This was my first experience with an SSD. I was nervous about upgrading to an SSD because of so many stability problems reported on different websites and blogs. After reading many different reviews and user comments, I chose the Crucial M4 over the Intel 510 Series which was originally my first choice. My primary requirement for the SSD was stability over performance. I figured the performance difference between an OCZ Vertex 3, or a Crucial M4, or an Intel 510 would be virtually unnoticeable in a real world environment. However, a drive that often crashes would definitely be noticeable. The Intel has the highest stability ratings but the price ($280) was a big pill to swallow for the 120GB. I paid $198 for the M4 on Amazon in September 2011.
Very happy and impressed with the M4 so far. It's been nine months and no stability issues at all - knock on wood. The speed is amazing. Boot times on Windows 7 Pro are less than 15 seconds with all background applications loaded, ready to go. I run all the typical applications including antivirus, some hardware monitoring apps, IM apps and others . About 12 total apps appear on my taskbar.
I use this computer daily for internet, spreadsheets, Word docs, edit HD home videos, import and convert old MiniDV home videos , edit photos, play Blu-Ray movies, edit music files, etc. I also use standby regularly - although there's no reason to continue using standby since boot times are so fast. Applications like Word and Excel pop open as if they were minimized.
This drive is personally my most significant and fun component upgrade since I jumped from a single core Pentium to a Core-2-Duo about 4 years ago or so, which is my typical upgrade interval for tech products. I recently upgraded the said Core-2-Duo to a Core i5, and the speed increase was noticeable, but when I upgraded the Caviar Black SATA drive to this M4 SSD, I was giddy. Like Chris Matthews, I felt a thrill go up my leg. Installing Windows was almost fun. I didn't walk away from the Windows install process like I normally do. I think the install was done in ten minutes or so. I typically buy Corsair memory, but I'm now a Crucial fan.
I recommend getting a bay converter for this drive. I got the SILVERSTONE SDP08 3.5 to 2 X 2.5-Inch Bay Converter
. I tried to avoid buying a bay converter by using spare parts to build a bed, and I was actually able to concoct one, but ultimately I was unhappy with my creation mostly because I couldn't sit it behind the case's front cooling fan where it can receive inbound airflow to keep the drive cool, so I ended up ordering the Silverstone bay converter a few weeks later and now both my drives, including my 2Tb Caviar Black SATA drive, sit nicely next to the front fan.
Here's my specs:
Windows 7 Pro
Board: ASUS P8Z68-V LX
CPU: Core i5 2500k running stock clock speed.
CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB running at 1600MHz stock speed.
GPU: ASUS ENGTX560 DCII - GeForce GTX 560 running stock speed.
SSD: Crucial M4 128GB running on the 6Gb bus.
SATA drive: WD Caviar Black 2Tb SATA III running on the 6Gb bus.
PSU: Cooler Master Real Power Pro 750W.
Blu-Ray drive: Samsung combo drive SH-B123L/RSBP.
Case: Thermaltake V4 Black.