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While the second-gen SandForce controllers at the heart of OCZ’s Vertex 3 drives enable superior streaming read performance, Crucial's m4 unseats the SSD 510 for third place. Sequential performance, enabled over a 6 Gb/s interface, is where these four drives put their best feet forward. It's the only way we can push a sequential read in excess of 500 MB/s.
Intel's SSD 320 falls just shy of the X25-M, but the difference is minor. The Vertex 2s, Agility 2, X25-M, and SSD 320 all get lumped together at the low-end of the SSD spectrum. Between these drives, there is only a 3% margin of difference. Notice that G.Skill's older JMicron-based drive ranks the slowest. This is how far we have come from the first generation of SSDs.
We see the same situation transpire in the streaming writes benchmark pattern. However, this time, Crucial's m4 falls behind the SSD 510, and the Vertex 3s pull far ahead.
Writes are where we see an improvement for Intel's SSD 320. While it uses the same controller as the X25-M, we suspect the larger cache helps here. Performance approaches Crucial's C300, but relative to other drives, the SSD 320 falls behind. Even the older first-generation SandForce drives from OCZ outperform Intel's newest drive.