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★★★★★

“Once you go SSD, you never go back.”

Written on: 22/06/2011 by Badbonji (1 review written)

Very recently my RAID 0 array of Raptors failed due to a clicking drive. Seeing how dated they were I thought it was time to dive in and buy a solid state drive.

I researched the latest generation of SSDs to find the one that suits me most in my budget. I looked at the vertex 3, but that would easily saturate my old GIGABYTE X58 Extreme motherboard's SATA II ports. The Crucial M4 was cheaper, still had similar performance (Although lacked a bit in sequential reads) and would still bring me a very decent SSD experience.

Once it arrived, it installed with ease. Windows 7 took under 10 minutes to install from my USB stick, which was a bit quicker than my Raptors. Applications installed very quickly, and startup very quickly. I click any of them and they instantly appear, as if by magic.

Bootup time has decreased by a large amount, not only due to not having to use the RAID BIOS but also because of the great performance from the drive. AS SSD reported read/write of 270/230MB/s sequential, and very decent 4K performance. My Raptors in RAID 0 could only accomplish around 200MB sequential, and horrible random read/write.

Map loading times in games are reduced dramatically! I am usually the first one in the server by far!

I think my next upgrade will be another SSD for my laptop! I bet I will notice an even greater difference seeing as I will be upgrading from a 5400rpm 2.5" laptop drive.

Overall SSDs are must haves for any high performing PC today, even smaller ones can hold the OS and increase performance. I wouldn't hesitate if you had the spare cash hanging around.

I will give this drive 9/10, seeing as it is still fairly expensive versus mechanical drives and not quite the best performing drive on the market. (Not like anything can be perfect anyway!)

PC Specs:
Core i7 4.35GHz (EK SUPREME HF block)
HD5970 900MHz Core
6GB G.Skill 1740MHz
256GB M4 SSD
GIGABYTE EXTREME X58
1kW PSU