Crucial announced worldwide availability of its next-generation solid-state drive late last month. Known simply as the "m4," the company's latest entry is hailed as the successor to its award-winning RealSSD C300, promising to deliver more speed and higher capacities. Despite those claims, we can't help but feel the m4 has some big shoes to fill.
On top of excelling at sequential throughput, the C300 provided strong random performance when working with files of all sizes, making it a well-rounded contender. However, it's been more than a year since the RealSSD C300 landed, and a lot has changed in that time. Above all, the latest SandForce SATA 6Gb/s controllers have been a real game changer.
Considering its intended price point, we shouldn't expect the m4 to dethrone the OCZ Vertex 3 and perhaps not even Intel's SSD 510. Nonetheless, we could be in for a pleasant surprise if Crucial's newest contender delivers performance in excess of what the RealSSD C300 did in its heyday, so let's press on and find out what the m4's made of.