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

Test Setup And Firmware Notes

We are using the same testing protocol outlined in our earlier 60 GB SandForce round-up, which focuses on out-of-box performance. If TRIM and garbage collection are working, the performance of a desktop-oriented SSD should remain fairly consistent. We will also cover the other end of the spectrum, and measure the performance during reads and from a “dirty” drive. Performance will always fall between those two extremes.

Firmware Notes:

Since we updated our m4 SSDs to the latest 0309 firmware, we noticed a small benchmark change. Performance in 4K random reads tends to be a little slower at low queue depths. Otherwise, everything is the same as before. This validates Crucial's change log, which suggests that moving from 0009 would have little effect on performance.

Test Hardware
Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.1 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3
Kingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System Drive
Crucial m4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 0309
Tested DrivesCrucial m4 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 0309

Crucial m4 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 0309

Corsair Performance Pro 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 1.0

Plextor M3 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 1.01

Plextor M3 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.02

Plextor M3 Pro 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.01

OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.15

OCZ Octane 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.13
Palit GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
Power Supply
Seasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS Gold
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectX 11
DriverGraphics: Nvidia 270.61
Virtu: 1.1.101
Iometer 1.1.0
# Workers = 1, 4 KB Random: LBA=16 GB, varying QDs, 128 KB Sequential
PCMark 7
Storage Suite
HD Tune Pro
v5.0, LBA= Full Span
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  • asal1980
    Adopting a turnkey solution also makes it a lot more difficult to stand apart, though. As we found in Ten 60 GB SandForce-Based Boot Drives, Rounded-Up, there are a number of brands selling comparable SSDs, but most of them perform pretty much identically.