Crucial M550 SSD Review (1TB) – Increased Speed, Capacity and Value

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have may or may not have been optimized depending on the motherboard base configuration. Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

TSSDR-Test-Bench

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac EATX MotherBoard
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz Quad Core
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100 High Performance Liquid
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600Mhz Memory
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

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BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, PCMark Vantage, and Anvil Storage Utilities.  In consumer reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

 CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER 5.5.0

 Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, product information, ‘power on’ information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. We can see that the SSD is capable of TRIM as it is not grayed out as with AAM.

Crucial M550 1TB SSD CDI

Perhaps the most impressive thing we can see in a CDI result is an abundance of SMART attributes which allow us to identify certain aspects of drive activity and monitor these throughout the lifespan of the drive.  Kudo’s to Crucial/Micron for leaving such a ‘open book’ with respect to the M550 family SMART attributes.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

 ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

Crucial M550 1TB SSD ATTO Result

ATTO results of 560MB/s read and 511MB/s write are in line with listed specifications.  A definite indicator of a strong SSD is also the that of a steady performance increase as file size increases.

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Zaxx
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Zaxx

Timing was good for the 550…the 500 was quickly slipping to the under-performing ranks of the asynch value drives. Best thing from this new launch was the decision to bring back 64Gb die and thus the very desirable jump in performance with the 128GB drives. Combine that with power protection and good crypto and you have an unmatched offering that is perfect for those looking for a dependable/affordable ssd for their lappy. Doubtful anyone without their own nand fab will be able to follow suit re: the 128GB offering. Well played indeed.

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

Well to be fair, async drives tend to perform MUCH worse than m500. Remember, its not all about sequential speeds. m500 is performing just fine, especially given the price.
And m550 is not meant to replace m500 in any way, it’s just a better performing verison of m550. m500 is here to stay (atleast according to crucial)

ARCUS1200
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ARCUS1200

The m550 is a better performing version of m550? This is a Mark II or something?

jalyst
Guest
jalyst

Hello mr necro-poster, he clearly meant to say:
“And m550 is not meant to replace m500 in any way, it’s just a better performing verison of m500.”

The differences are very marginal though, see the Anandtech review…
Unless prices have come down a lot more since the review, the M500’s a better buy.

Mozef Kaddas
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couldn’t agree more, I upgraded my MBP 2012 which is loaded with gigs of music (Hi Re Albums Arts) many applications. I’m so happy right now, as long as it preform and launch my application so fast.

jp1wc1
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jp1wc1

how does the Native
Write Acceleration of the m550 work? is it a cache of some sort similar
to how samsungs 840 evo turbowrite feature works? would i lose all unwritten data if their is a system error? can it be turned off?

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

I believe its just a marketing thing for highspeed writes caused by using smaller dies (and thus more of them for a given capacity).
Crucial unlike other competitors isn’t using any kind of tricks to achieve writes speeds such as turbowrite and performance mode.

jp1wc1
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jp1wc1

what is the m.t.t.f./m.t.b.f. and the t.b.w. for it?

Les@TheSSDReview
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jp1wc1
Guest
jp1wc1

you read my post incorrectly, NOT what is m.t.t.f./m.t.b.f., but what are the m.t.t.f/m.t.b.f. and t.b.w. for the M550?

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Apologies…not listed in the documentation that we received.

Visigoth
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Visigoth

72 TB according to AnandTech.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I was refering to mtbf rather than TBW and thanks for that.

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Why would MTBF matter to you anyway ?

its not like drive with higher mtbf is gonna last “longer” anyway.

Sam Nicko
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Sam Nicko

Great review Les 🙂

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Thanks Sam…

iCrunch
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iCrunch

Oh man, this is awesome! I was about to purchase a SanDisk X110 or X210 for my Drobo, but I’m liking this! Let’s see some M550’s as loss leaders at Slickdeals, huh? haha…thanks for another great review! You are THE SSD man! ~