Crucial M4 64GB: Solid-State on a Budget

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Real World Performance

A Windows 7 image loaded with our test suite was cloned to a 50GB partition at the beginning of each drive after a complete format. Our entire test suite was run start to finish three times with a defragmentation (SSDs and hybrid drives excluded) and reboot between runs. Average times were collected for comparison.

In our loading tests, read speed is key and according to the specifications, the 64GB version of the M4 is just as fast in this regard as the larger models. There doesn't appear to be any compromise in performance with the M4 64GB coming in second overall

Our application tests showcased the disparity in read and write performance. In the ExactFile file integrity check test, it was as snappy as all our recently tested high performance SSDs. In the TrueCrypt test, where an encrypted file container is created (written to the drive), it was substantially slower.

In our file copy test, the M4 64GB lagged behind the other SSDs tested by a noticeable margin. It was even defeated by the VelociRaptor 1TB, a high performance 10,000 RPM hard drive.

The M4 produced a similar result in our installation tests, edged out all the models compared except the older VelociRaptor 600GB.

To accurately represent the overall real world performance of the drives, we gave each model a proportional score in each benchmark series (loading, application, file copy, and installation) with each benchmark set equally weighted. The scale has been adjusted so that among the drives compared, a perfectly average model would score 100 points.

With its handicapped write speeds, the Crucial M4 64GB finished slightly behind the Corsair Force 180GB, a first generation SandForce drive from almost two years ago, though it did manage to beat the fastest hard drives available, the VelociRaptors from WD.

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