|Hard Drive||128 GB|
Crucial m4 128GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive CT128M4SSD3
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- Powerful SSD performance in a tiny mSATA form factor
- Ultrathin form factor provides lightweight mobility
- Features blazing-fast speeds - up to 500MB/s Sequential Reads, 175MB/s Sequential Write
- Treats compressed and uncompressed files the same, resulting in consistently fast speeds. Validated for Intel Smart Response technology
- Available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB
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The Crucial m4 mSATA SSD delivers all of the award-winning performance and reliability of the Crucial m4 SSD - in a drive that's an eighth of the size. Measuring in at about one-third the size of a standard business card (3cm x 5cm), the Crucial m4 mSATA is designed primarily for ultrathin laptop users who want to dramatically increase their system's performance. Because of its small form factor, the Crucial m4 mSATA SSD can do things that hard drives and other SSDs often can't: it can serve as a primary storage device in ultrathin laptops, it can attach directly to the mSATA socket on your system's motherboard (freeing up a hard drive bay), or it can act as a cache to complement the performance of an existing hard drive. Offering lightweight construction, inherent power savings, travel-worthy durability, and validation for Intel Smart Response technology, the Crucial m4 mSATA SSD packs powerful performance in a tiny mSATA form factor.
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The SSD arrived with two screws and it took me like 5 minutes to insert the SSD in the PCIe slot. At first boot, the system did not recognize SSD. I opened Device Manager and looked for hardware changes and it did not recognize again. After that, I rebooted the system again. When I opened the Disk Management (can be clicked from the menu Win+X), the SSD was there. I initialized it using quick NTFS format and default unit size. Since my system was pretty new, I didn't want to bother myself with installing everything from scratch. I searched the Net and saw ppl talking about how Paragon Migrate OS to SSD software can seamlessly make the transition from HDD to SSD. My system came with Windows 8 and I discovered only the latest version (v3.0) of Paragon Migrate OS to SSD which costs like $20 supports Win 8. I searched for coupons/promotions and found out that today (01/10/13) Paragon Drive Copy 12 Compact which also supports migration of Win 8 to SSD is offered as a freebie to my luck. I quickly read the Help section (it was actually damn straightforward) and migrated my OS to my new SSD. Then, I restarted my computer and entered BIOS settings by pressing F2 at the boot and moved the SSD up as the first booting device . When the OS booted from the SSD, I opened disk management again and reformatted my HDD not to cause any conflicts.
That's all! Now my computer boots in 6 sec before entering password and 7 sec after entering password. My Microsoft Primary Hard disk index went up from 5.9 to 8.1. In the end, I did a little tweaks like moving the Downloads folder of my Interner browser into HDD and so on. I really suffered from the deficiency of information on the Net about how to migrate Win 8 into SSD effectively and seamlessly. I hope my review has been helpful for the ones trying to do the same thing.
Using Acronis 11.5 Server, was able to migrate a Win 7 64bit image to the mSATA drive. Interestingly, Acronis 10 also worked, but not Acronis 11.0. The drive is set to AHCI in the BIOS. However, was not able to configure the XPS in RAID 0 and migrate the image. When I contacted Dell they said I'd have to install Win 7 64bit from scratch to use it in RAID 0 configuration. Not worth the hassle. Simply migrating the image to the mSATA in AHCI mode provides excellent performance. Furthermore, AHCI is more stable than RAID 0. Would be a hassle to reconstruct the RAID 0 array is case of corruption. As it is with the mSATA drive I can restore a 76Gb image in about 9 minutes. The image is created onto and restored from the 2TB HD.
I'm getting advertised performance: about 500 Mb/s sequential read. I have Diskeeper 2011 Server running in the background. So far it does seem to keep the mSATA drive running in an optimized state.
Overall, looks like the Crucial mSATA drive is an excellent primary drive for the Dell XPS. Just be sure to buy the two screws that you will need to secure the mSATA drive to the XPS motherboard, or in your laptop. I purchased the Rhino LapTop Screw Kit at Frys. It was only $6.50, but did have the CM2x3 screws (five of them) you will need to do the job. Otherwise you could spend a whole lot of time hunting for that specific screw. Without the screws to secure the mSATA to the motherboard it will pop out of the socket.
Be sure to check around on the price. You should be able to get it for $181 or less as of 11-4-2012. I have other Crucial SSD drives. They make good products and support them. Highly recommended.
I'm seeing read speeds of 400MB/s, write speeds of about 140MB/s, and very quick access times. Speeds are about on par with older 2.5" OCZ Vertex 3 and older Intel X25 SSD drives that I have used in the past (and am still satisfied with). From the cursory check that I did on other mSATA manufacturers, this appears to have the highest speeds / dollar in the mSATA form factor.
I feel good about the reliability of this SSD as Crucial manufactures their own SSDs (Crucial is a brand of Micron Technologies) and offers a good warranty. The large SSD manufacturers are Micron/Crucial, Intel, Hynix, Samsung, and Sandisk. Any other brands, such as Corsair or OCZ, source their parts from aforementioned manufacturers. Micron was one of the first to release SSDs that used the new 6 Gb/s SATA III standards, so I feel confident about their technology's reliability.
Most recent customer reviews
I have had this in my laptop for over two years now and it has help up very well.Read more