Crucial M4 256GB review

The Crucial M4 is one of the best 3th generation SSD available in the market. It supports SATA 6Gbps interface and features a very good Marvell controller. Starting now, I’m going to put more efforts on SSD reviews to create a valuable database for you. Now, let’s see the drive.

Crucial ships the unit with a very pleasant box. As you can see from the graphics, I tested a 256GB drive: a sweet spot for both performance and capacity.
Crucial M4 scatola

Every side of the M4 is covered with aluminium. There’s no risk of breaking the drive during the installation.
Crucial M4

This SSD is powered by a Marvell 88SS9174 controller and Micron NAND flash memories. That being said, Micron and Intel created a joint venture called IMFT that actually produces all the memories they sell.
Crucial M4 scheda logica

The rear-view shows other 8 NAND ICs and the Micron buffer DDR.
Crucial M4 retro scheda logica

For starters, the Marvell controller doesn’t execute any data-deduplication or compression algorithm for the stored data, like the SandForce’s do. So the write amplication is higher than 1. Anyway it supports trim and features idle garbage collection. Performance over time will be good even on Mac OS X, that doesn’t natively support TRIM on non-Apple disks.

I have to inform you that the M4 suffers of a bug that causes BSODs – blue screen of death – with a regular cadence of about 1 hour. The problem manifests after 5,000 hours of use and Crucial is aware of it. It’s currently developing the fix that will be available really soon. I’ll post news where they’d be available. Crucial released the fix on saturday.

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