Mechanical hard drives with 6Gbps Serial ATA connectivity, be they from Seagate or Western Digital, haven't really made a case for the new interface yet. However, a pair of solid-state drives might now do a better job of that. Crucial has put up listings for 128GB and 256GB RealSSD C300 drives on its online store, and the new products look to be available immediately.
As one might expect, both offerings cost a pretty penny. Crucial charges $499.99 for the 128GB model and $799.99 for its higher-capacity sibling, nearing the cost per gigabyte of OCZ's limited-edition Vertex LE SSDs. Even Crucial's own previous-generation M225 drives each cost $100 less at the same storage capacity points.
Of course, while even the highest-end M225 only has a top rated read speed of 250MB/s, Crucial quotes a whopping 355MB/s read speed for both RealSSD C300 variants—just above the 300MB/s maximum speed allowed by previous-gen, 3Gbps Serial ATA ports. As we noted last month, though, RealSSD C300 drives "only" have top rated write speeds of 215MB/s.
Both of these new products use 34-nm NAND flash memory from IM Flash Technologies, the joint venture between Intel and Micron (the owner of the Crucial brand), so they may contain the same chips as Intel's second-generation X25-M drives. However, Micron is said to be using a proprietary storage controller with some special sauce that enables higher performance, not to mention a king-sized 256MB DDR3 cache.