Crucial m4 And Intel SSD 320: The Other SSD Competitors

Benchmark Results: PCMark Vantage Storage Test

The application loading workload is predominantly read-based. However, given the SSD 320’s performance here, we’d surmise that we’re dealing with small file transfers. This is why we see the X25-M (G2) outpace the SSD 320. In comparison, Crucial's m4 continues to perform fairly well, falling just shy of the Vertex 3s.

The gaming test is more than 99% reads, and measures streaming performance from the tested drives. Despite the fact that Intel’s SSD 510 performed really well in our synthetic streaming benchmarks, it nearly pulls a last-place finish here. In comparison, Crucial's m4 performs somewhere between the two Vertex 3s in synthetic streaming benchmarks, but it jumps to the top of this chart with a strong lead. This looks to be a strong contender if your aim is quick level loading.

Intel's SSD 320 shows very similar performance to the X25-M. If you're a gamer, don't expect much change.

Reading and writing to Windows Movie Maker results in an almost 50/50 split between reads and writes. We’re counting on this test using large transfers, though. And perhaps that’s why the SSD 510 outperforms OCZ’s last-gen SandForce-based drives and Intel’s X25-M. It still succumbs, however, to the m4, both Vertex 3 drives, and the RealSSD C300.

In contrast, the SSD 320 performs close to the last-gen of OCZ's SandForce-based drives.

Windows Defender is almost entirely read-based, but the fact that we’re scanning a lot of small files causes the m4 to jump to the front of the line. Intel's SSD 320 continues to show some weakness with smaller sized reads in comparison to the X25-M, but the difference is very subtle.

The Media Center workload is split between reads and writes. It involves concurrent video playback, streaming video, and video recording, all usage cases employing large chunks of data. Again, Crucial's m4 tops the list. Notice though that the Intel 510 starts to jump from the bottom to a fourth place finish. This is why the size of the read is can be an important factor. In contrast, the SSD 320 has a better balanced performance profile. There is a 25% improvement over the X25-M, but notice how all the scores from our 3Gb/s port testing clusters toward the center. This shows that the SSD 320 is fully saturating the bandwidth of SATA 3Gb/s.

  • rainwilds
    Oooo, Crucial or Vertex? Decisions, decisions!
  • Could you expand on the Full Disk Encryption capabilities of the Intel 320?
    If you can actually use hardware FDE on that drive (rather than just secure erase), that's a winner for me.
  • bto
    Why does the Intel 510 250GB appear to have two scores in crystalmark? (469.4 and 259.7) on the top benchmark on page: "Benchmark Results: CrystalDiskMark Streaming Performance" the specs are identical for both.
  • poppasmurf
    Great lil tidbit, wonder what the difference will be between other SSD's with different interface connections other than physical appearance and the interface connection. More on the lines of pro's and con's between the SSD interface connections I'm referring to the OCZ PCI-e drives vs. SATA 6GB just a thought to stir up the hoop la of ssd's :P
  • JohnnyLucky
    I am beginning to wonder if we haven't reached the point where the human eye and brain are finding it harder to differentiate performance among ssd's. Some mainstream benchmarks seem to suggest that. Some of the benchmarks in this review seem to indicate the same. There are some very tight groupings.
  • henryvalz
    At the speed points that SSDs are functioning, I'm beginning to think that durability and reliability might be the best basis for decision. I would also really like to see some boot times from Windows 7, or loading time for games.
  • kev_stev
    Does anyone know when the vertex 3 and M4 are going to actually be available? I have heard rumors that the vertex 3 will be released "any day now" since mid march...
  • iamtheking123
    I'll go SSD in my next build, probably in a year and a half. Right now I'm satisfied with Raid 0-ed 1TB Caviar Blacks.
  • foscooter
    No mention of a release date. When will they be "in stores?" Q2 isn't exact enough.
  • zerapio
    Alert! Spelling police is coming and their PISSED

    (yes, it was intentional)