Crucial M500 M.2 NGFF SATA 3 SSD Review (480GB) – High Capacity and Power Loss Data Protection

M.2 TRANSFER SPEED AND IOPS COMPARISON

We have been very fortunate to get a number of M.2 SSD, SSD adapters, and even SSD contained systems to report on ahead of the crowd and we are very appreciative of the manufacturers for that.   We are in a position now that we can provide hierarchy charts for both M.2 SSD transfer speeds and IOPS:

M.2 SSD TRANSFER SPEED COMPARISON

M.2 NGFF Transfer Speed Chart

M.2 SSD 4K IOPS PERFORMANCE COMPARISON

M.2 NGFF SSD IOPS Chart

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

As much as we want the unbelievable performance that we see in PCIe M.2 SSDs, the name of the game today is capacity and the number of e-mails received from people looking for higher capacity SSDs is amazing.  As much as we see those that already have M.2 SSD contained systems, there are several who, like we have previously, realize that great savings can be achieved in buying a M.2 SSD notebook or ultra with the lowest capacity SSD, and upgrading on availability.  Quite frankly, it is a bit disturbing when we see just how much some retailers make from their premium high-capacity configurations.

Crucial M500 M.2 NGFF SSD Front With Branding1If our guess is right, we just may be seeing Crucial M.2 SSD availability very soon and this will provide opportunities for those seeking the higher capacity that this 480GB SSD provides.  Having been around SSDs for some time and reviewed all Crucial SSDs from their first release, we are certain that the highlight of this release will be the price.  It’s a price point that will once again annoy competitors as they check out Crucial pricing in order to set their own M.2 SSD price point.

Performance is probably the weakest point of the M500 family but it doesn’t drop so low as to really become a noticeable difference when compared to other SSDs; it is simply low enough  to be seen in specifications.  On the other hand, Crucial will be one of the first to market a retail M.2 SSD, they have power loss data protection which isn’t seen in any other consumer SSD, much less any SSD as small as the M.2, they are capable of endurance of 40GB written daily for a period of five years, and they have the Crucial/Micron reputation of just being an amazing product. We are awarding the Crucial M500 M.2 SSD our Innovation Award for its power loss data protection.

UPDATE

Just after publising we received this response from Crucial regarding M.2 SSD availability, “Working with OEMs on platform designs we see a trend toward adoption of M.2 for the smaller and smaller devices like Ultrabooks and tablets. As demand increases for upgrades for these devices we expect to see availability increase in the channel. Current availability in the channel is a function of demand, not supply.”

Watch For Crucial M.2 SSD Pricing at Amazon. / FORUM DISCUSSION

TheSSDReview Innovation Award image

Review Overview

SSD Build
Performance
Data Loss Protection
Product Warranty
Pricing and Availability

User Rating: 3.55 ( 12 votes)

32 comments

  1. I am SUPER interested in this. Not sure what I would put it in, but it seems to have excellent potential for any computer in which it fits. Nice one Les!

  2. Excellent review. I especially like the included supercaps which protect against sudden power loss. This alone is reason enough for me to consider the M500 above all others. Together with the included OPAL 2.0 hardware encryption engine it’s just icing on the cake.

    • Why do you need capacitors agains sudden power loss? given end user environment (Client), the OS can handle this, plus other drives can manage this through more robust firmware solution, capacitors are adding cost and another potential area for failure

      • If someone plugs out the battery out of the laptop, or the oxidized contacts on it simply lose connection temporarily, or for whatever other reason the SSD would not be getting reliable power delivery anymore, from the hosting environment, you’d be glad to know, that the data, the SSD has “said” to the OS, were already written onto the persistent storage device, are actually written from the volatile write-cache, onto the persistent flash memory of the SSD module.

        There is a reason why supercaps and/or backup batteries are a standard on enterprise-level SSDs.

  3. CrystalDiskInfo 6.1.0 Dev4 should support new SMART attributes layout for M500.

  4. seriously, can you do more than display screenshots? how about some comparison tools?

    • Not quite sure what you are speaking of as our review contains, not only several pictures and benchmarks, but also charting which compares read and write transfer speeds as well as high IOPS.

      • I’m coming from an SATA SSD search and just came across m.2 PCIE devices, especially interested in 500mbps smashing RAID setups. Which is probably where most enthusiasts are coming from. I think in 2014 you’d want to be able to see at a glance how a unit compares to historical and contemporary devices, but your review does’t support this. It supports a much smaller group of people. People are coming from all different perspectives (should I upgrade from my 2009 device? those focused on day by day industry changes). Your articles are primarily made of screen grabs of common late 2013 benchmark apps which are limited in number of devices and ability to interact. So they aren’t good at comparing, and are you storing values? (I guess someone could use OCR). New and developing sites like storagereview, wikidata and even engadget are creating their own device databases, which are a lot more engaging to use and benefit users, developers, producers. I was just doing a drive-by reading but it was disappointing so hope your site can participate in that wider discussion.

      • The article, as with all of our articles, is based on what the vast majority has asked for for some time now, simple and easy to understand descriptions, benchmarks and explanations. The vast majority is not the enthusiast crowd, but rather, the common reader just learning about SSDs. We cater to them and we also cater very well to the enterprise crowd; this is the constant feedback we get and the reason our reviews remain as they are for consumer, client and enterprise SSDs.

        We weren’t aware that Engadget and Wiki were even reviewing SSDs and, by all means, if the site doesn’t suit your needs, keep on driving by.

  5. In the review I saw that you had tested this ssd via a pcie adapter card. However, I notice you tested on an Asus Maximus Impact mobo which has its own m.2 spot. Have you tested it there? Is it bootable using that? (I’d be interested in going down this route.) Thanks for checking!

  6. Would anyone happen to know if this, the M.2 NGFF SATA 3 SSD is the SSD included in the Lenovo Ideapad y410p notebook model?

    • no, this is not the SSD included in the IdeaPad Y410P. it looks like that model has the option for a 24GB SSD. in this case, the SSD acts as a cache (think of it as extra RAM) and is not used for storing files.

  7. So I’m upgrading to a larger SSD, when my eye caught your, as usual, highly interesting review. A few questions:

    I had my eye set on the Samsung 840 EVO 500GB, but price wise, this M.2 drive is about the same. However, the motherboard I have provides PCI-E 2.0 slots only. Any point in using this drive? (afaik I know it should still be OK)

    On the other hand I could get a M500 960GB drive, for extra 120 dollars. Size vs speed.

    I don’t really need max speed since I don’t work with video/audio editing, but rather with rendering. Still the M.2’s seem to be the next step, and there’s something about being on the edge.

    Finally, how would you compare this M.2 to the ioSwitch drive you looked at back in November.

    • There seems to be supply issues with the Raijin and the Crucialk M500 M.2, as with so many others, has yet to hit retail chains. I might suggest you join our forums and detail your system where we can have a better look at whats best.

  8. can you please post the exact dimension in mm of the M500 m.2 ngff in the respective available capacities?
    I have a ngff slot in my new notebook and I’d like to check the bigger ssd I can put in (considering the more capacy=memory modules it has, the faster it is)
    regards

  9. Les, do you know about fast and tiny external cases to put one or two of these puppies into? I carry all my data on an external boot drive. It would be great to make it tiny and so it would really fit in my pocket.

  10. this product compatible with MSI GS60?

  11. Would this be compatible with a Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus NP940X3G?

  12. Hi! I have a Asus Maximus Impact VI MOBO that has a m.2 slot as previously mentioned. I was going to order the Crucial M550 to save space in my ITX-build. But..is it bootable? I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere or test results? Very annoying because it’s been on the market for a while know. Will I get the speed results that crucial lists? ( 550/500/MBPs)

    Thanks in advance

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