The Crucial C300 comes in a foam-lined retail box with just the drive itself and installation guide. The fold-out booklet offers steps and tips for installing in a laptop or notebook computer but barely mentions use in a desktop machine. It would be nice if Crucial included a 2½" to 3½" adapter for the drive but unfortunately this is not provided, just the instructions and bare drive. The housing complies with standard 2½" form factor dimensions, measuring approximately 100mm long by 70mm wide and just under 10mm thick, and has a textured metal surface with sticker graphic on one side and the drive specifications on the other.
When opened, the 128Gb C300 reveals a circuit board insert containing sixteen Micron flash memory chips, a single Micron DRAM cache chip and the Marvell SATA revision 3.0 host controller. Although each Micron chip has an identifying label printed on top, I was unable to match this up with a specific part number for specification comparison. The 16 memory chips are all labeled 0FB12 NW274 while the cache memory is 0ED12 D9LG0. I assume since all the memory chips carry the same identification and given there are 16 of them that the density is 8Gb each for a total of 128Gb capacity. The Marvell controller is an 88SS9174-BJP2 SATA 6Gb/s which replaces the previous 88SS8014-BJP2 SATA 3Gb/s chip used in other solid state drives.
The Crucial 128Gb C300 RealSSD will be installed and tested in combination with the following components:
AMD Phenom II 965 X4 BE
2x2Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600
Diamond Radeon HD5850
64Gb Patriot Torqx SSD - comparison drive
Icy Dock 2½" Adapter
1Tb WD Caviar Black
Optiarc 24x DVD+/-RW
SilverStone Decathlon DA750
Cooler Master HAF 932 AMD Edition
I'll be comparing the Crucial 128Gb C300 against my previous OS drive, the Patriot 64Gb Torqx, in a series of benchmarks to follow. In every case the Patriot results are shown on the left side with the Crucial listed on the right. Windows 7 was cloned directly from the Patriot to the Crucial so the file system is identical.