Crucial's RealSSD C300 stands out from almost every other SSD currently available by its use of a super-fast SATA 6Gbps interface bus.

Crucial is well-known as a supplier of RAM memory for PCs, and is part of the Lexar Media group that also makes USB flash storage and memory cards. Both companies’ parent is Micron Technology, a multi-national famed for its semiconductor devices.

Crucial's RealSSD C300 stands out from almost every other SSD currently available by its use of a super-fast SATA 6Gbps interface bus. Most modern PCs use storage drives attached to a SATA 3Gbps bus, and while this is ample wide enough for the transfer limits of most traditional hard disks, the new wave of super-fast flash memory is starting to challenge the nominal 375MBps ceiling of the SATA 3Gbps bus (which is somewhat below 300MBps in practice).

The Crucial RealSSD C300 features a Marvell controller backed up with 256MB of cache. A useful accessory included is a SATA-to-USB 2.0 cable, a handy asset for any enthusiast’s toolbox.

Our test PC rig included a SATA 6Gps controller, giving the essential room for the Crucial RealSSD C300 to breathe. And in our tests it did indeed take advantage of the fatter pipe, confidently giving the best sequential read and write speeds of the group.

In the traditional HDD benchmarks, we saw read speeds of 291MBps and write averages at 191MBps in HD Tach, while HD Tune Pro placed the Crucial RealSSD C300 at 278MBps and 183MBps respectively.

The AS SSD test let the Crucial RealSSD C300 flex its muscles further, hitting an average write speed of 197MBps and reading at a giddy 345MBps, while CrystalDiskMark upped the ante further by sequential writing at 213MBps and reading at no less than 354MBps. These figures were well tempered by startling AS SSD queued results of 214/159MBps for reads/writes, rising further to 221/184MBps in CDM’s QD32 test.

In flat-out 8MB file throughput in the ATTO test, the Crucial RealSSD C300 hit its maximum scores: 374MBps read and 217MBps write speeds.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Group test: what's the best portable hard drive?

Crucial RealSSD C300: Specs

  • 256MB onboard cache
  • Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 controller
  • 70g. Test results - HD Tach: read (short/long) = 290.9/291.3, write (short/long) = 174.7/191.0
  • HD Tune Pro: read = 277.5, write = 183.4
  • AS SSD: read (seq) = 345.83, write (seq) = 197.27, 4k (read/write) = 24.6/44.6, 4k (64 threads) = 213.7/159.1, access time (read/write) = 0.16/0.78, overall score = 638
  • CrystalDiskMark: read (seq) = 354.1, write (seq) = 212.6, 4k QD32 (read/write) = 221.4/183.5
  • ATTO Bench: read (8MB) = 373.7, write (8MB) = 216.9, read (0.5kB) = 18.2, write (0.5kB) = 17.5
  • 256MB onboard cache
  • Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 controller
  • 70g. Test results - HD Tach: read (short/long) = 290.9/291.3, write (short/long) = 174.7/191.0
  • HD Tune Pro: read = 277.5, write = 183.4
  • AS SSD: read (seq) = 345.83, write (seq) = 197.27, 4k (read/write) = 24.6/44.6, 4k (64 threads) = 213.7/159.1, access time (read/write) = 0.16/0.78, overall score = 638
  • CrystalDiskMark: read (seq) = 354.1, write (seq) = 212.6, 4k QD32 (read/write) = 221.4/183.5
  • ATTO Bench: read (8MB) = 373.7, write (8MB) = 216.9, read (0.5kB) = 18.2, write (0.5kB) = 17.5

OUR VERDICT

Even without a modern SATA 6Gbps bus-equipped PC, the Crucial RealSSD C300 would be our first choice for a performance SSD at this capacity. Not only does it take on the attention-grabbing sequential read-write tests with dashing aplomb, it also proved itself capable of supreme multi-tasking.

Find the best price