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Benchmark Results: 128 KB Sequential Performance

Marvell-Based SSDs From Corsair, Crucial, OCZ, And Plextor: Tested
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Sequential Read Performance

Examples include file copying, transcoding, game level loading, some gameplay, watching video, and editing video

Crucial's 128 GB m4 almost ties the 120 GB Vertex 3 in 128 KB sequential reads. Plextor's M3 Pro also keeps pace, though it falls behind at a queue depth of two. Meanwhile, Plextor's 128 GB trails by only 20 MB/s at queue depths lower than four.

Corsair's 128 GB Performance Pro exhibits performance characteristics similar to OCZ's 128 GB Octane, but manages to pull away when moving up to four or more outstanding commands. At the lower end of the capacity scale, Crucial's 64 GB m4 clearly beats Plextor's 64 GB M3, with the Crucial SSD surging to ~370 MB/s and the Plextor drive down at 300 MB/s with a single command outstanding.

Sequential Write Performance

Examples include Application Installation, Document Backup

Aside from the standout performance of OCZ's 120 GB Vertex 3 operating on compressible data, this chart is interesting because performance is clearly grouped into two prominent clusters. The 128 GB Corsair Performance Pro and the 128 GB Plextor M3 Pro deliver 300 MB/s in sequential writes right out of the gate, rising to ~350 MB/s as queue depth increases. Both drives demonstrate the impressive performance that a Marvell-based SSD can achieve with optimized firmware and Toggle-mode NAND.

In contrast, the 64 GB M3, 128 GB M3, 128 GB Octane, 64 GB m4, and 128 GB m4 all achieve similar performance to each other, regardless of queue depth. With the exception of the 64 GB m4, all of these drives deliver about ~200 MB/s in 128 KB sequential writes. The inclusion of the 128 GB M3 in this group might seem a little odd considering it features Toggle-mode NAND, just like the M3 Pro. However, Plextor states the non-Pro variant doesn't feature the same set of optimizations, which is why performance is capped at a lower level.

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  • 10 Hide
    hellfire24 , May 1, 2012 6:39 AM
    crucial FTW!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 1, 2012 7:49 AM
    Shoulda tossed in a V4 128gb for entertainment value...ah well. :p 
  • -7 Hide
    uruquiora , May 1, 2012 9:14 AM
    hellfire24crucial FTW!

    hmm , my M4 has 10x more BSOD than my vertex 3... Each i boot my pc and work with it i prepare myself for a BSOD with my M4...
  • 3 Hide
    joytech22 , May 1, 2012 11:27 AM
    uruquiorahmm , my M4 has 10x more BSOD than my vertex 3... Each i boot my pc and work with it i prepare myself for a BSOD with my M4...


    That is what we in the I.T industry like to call: "Faulty Hardware".
    If you considered that normal all this time, I have some bad news for you..
  • 6 Hide
    chesteracorgi , May 1, 2012 1:00 PM
    With the price of SSDs coming down, Toms should start introducing 256 GB + drives into its reviews. It's nice to have the 64 & 128 GB reviews, but for power builders the 256 GB is becoming mainstream.
  • 2 Hide
    Cyclops21 , May 1, 2012 1:23 PM
    Any tests planned on the Sandisk Extreme models. They were a Tom's recommend buy but I still haven't seen any benchmarks on Tom's.
  • -2 Hide
    cknobman , May 1, 2012 1:51 PM
    I'd still say for most boot and program drives SandForce is the way to go as it has a significant performance edge.
  • 4 Hide
    Onus , May 1, 2012 1:54 PM
    I've only installed 6-7 SSDs, with mixed results. Two with Sadforce controllers died within months or weeks (the RMA of one is yet to be tested). Given that the slowest SSD beats the pants off the fastest magnetic HDD, I have quickly reached the conclusion that reliability has to be the #1 criterion for SSDs, and I'm not sure Sandforce is there yet.
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , May 1, 2012 2:13 PM
    Awesome. SSDs time is now!
  • 7 Hide
    ramon zarat , May 1, 2012 2:34 PM
    uruquiorahmm , my M4 has 10x more BSOD than my vertex 3... Each i boot my pc and work with it i prepare myself for a BSOD with my M4...


    You must be joking... The list of forum thread complaining about SF controller instability is endless. The M4 actually has a very solid reputation. I've been running 2 128GB M4 in 2 different PC for the last 8 months. Not a single BSOD. They still both benchmark the same speed as day 1. Actually, the M4 was and might very well still be the best choice for balance between price, performance and reliability in the whole SSD market. In my book, there are only 3 manufacturers really worth mentioning when it comes to SSD: Crucial, Intel and Samsung.

    Your unit is simply defective. That can happen to any manufacturer. RMA it and be happy.
  • 6 Hide
    daysyang , May 1, 2012 3:54 PM
    ^ agree... my M4 has been nothing but awesome.
  • 1 Hide
    Pawessum16 , May 1, 2012 4:50 PM
    When are you going to update your SSD charts? Some of the SSD's on the 2011 chart don't even exist anymore, and it's missing all the cool new drives released in the past couple of months.
  • 4 Hide
    americanherosandwich , May 1, 2012 4:55 PM
    Hah, I just got done reading this, too: http://computerhardwareupgrades.blogspot.com/2012/05/comparing-different-nand-types-and.html

    Crucial M4's still kicking butt.
  • 2 Hide
    g-unit1111 , May 1, 2012 5:04 PM
    daysyang^ agree... my M4 has been nothing but awesome.


    So has mine, but at $70 I am thinking I might ditch my Intel 320 for a Plextor M3. I've always been a fan of Plextor drives and it's good to know that the move to SSD hasn't changed their quality at all. Tempting, tempting...
  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 1, 2012 5:14 PM
    Godo to see my choice of SSD be proven in tests. I have high hopes for my Crucial m4.
  • 1 Hide
    inflexion , May 1, 2012 6:07 PM
    Nice review. I just picked up another Crucial M4 today on Buy.com for $110 USD to my door.

    Thanks for the great content!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 1, 2012 6:33 PM
    Where the heck can you get the M3 64gb for $70?
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , May 1, 2012 11:31 PM
    I wonder if there are any reliability stats on SSDs available. They are fast for sure, but how about reliability scores, based off drive performance over a year or so?
  • 0 Hide
    slomo4sho , May 2, 2012 1:11 AM
    rohitbaranI wonder if there are any reliability stats on SSDs available. They are fast for sure, but how about reliability scores, based off drive performance over a year or so?


    I couldn't agree more. Having a fast drive means nothing if it dies or corrupts your data.
  • 0 Hide
    10tacle , May 2, 2012 3:36 AM
    Where are you guys seeing the 64GB M3 for $70? I have yet to find it anywhere for under $100. In fact, the best price I can find from reputable E-tailer is $120. I'd snap one up in a second as dedicated Intel SRT cache drive.
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