Even pitched against the ludicrously swift OCZ Vertex 2, with its much-vaunted SandForce SF-1200, Crucial's new drive puts in an admirable performance. When weighed against the price saving, it makes it well worth considering as a performance enhancer for your existing system or laptop.

The C300 realSSD capitalises on the traditional strength of solid state storage with blistering read speeds that far exceed the limits of older SATA 3Gbps ports, justifying at last the rush to get newer 6Gbps controllers into the wild recently.

So long as you have the motherboard to go with it, it's the fastest SSD in this respect bar none.
When reading small files simultaneously, it's benchmarked around 30 per cent higher than its nearest competitor. That means fast boot times and level loads – exactly what you want an SSD for.

The C300 realSSD is slightly weaker when it comes to write speeds. It falls short of the new standard set by the SandForce SF-1200 drives, but it's a long way ahead of older drives that barely scraped double figures in the key AS SSD 4K 64 thread test.

Unlike many technologies, where competing benchmarks cluster together like caravans on a motorway, what the C300 means is that you have a clear choice if you're after an SSD at the moment. If it's out of this world write speeds for a good overall performance boost, then the OCZ Vertex 2 is the drive for you.

But if you want the fastest read times bar none and a very attractive price point to boot, then the Crucial C300 realSSD is a clear winner.

We liked

What's not to like about the C300 realSSD? It boasts read speeds like nothing we've seen before, which finally make use of the raised bandwidth cap of SATA 6Gbps and beats all but the very best drives in write operations too. Even better, it's priced at the bottom end of the SSD spectrum.

We disliked

The only complaint you can lay at the C300's door is that it doesn't match the superlative SF-1200-based drives for write performance.

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