C300 Conclusions

Extremely interesting to say the least.  In the last 3 months we have seen a few high performing SSD’s come across our path and to date only a few have endured the arduous tests we throw at them.  Today is no different with Crucial’s C300 crossing the finishing line with flying colours.  How these items have grown in maturity in the last two years with each company readily trying tremendously hard to surpass their previous generations.  Monthly firmware updates do make considerable advantages to the end user and those with confidence; should whenever possible make the effort to flash update the SSD as the updates can prove significant improvements in many ways.

The RealSSD arrived packaged securely in a sound shipping box.  Opening we found a few paper manuals with good instructions that will allow anyone to install the SSD.

The synthetic benchmarks showed Crucial’s RealSSD coming in on their quoted figures, in some places it surpassed their expectations.     Both CrystalMark 3 and the PCMark 2005 showing how well the Crucial RealSSD did perform.  Whilst we do not advocate the use of a 32-bit multimedia benchmark on a 64-bit professional system, however in this instance it is a handy tool to gauge overall system performance.  In this instance, this is one serious system you can readily purchase built from any good Systems Integrator.  Fast is good and fast is what we want, fast is what we have shown.

The leap forward in the support of SATA 6GB/s is without a doubt a huge step in the right direction future proofing the end users purchase for those wishing the upgrade path at a later date to a mainboard the natively supports 6GB/s.  Currently those wishing to utilise the add-in PCI-E SATA 6GB/s cards, then the item shown today has proved a sound choice indeed in showing off the SSD well.  Though these cards are going through swift firmware updates to keep in tow with the SSD updates.  Therefore to reiterate, update when you can to maintain overall optimal performance.

The professional graphic card tests.    We used the Nvidia Quadro FX4800 as there is still plenty of life left within this card.  The results have shown it performed extremely well upon the new platform supporting the Westmere CPU’s.  The SPECviewperf® 10.0 scores are pretty astonishing to say the least as too the SPECapc for SolidWorks 2007™ test. 

Therefore the Nvidia driver team have maintained pushing this  to the fore and obtaining the most from it’s architecture which although showing its age, still is one of the best selling cards on the market.   Therefore hopefully we should see some sort of upgrade soon as Nvidia’s Fermi range is now growing in strength in many market sectors.    Will it whow us all as the GTX480 series has managed to achieve so far.   Time will tell, until then we have to wait patiently in the wings to see what happens next.

The best for last and the biggest surprise of the day has been without doubt the results seen from new revision 2 of Supermicro’s X8DAi mainboard.    Some of you will have glanced over the earlier Cryptography results stipulating, yes that’s good.   However, when we draw the direct comparison on a graph from only 2 months ago with our first outing of the same Intel Westmere CPU’s and Supermicro’s X8DAi Revision 1 mainboard, the performance becomes abundantly clear and shows the power within of Supermicro’s X8DAi Revision 2 Mainboard.

A momentous  35 – 40 percent increase in bandwidth is without doubt an astonishing leap in this lucrative selective area.     Many sectors of differing market places will be sitting up paying careful attention now to what Supermicro have achieved and have to offer from their new revised mainboards.   We knew that this mainboard had seen a significant update, but these facts are without doubt exceptional.   There will be an enormous scrambling to get in the orders as these facts will take Government, Finance and Banking sectors et al with storm.  Delays in vital encryption protocols will be no longer the excuse.

Finally; the day belongs to Crucial and their new RealSSD C300.  This has taken us by surprise with it’s phenomenal burst read speeds, and whilst like all the other SSD’s of this capacity demands a premium, its a premium worth paying to gain the ultimate in read performance.   Place within the correct environment it will bring to life many systems in many sectors.   We now find ourselves continually chasing and optimising the “need for speed”.   Crucial have completed a superb job here with the C300 and it should be a drive that is at the top of the shopping list for a new build or upgrade.

www.3dprofessor.org Award for Crucial’s 256GB RealSSD within Performance Solid State Drives Category

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