Crucial launches budget high-speed SSD

If you fancy signing up to the high-speed solid state drive club, but don't think your overdraft would forgive you, then Crucial may have the answer in the form of its new 64GB RealSSD C300.

With support for the latest 6Gb/sec SATA interface, Crucial says the cut-price drive can achieve an incredible sequential read speed of 355MB/sec, yet you can pick one up for just over £120.

However, it's worth bearing in mind that you'll lose some of those fast-ticking megabytes if you're only using a standard 3Gb/sec SATA interface. Without the extra bandwidth afforded by the latest standard, the sequential read speed drops to 265MB/sec, although this is still a very respectable turn of speed for an affordable SSD.

The new 64GB drive uses the same Micron multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory as its bigger 128GB and 256GB brothers, and also uses the same Marvell controller. However, with fewer chips, and therefore less interleaving, the 64GB drive can only achieve a sequential write speed of 70MB/sec. Nevertheless, this is still twice the write speed of Intel's sub-£100 40GB X25-V drive.

Robert Wheadon from Lexar Media (which owns Crucial) claimed the "aggressively priced 64GB C300 drive makes SSD technology more affordable than ever, delivers durability for mobile computing, and makes it a compelling boot drive for desktop PCs."

The only potential downer for Crucial is that you can already pick up 60GB drives such as Corsair's Reactor for under £100. While the Reactor can't match the C300's read speed using 6Gb/sec SATA, its 256MB/sec read speed is still very respectable. What's more, Corsair claims it has a quicker 110MB/sec sequential write speed.

The 64GB Crucial RealSSD C300 is available now for £121.01 inc VAT, meaning a pair of them still turn out cheaper than a single 128GB C300 for £309.01 inc VAT.