Crucial has been a leader in delivering value to their customers, whether it be in their SSDs or their great customer support. A few weeks ago we dubbed their new MX100 one of the best budget 2.5″ SSDs out. It follows in the footsteps of their M550. However, the new MX100 series doesn’t have any M.2 or mSATA form factors as the client oriented Micron M600 does. Instead, Crucial decided to continue their M550 in the M.2 2280 form factor alongside their MX100. And because it comes with many of the same features the MX100 has, this week’s SSD of the Week will be highlighting the Crucial M550 M.2 SATA SSD.
In terms of capacities, the M550 M.2 SATA SSDs come in three capacities, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The M550 M.2 SATA SSD is a performance oriented product in Crucial’s SSD lineup. It builds upon the M500, but instead of using 128Gb 20nm MLC NAND in the 128GB and 256GB models, the M550 has 64Gbit 20nm MLC NAND. This offers a slight performance improvement. The 512GB model still has 128Gbit NAND to allow for larger capacity as well. The drive takes advantage of Marvell’s 88SS9189 SATA controller to deliver read and writes speeds of up to 550MB/s/500MB/s. The 128GB model takes a small hit in writes and delivers write speeds of up to 350MB/s. Random read IOPS are rated up to 95K read and up to 85K write for the 512GB model and endurance is rated for up to 72TB of writes.
Features include native write acceleration, adaptive thermal protection for data-at-rest, DevSleep, data path protection, TRIM, native write acceleration, AES 256-Bit hardware encryption and compliance with TCG Opal 2.0, IEEE01667 and Microsoft E-Drive. And to top it all off, the drive is covered by Crucial’s standard 3 year warranty, periodic firmware updates, tech support, and 24-hour forum support.
For pricing, the 128GB model goes for ~$90, the 256GB goes for ~$150, and the 512GB goes for ~$280. These prices, while slightly higher than the 2.5″ drive options on the market, are very competitive in the M.2 world at the moment. Thus, due to the features and performance from the Crucial M550 M.2 SATA SSD, it is one of the best bang for your buck consumer M.2 SATA drives out.