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!)
Core i7 4.35GHz (EK SUPREME HF block)
HD5970 900MHz Core
6GB G.Skill 1740MHz
256GB M4 SSD
GIGABYTE EXTREME X58