Crucial m4 Solid State Drive Review
If you’ve owned a computer that was built in the last two decades, then at some point you’ve probably discovered what it is like to deal with a system that takes forever to start up.
It’s probably also likely that you have had moments of extreme frustration while waiting for your computer to search for a single file in your system.
It’s something we have all been through as computer owners…
In almost all scenarios, the problem is your hard drive. And, it’s not that you could’ve chosen a better computer that had a bigger and faster hard drive in it, it’s just that the traditional hard drive technology is somewhat slow.
In general, hard drives use a lot of power, take a long time to read and write data, and ultimately create a frustrating experience for you, the user. Fortunately, however, there is a real solution to these problems and it doesn’t require that you spend thousands of dollars on a new computer to obtain.
Solid State Drives vs Hard Drives
With the recent development of solid state drives, you no longer have to worry about those ridiculously long boot-up times and excruciating 30-minute file searches.
In fact, I can tell you from personal experience from using my Crucial m4 Solid State Drive, that with an SSD, you can actually boot your system up in less than 20 seconds. And, I’m talking about from the time you power on your computer, to the time it’s in the Windows start screen and ready to go.
20 seconds… that’s it…
I spent years dealing with computers and laptops that would take 5-10 minutes just to boot up all the way. And, the worst part was, just because my computer made it into the Windows start screen didn’t mean it was ready to be used. It often took an extra few minutes just to load everything up.
In fact, I used to turn my computer on, go do stuff around the house, and then come back only after enough time had passed to where I could be sure my computer would be ready to go. That way I wouldn’t have to sit there and watch how ridiculously slow it loaded up.
Now I realize how silly that all was!
Why Solid State Drive Technology Destroys Traditional Hard Drives
While both SSDs and HDDs are both storage devices, they do not operate the same way. Traditional hard drives are mechanically-based devices that use moving parts in order to access your data. While hard drives have come a long way and can operate much more quickly than they used to, they still don’t even perform half as quickly as solid state drives.
The reason for this is that solid state drives don’t rely on moving parts. Instead, they utilize “flash memory.” Essentially, where standard hard drives have to rely on a spinning disk and reading head to locate information, solid state drives rely on a grid of electrical cells to read and write data.
This allows solid state drives to access information at incredible speeds.
In fact, since purchasing my Crucial m4 Solid State Drive, I have experienced the following benefits:
- The time it took my computer to boot up was reduced from around 3 minutes to 10 seconds.
- Applications that are stored on the solid state drive open instantly every time. (No loading and no “struggling” sounds from your computer.)
- Quick file management, i.e. opening, saving, copying, transferring, etc.
- Operating system runs ridiculously smooth. I rarely see the windows circular loading icon anymore.
- Significant increase in performance while multiple programs are running.
Before purchasing my SSD I read that they are able to operate nearly 10 times faster than hard drives. I’m not really sure how I could possibly calculate that on my computer, but I can tell you that it certainly feels the SSD makes my system 10 times faster.
Solid State Drive Prices
The second knack on solid state drives is their price.
For a traditional hard drive, you can expect to pay about $.05-$.06 per GB of storage. For solid state drives, you can expect to pay around a $1 for each GB.
Therefore, you can see that the prices of solid state drives are in proportion with their performance as related to hard drives.
And, nowadays, with all the image, audio, and video files that people like to store on their computers, storage is a much needed commodity.
So, if you want 1 TB of storage, one option is to either choose from a hard drive that costs $70, or a solid state drive that costs approximately $1,000. When you look it that way, SSDs don’t really seem that great anymore.
Fortunately, though, there is a second option that will allow you to still experience the all of the awesome benefits that come with solid state drives without having to drop a ton of money.
What I have done is used my Crucial m4 256GB Solid State Drive to store my operating system and programs/games that I use the most often. Then, I put all of my files (like video, music, images, and documents) on my 1TB hard drive. This allows me to receive the best of both worlds as I have a ton of storage space to accommodate for my files, and I get to utilize the high speeds of my solid state drive when booting up my system and running applications.
So in the end, the Crucial m4 Solid State Drive is definitely worth the value.
Crucial m4 Solid State Drive Features
- Solid state disk, SATA III 6 Gb/sec
- Backward compatible with SATA II, 3 Gb/sec
- 500 MB/sec sequential reads, 260 MB/sec sequential writes
- Lightning quick speeds
- Extremely energy-efficient
- Reliable and long-lasting
- 3 year parts and labor warranty
One Downside to Solid State Drives: There Isn’t an Infinite Amount of Writes
As previously mentioned solid state drives cannot write an infinite amount of data. This is just like a flash drive.
Every so often the electric cells inside of your solid state drive need to be reset. And, every time they are reset, the electrical resistance inside of the cells increases. After a significant amount of writes, the voltage required to write new data into a cell becomes so high that the cell becomes unusable.
So, basically, it will all depend on how much you use your drive. As a comparison, solid state drives will still generally last longer than hard drives. And, hard drives too will eventually wear down. So this is a problem that you will experience with either type of hard drive.
Purchasing the Crucial m4 Solid State Drive
Three days after ordering my Crucial m4 Solid State Drive from Amazon, I received the product. Since the SSD is only 2.5″ wide, it came in a relatively small white and blue box.
The reason why I chose to purchase it from Amazon is because I wasn’t sure if they had the size and brand I wanted at my local electronics store. I knew I could go to a brick and mortar store and find a solid state drive, but I knew they wouldn’t have the broad range and diversity that you can find on Amazon.
I also knew that I could take advantage of Amazon’s Super Shipper Savings so that I wouldn’t have to pay for any additional shipping costs. Not only that, but from past experience buying from Amazon, I knew that they provided a very secure checkout process.
In the end, the whole buying process was very easy and I got my product quickly with no hassles. And, I advice anyone who is in the market for a solid state drive or any other computer components to really take a long look at Amazon’s computer section. They have thousands of components to help you improve your experience.
Also, I strongly recommend the Crucial m4 Solid State Drive to anyone who is looking to significantly increase the performance of their computer. In fact you can check the Crucial m4 out right now by following the link below: