Spring 2010 Solid State Drive Roundup, Part 1

Crucial M225 (256GB)

The M225 integrates a 64MB data cache. We received a 256GB sample, but the unit's $699.99 price point is likely too expensive for most folks. More affordable alternatives with 128GB and 64GB are priced at $399.99 and $199.99, respectively.

Crucial provides a five-year warranty on its M225 drives, which is comforting for a technology that still has to prove its long-term reliability. We never reached the drive's 250 MB/s specified throughput, but the 230 MB/s maximum read, 214 MB/s minimum read, and 200 to 169 MB/s write speeds we observed for sequential operations are excellent. The other Indilinx-based drives we tested are marginally slower.

OCZ and Solidata outperform the Crucial drive when it comes to I/O performance, but the real and undisputed king of the I/O ring has been Intel's X25-M G2, which trades I/O greatness for much lower write speeds. Crucial’s drive does emerge as the best Indilinx SSD on 4K random writes, though.

Finally, we found Corsair's power requirement a bit too high. Drawing 0.4W at idle is four times more than Intel and Toshiba require. However, the M225 requires a low 0.9W for streaming reads and 0.4W for HD video playback. Workstation I/O pulls only 0.7W, resulting in power efficiency for this type of workload almost equivalent to Intel’s, despite the X25-M’s much superior I/O performance.