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Crucial M500 SSD Review (960GB) – Speed, Value, Size and Data Security Redefined

Crucial M500 960GB SSD FeaturedBy the time this report of the new Crucial M500 960GB 6Gbps SSD is published, Crucial will have succeeded in the most significant SSD release of 2013.

Not only is a 1TB SSD finally available to the consumer, but also, Crucial guarantees M500 success with a price point that could create ‘price panic’ in retail SSD sales. They have gone further though. Without a premium, Crucial has included key enterprise features in the M500 that make the M500 hard to match.

INTRODUCTION

Would we be a bit forthright in stating that perhaps the only companies capable of sustaining 1 TB mass SSD sales are those that manufacture flash? These are limited to Intel, Crucial/Micron, IMFT which is a joint venture between the two, Samsung, SanDisk and Toshiba. There is also SK Hynix and maybe even one or two other lesser known memory manufacturers but, let’s be honest, the North American market buys from those they know and trust. Even examining the players at the table now, it is not a far stretch to believe that we just might see Samsung and Crucial going head to head at days end.

Crucial M500 1TB Vs Samsung

Both provide their own memory, internal cache and although Samsung may appear a step ahead with their own controller, Crucial/Micron and Marvell are so close they just may be joined at the hip. Don’t get me wrong; third party manufacturers just may follow suit with a SATA 3 1TB SSD to stay in the race. That is where things get a bit sticky though. Crucial/Micron has added a few features to the M500 that even Samsung hasn’t brought to the 840 Pro. In fact, we had asked Samsung if they planned to release a 1TB capacity of their 840 Series SSD at the Samsung 2012 SSD Summit in Seoul, South Korea. Their response was that they didn’t believe it financially feasible for the consumer market just yet. Will this change things?

CRUCIAL M500 SPECIFICATIONS

The Crucial M500 is a SATA 3 SSD (as all are these days) with full backwards compatibility to SATA 2. It is available in capacities of 120, 240. 480 and 960GB and is the first mass produced 1TB SATA 3 SSD available to the consumer. Along with the 2.5″ notebook form factor, Crucial will also be following suit with mSATA and the new M.2 NGFF (New Generation Form Factor) SSDs up to 480GB as well. Performance is variable and dependent on capacity as detailed in this chart:

Crucial M500 Performance Chart

Click on any Photo For Higher resolution.

The M500 comes with a three year limited warranty, Crucial MSRP’s are $129.99, $219.99, $399.99 and $599.99 for the 120, 240, 480 and 960GB sizes and Amazon pricing (LINK) worldwide has availability at these prices right now. This puts the 960GB version at .62/GB and the 480GB at .83/GB, both now being the lowest price point by which ANY SSD of these capacities has been released to date…and by a long shot.

Crucial M500 960GB SSD SSD Angled

Crucial initially stated that the M500 960GB SSD would be priced under $600 and they have stood by their word. Unfortunately, the middleman and e-tailers need to get their piece of the pie, which typically inflates pricing initially, and we hope our included price links can save our readers any additional cost. We are certain of one thing, however, and that is that pricing their 480GB capacity under what many still have for their 240GB premium SSDs is going to ruffle some feathers and cause some purchase shifting.

Crucial provided Technology X with a M500 480GB SSD to review and their report can be found here.

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • alan1476

    They are in Stock and 570.00 on Amazon. No forum link for this drive

    Crucial M500 960GB SATA
    2.5-Inch 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive
    CT960M500SSD1

    • alan1476

      20nm nand and 25 nm nand is very hard to find which I find puzzling because Crucial makes their own nand. Hence this 960gb Crucial is not available at its 599.00 price anymore. Its out of stock at most vendors and as soon as its in stock its sold out in 5 minutes.

  • Cape Dave

    This is one heck of a drive! I want one.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Hey David my old friend. Good to see you jump in as always…been a few years hasnt it…

  • MikeGR7

    Nice performance for the price! Not so high end but can’t complain.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      The performanc on this drive is rather unique. On one hand we can see where the Samsung and OCZ better it in areas such as IOPS and incompressible data performance but, on the other hand, it seemed to stand up to both in such things as the AS SSD and Anvil Total Scores and blew both away in Vantage Total Point Scoring.

      • MikeGR7

        Right as always Les. Well i consider the low 4k read the most important factor for ssd perf because it’s the only value that you can’t improve by RAID. Actually you might decrease it a bit. Drives with strong perf should be >35mb/s in 4k like m5pro or 840pro. I may be wrong though and feel free to correct me.

  • Mark Elliott

    The drive has support for both TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE 1667 specifications. Having the
    Opal 2.0 support means that you can utilize third-party encryption to
    make the system more secure. It also provides full
    compatibility with BitLocker encryption built into Windows 8. This is the
    first SSD with explicit support for this feature. It also support’s Device Sleep (DEVSLP), a new standard which consumes less power between state changes, enabling fast exit latency and a more efficient energy profile. I have been reading the SSD review for many months now and really enjoy the articles and respect the attention to detail and repetition utilized during the testing procedures. Excellent work gentlemen.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Thanks Mark!!! Always looking for new site contributors and your background is solid!

  • Scour

    Is it possible to show Host Read/Write-values with CDI?

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