Crucial V4 256GB review
Solid-state drives are brilliant devices for speeding up your PC, but in the real world not everyone can afford to spend a few hundred pounds on the latest drive. Also, not everyone has the right SATA3 interface to enable the best speeds.
Crucial recognises this fact with its new V4 drive. It’s designed to bring hard disk-beating SSD performance to those who don’t have the fastest SATA sockets on their motherboard or the biggest budget. Rather than use familiar controllers from Marvell, Indilinx and SandForce to create the V4 range, Crucial has instead turned to little-known firm Phison and its PS310 controller. Crucial has paired the controller with 25nm MLC NAND chips and even though that’s what we expect for quick drives, the controller is designed for SATA2 connections.
We tested the Crucial V4 when connected to both SATA2 and SATA3 connections, and can confirm that the low-end controller does its job, providing virtually identical results across all of our tests. We also tested our favourite SSD, the Corsair Performance Series Pro 256GB, using a SATA2 connection.
The V4 returned a score of 232MB/s in our large file write test and a score of 214MB/s in our large file read benchmark. The Corsair, meanwhile, scored 298MB/s and 241MB/s.
There was a gap between the drives in our small file tests, too, with the Crucial drive again coming off worse. In the small file write test the V4 scored 109MB/s, with this figure dropping to 42MB/s when we tasked the Crucial with reading small files. The Corsair ran through the same tests at 134MB/s and 75MB/s.
It’s not able to match the fastest drives, even when connected to a SATA2 interface, but the Crucial comes into its own at the checkout. Corsair’s Performance Series Pro 256GB currently costs £273, which works out at 93p per gigabyte. Crucial’s V4, meanwhile, offers the same capacity but costs just £125, or just 48p per gigabyte.
It’s not an out-and-out bargain, though. Crucial has included nothing in the box apart from the drive itself. This means there’s no 2.5in to 3.5in bracket, and it also means you’ll have to buy one before you install the V4 in a PC. Don’t panic, though, because they generally cost around £10. Sadly, the three-year warranty is two years less than we’re used to seeing, even with modestly-priced drives.
Still, Crucial’s V4 is a compelling piece of kit. It’s extremely cheap and, while not able to compete with the fastest drives, it’s got the grunt to deliver a significant boost to those struggling with obsolete hard disks in ageing PCs. If you can’t afford a motherboard upgrade and all the costs and hassle that entails, but you still want to experience solid-state speed, this is a fine option.
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