Pros: Lightning fast, ~12 sec. boot from power and ~6 sec. from Windows 8 logo; relatively inexpensive; reliable; silent
Review: Crucial M4 128GB
The Crucial M4 is a relatively old friend in the SSD market, introduced in 2011 (a long time on the internet/in the field of electronics). Does it still keep up as a competitor?
The Crucial M4 was introduced with an MSRP of 149.99, but it is obtainable for less than 80 dollars if you know where to buy from.
The Crucial M4 128GB SKU, like all other M4's, is SATA III speed featuring a Marvell controller. This particular model is a 9.5mm thick model in a 2.5" form factor. A 7.5mm thick model is available as well for laptops that require it (e.g. thin notebooks/laptops, Ultrabooks). Its performance is rated up to 500 MB/s sustained sequential read (SATA III), up to 175 MB/s sustained sequential write, 45000 IOPS 4K random read, and 35000 IOPS 4K random write. It has a MTBF of 1200000 hours.
The standard OEM packaging includes the box, the SSD itself in an anti-static packaging protected in a foam cushion, and a manual.
Like any SATA device, installation was easy. Pop the SATA connector and the power connector in after you've installed it into its appropriate drive cage and you're done.
First Boot and Usage
The SSD was automatically detected with no problems at all. Some motherboards may set the drive mode to AHCI automatically, but always check. This will ensure that TRIM is enabled, if applicable.
After installing Windows 8, the SSD booted incredibly fast with Windows Office Professional 2010 and Windows Media Center, clocking in at a speedy ~12 seconds from pressing the start button and ~6 seconds from the appearance of the Windows 8 logo. Shut down times were fast as well at a speedy ~4 seconds. It is also silent, as there are no mechanical moving parts within the SSD.
The Crucial M4 128GB is still a very fast and reliable SSD in the market. It is available at a relatively cheap price as well. It is perfect for any HTPC setting because it contains no mechanical moving parts unlike HDD's or any PC in general for fast boot times.
Score: 5/5 Flames