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Crucial M4 64 GB review

post #1 of 35
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Just gonna make a quick review before going to bed.

I bought the M4 recently. It's my first SSD, I was pretty excited about it and wondered if it was gonna be worth the money.



As can be seen here, I also got a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter because SSD's are small.



It's an Akasa adapter (also available on Newegg but under Rosewill instead) which is made in a single piece of aluminum and has mounting for 2 SSD's. The bottom has a thermal pad of some kind which is rather pointless for an SSD, but might make sense if you had 2x 2.5" HDD's in there.



This is the actual SSD, nice clean look, BUT:



Yes, it's already been mounted in the adapter. Yes, it's upside down. Why Crucial decided to do this puzzles me greatly. I checked the internet and OCZ and Intel don't do this. The mounting holes aren't centered, so it can't mounted right way up. The "bottom" mounting holes for are also on the wrong side. I dun git it.

Anyway, AS SSD. It's a popular benchmark and there's a stickied thread in the SSD forum with results for all kinds of SSD's. The result varies greatly, just a moment ago I scored 599 and 5 minutes later I got 537. Anyway, this is one of my earliest runs and seems to be the typical result.

Updated speeds with 0009 firmware:



Now, for all of you who don't know what this means, I also made this recently:

As it says, I'm opening 3x IE, 3x Chrome, 3 folders and one text document containing the whole Wiki article on Isaac Newton.

It took me 40 seconds from Windows started loading 'til the SSD had opened everything. And that's on a month old installation with Steam, Xfire, Messenger, all that normal stuff opening in the background.

Now, since it's only a 64 GB drive, you can't expect to have all your multimedia and games on it, but Windows + programs + some Users folders take up only 30 GB for me. I moved music, videos, downloads and documents to an HDD and I still have room for 2 or 3 games on my SSD.

And to end this, fun fact: When you crash Windows while the SSD is writing or something, everything is just reverted. It's really weird, I crashed because I was testing a new OC and upon rebooting, files that I'd deleted were back. Literally back on my desktop despite having just emptied the recycle bin. I don't know how the internals of SSD's work, but they behave very differently from HDD's when something goes wrong.

Conclusion

I like the drive, but I'll be honest and say that I don't notice it a lot. I'm mining by night, so I rarely have to boot, but when I put games on it, it really speeds up load times (Crysis is a lovely test of this). Libre Office and all other heavy programs start in the blink of an eye. I like it and I don't regret spending the money. Specs say that it can write 20 GB per day for 5 years, so I don't worry too much about it's life and if you worry about that, I'd encourage you to stay on HDD. If you're constantly thinking about your SSD's endurance, you aren't enjoying it's speed.

Pros
Fast
Fast
Actually has a long lifetime
Cheap (compared to other SSD's)
Doesn't have the problems that OCZ and Corsair are experiencing on their Sandforce drives
Did I mention that it's fast?

Cons
Small
Expensive (compared to HDD's)
Doesn't outlast HDD's
It's new tech so there are still some problems
Some SSD's like the OCZ Vertex 3 own this (but they have Sandforce related problems that the M4 doesn't)

I give it an 9/10 because it's a lovely drive for a low price (the cheapest non-Kingston 64 GB SSD I could get) and it performs like the big boys at more than 150% it's price, but it isn't big, so don't expect it to be an HDD replacement. If you need to replace your HDD, get a 128 or 256 GB SSD. But for now, it's a nice boot drive which will impress your friends when you're booting in 1/3 of the time it takes for them.

UPDATE 1 August:
For anyone interested, my M4 has now been on for 1083 hours since purchase, contains 40 GB data and still gets the same result in AS-SSD. Health is 100% according to CrystalDiskInfo. Following the method described here, I've determined that I've written at least 1152 GB to NAND.

Assuming I've had the SSD for 2 months (I ordered it 28 May), I've written 19,2 GB/day. Crucial says in the tech specs that the SSD will last 5 years at 20 GB written/day, so I'd say I'm safe for now.
Edited by B!0HaZard - 10/23/14 at 9:08am
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post #2 of 35
Very nice review! I'm also enjoying my own M4
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post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Donkey View Post
Very nice review! I'm also enjoying my own M4
Appreciate it, but you posted just 5 minutes after I posted... Since you couldn't have been here instantly and since there's a 1 minute video, I highly doubt that you read it all Oh well, you already have the SSD, I guess.
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post #4 of 35
nice review... when i start mine from a cold boot.. at the windows opening gui i always notice a slight screen tearing and it usually never finishes the gui like yours does. The windows logo will fly in and before it finishes my os boots... i timed it at 20 seconds (of course i don't have anything starting up except storage driver, google update, my audio, usb3, malewarebytes and the os itself.

anyways in the cons section you have it saying it won't outlast hdds? isnt the MTBF 1.2 million hours?
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post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by badatgames18 View Post
nice review... when i start mine from a cold boot.. at the windows opening gui i always notice a slight screen tearing and it usually never finishes the gui like yours does. The windows logo will fly in and before it finishes my os boots... i timed it at 20 seconds (of course i don't have anything starting up except storage driver, google update, my audio, usb3, malewarebytes and the os itself.

anyways in the cons section you have it saying it won't outlast hdds? isnt the MTBF 1.2 million hours?
You haven't installed Windows updates/SP1. I had the same thing as you did, but as soon as you update Windows, boot times go down the crapper. I've reinstalled Windows twice on this so I'm almost 100% sure. You're right, but it doesn't stay fast.

And MTBF != lifetime. Are you suggesting that your SSD will last 136 years? Duckie had a nice analogy:
Mean Time Between Failure: Explanation and Standards


Your SSD will last you anywhere from 2 to 10 years depending on how much you write to it (reading doesn't hurt it).
Edited by B!0HaZard - 6/18/11 at 6:04pm
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post #6 of 35
i have sp1 updated.. you sure?
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post #7 of 35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badatgames18 View Post
i have sp1 updated
You sure? Did you check? Then it's a driver thing. Who knows, I just know that after 3 reboots, my boot gets slower. Maybe it's a mobo driver that Windows Update installs...
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post #8 of 35
yep... did you do any registry tweaks?

EDIT: here
Attachment 215940
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post #9 of 35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badatgames18 View Post
yep... did you do any registry tweaks?
Only the fix to avoid freezing, but that's way after the boot times set in.
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post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables
(1) Turn Off Hibernation File: Type cmd in search, right click cmd symbol that comes up and choose "run as administrator". Type “powercfg -h off” and press enter.

OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED SHORT STROKE DRIVE 25%: control panel/administrative tools/computer management/storage/disk management/ right click on C drive/ shrink volume follow instructions to shrink volume shrink so you have 25% unallocated space minimum. Helps drive maintain its self at higher performance and helps overall drive life.

(2) OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Turn off paging file: control panel/ system/advanced system settings/performance settings/advanced/virtual memory/change click no paging file, click set, apply, ok. (Restart later) Note: if you want to use a paging file for some reason set the minimum size to 1000mb and the maximum size to 1000mb. (Restart Later)

(3) OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Turn off system protection: control panel/ system/system protection make sure all drives are off especially C. You can make system images so system protection is just a giant waste of disk space.

(4) Turn off drive indexing: Right click all drives and uncheck drive indexing, click apply (ignore all when comes up) Also go to windows storage manager select the system reserved partition right click uncheck drive indexing, click apply (ignore all when comes up).

(5) OPTIONAL: Turn off Recycle Bin or reduce in size.

(6) Turn Off Reliability Monitor: Admin tools, open task scheduler. expand task scheduler library, then Microsoft, then Windows. Scroll down and click on RAC. Go to the top and select View then show hidden tasks IF RACTASK is not showing. Right click on RacTask and select disable. To re-enable it, you right click it and select enable.
Here is the good part.... disabling it stops it from PROCESSING reliability data and errors for reliability viewer. The data is still collected in the logs, just stored efficiently. You can re-enable it and see the reliability stuff when U wish. Disabling it saved RAM and some drive churning until U need to look at it.

(7) Set the power state to high performance and set the machine to never sleep, HDD power down to OFF (off is before 1 minute).

(8) Disable SuperFetch: Type regedit in search, click on symbol then go HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Con tro l\\Session Manager\\Memory Management\\PrefetchPerameters right click EnableSuperfetch hit modify and change to 0 and hit OK. (NOTE: alot of people also disable prefetch as well as superfetch but i find system runs better with prefetch enabled).

(9) Enable Large System Cache: Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Con tro l\\Session Manager\\Memory Management right click LargeSystemCache hit modify and change to 1 and hit OK.

(10) Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Con tro l\\FileSystem right click NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation hit modify and change to 1 and hit OK then right click NtfsMemoryUsage hit modify and change to 2 and hit OK.

(11) Disable SuperFetch in services: Go to Control Panel select Administrative Tools\\Services double click SuperFetch select startup type as disabled then click ok.

(12) While in Services double click Disk Defragmenter select startup type as disabled then click ok.
also go to msconfig go to boot, then change time to 3 seconds

i've had mine for a month plus and it's still as fast as when i got it when it comes to boot time
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