Crucial M4 128GB SSD Review

June 13, 2011 by Phil Reads (47,142)

Battery life
To measure battery life I used the application Battery Bar. The notebook was set to browse the web, in balanced energy profile with low screen brightness. To simulate an active web browsing session, Chrome web browser was set to reload the home page of the forum at Notebookreview.com forum every 20 seconds.

Since the average total power draw was around 8 – 9 watt, the hard drive can make quite a difference.

The Crucial M4 seems more tuned for performance than for battery life. Turning LPM off turns out have a negative effect on battery life. People looking for an improvement in battery life are better of looking for a SATA II drive like the Intel X25-m.

Performance after testing
To get an impression of performance over time AS-SSD compression benchmark was run before and after the real world tests. The result was exactly the same. This indicates TRIM is working well for the Crucial M4 and performance over time is likely to stay the same. There is one point of caution: since the drive has no over provisioning it is best to don’t fill the drive entirely. If one would fill the drive entirely the performance is likely to go down.

AS SSD compression benchmark:

Conclusion
Crucial has introduced an SSD with impressive performance. People upgrading their notebook from a hard drive to an SSD can expect a large improvement in performance.  Going from a previous generation SSD, like the Intel X25-M, to the Crucial brings a smaller improvement.

At the time of writing the Crucial M4 128GB was priced starting at $218. For comparison, the SATA II Intel 320 120GB starts at $210 and the SATA III OCZ Vertex 3 120GB starts at $253.  In that light Crucial’s pricing looks very competitive. With its competitive price and impressive performance the Crucial M4 looks like it has a good future. It would be even better if the LPM issue gets fixed.

In the next weeks we will be reviewing other SSDs and traditional hard drives that will be compared to the drives in this review, so stay tuned.

Pros:

  • Strong performance
  • Reliability
  • Competitive pricing

Cons:

  • Often needs LPM tweak to function properly
  • Battery life not the best after LPM tweak


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