fact, it is probably the cheapest synchronous-flash SATA-3 240/256GB drive you can buy right now. Other drives in this price range will be using slower asynchronous flash.
Speaking of which, let’s void this nice big 3 year warranty and see how it looks under the hood.