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

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

Crucial/Micron was the first company to release solid state drives with the 6Gbps/SATA 3 interface.  They have a definite advantage and  are amongst the exclusive few when we consider that they are NAND flash memory manufacturers.  Micron/Intel (IMFT), Samsung, Toshiba, and SanDisk are at the forefront, whereas SK Hynix seems to have become unheard of; this a bit unusual considering their purchase of the top ranked LAMD controller.  Considering the competitive nature of the business in general, Micron has always seemed to follow their own path and not let new releases or the hype of advance phase them.

Similarly, SATA 3 SSDs have reached their performance peak and manufacturers are demonstrating imagination when it comes to new releases.  Crucial was the first to include power fail protection as a consumer SSD standard, Samsung is using spare RAM to increase performance significantly with their RAPID technology and, most recently, Intel moulded a very successful and uber-high endurance enterprise drive into what might be a killer retail item.  The Crucial M550 SSD seems to remain on track hoping for the perfect mix of performance, capacity and value.

Crucial M550 1TB SSD Disassembled

Performance wise, the inclusion of the new Marvell 88SS9189 controller and decision to rely on 64Gb memory resulted in a significant performance increase when we look back at the M500 for comparison:

M500 M550 Comparison

Also, while examining this chart, we are also reminded that the M550 provides a storage increase at all capacities as we now have jumped from 120 to 128GB, 240 to 256GB, 480 to 512GB and 960 to 1024GB.  Calculating this into the estimated 15-20% price increase of the drives (in general) means that the extra capacity just may be a freebie of purchase and, in fact, brings that final price bump down just a bit.  The only things that we might like to add on to the Crucial M550 SSD would be a 5 year warranty and migration software.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Crucial introduces their M550 SSD as being much higher performing than their previous M500 Series and even higher performing than many present upper tier SSDs.  The M550 increases available storage in all standard SSD capacities, is available in 2.5″, mSATA and M.2 form factors and at a very competitive price point.  We support purchase of the M550 with our Gold Seal of Approval.

Check Out Crucial M550 Pricing at Amazon| M550 512GB Report @ Tech X

TSSDR Gold Seal Opt

Review Overview

Build and Components
Performance
Features
Price and Availability
Warranty

Standard Power Failure Protection

Crucial/Micron significantly improves on their M500 release by adding the M550 which has upper tier performance, increased capacity, as well as a very competitive price. Crucial also includes the M.2 form factor which will benefit many newer systems available today.

User Rating: 2.01 ( 25 votes)

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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
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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
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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! ~