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

PCMark 7 And Power Consumption

PCMark 7

PCMark 7 places the various Marvell-based SSDs in the order we might have expected, with small performance separating most models, with no breakaway performance leader.

The enthusiast-oriented 128 GB M3 Pro and 128 GB Performance Pro top the chart, with Plextor's mainstream M3s following close behind. Note the SandForce-based 120 GB Vertex 3 falls into the middle of the pack of Marvell-based SSDs, as the m4s and OCZ's Octane bring up the rear.  One might expect the 120 GB Vertex 3 to top this chart, given its strong performance in our random and sequential tests. However, PCMark 7 includes several video-based tests that involve incompressible data, a notable weakness of SandForce-based SSDs.

Power Consumption

SSDs respond to I/O commands so quickly that they're idle for much of the time they spend powered up. In our almost 30-minute virus scan, the SSD is only busy for 281 seconds. As a result, idle power consumption is the most important component of energy use to consider in a desktop environment.

Plextor and Corsair do exceptionally well in our idle measurement. Though all the Marvell-based SSDs reviewed here employ the same controller, the 64 GB M3, 128 GB M3, 128 GB M3 Pro, and 128 GB Performance Pro only consume 0.34 W during idle. In contrast, both Crucial m4s consume almost twice as much power and OCZ's Octane almost triples their power use.

Corsair's Performance Pro takes the lead in power efficiency when subjected to a workload; both of the M3s and the M3 Pro fall just behind. In comparison, both m4s consume about 15% more power.

But OCZ's Octane is the real power hog here, requiring twice as much energy for the same workload.

  • hellfire24
    crucial FTW!
  • Shoulda tossed in a V4 128gb for entertainment value...ah well. :P
  • uruquiora
    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...
  • joytech22
    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..
  • chesteracorgi
    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.
  • Cyclops21
    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.
  • cknobman
    I'd still say for most boot and program drives SandForce is the way to go as it has a significant performance edge.
  • Onus
    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.
  • zodiacfml
    Awesome. SSDs time is now!
  • ramon zarat
    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.