We know that a Solid State Drive is the faster version of your more traditional hard drive with moving parts. Basically, you need an SSD when you want to faster everything, seamless multitasking as well as improved in energy efficiency. In today Crucial M500 vs M550 article, we are going to compare these two SSDs from Crucial to give you more information regarding what you can expect from both of them. If you are looking for an affordable and reliable SSD, go check our article below.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– What are Crucial M500 and Crucial M550
– What Crucial M500 and Crucial M550 can offer to you
– Crucial M500 vs Crucial M550
About Crucial M500
Crucial M500 was one of the most popular SSD ever released. We say it in past tense because it was released quite sometimes ago in 2013 and as time goes by, it may not the best in the market in present day, but it is still powerful enough for home use. When this disc was released it was the first SSD that use Micron’s 128Gbit MLC NAND die and because of the cost saving as well as increased in density, you can get the item in a capacity up to 980GB. Read also: Crucial M500 vs Samsung 840 EVO here.
Just like you may already know, picking an SSD will require you to check the specification first since you are going to mount it in your system. In present day most SSD comes in 2.5 form factor, so is Crucial M500, which is also the size of your laptop HDD. This shouldn’t be a problem yet there is no losing in paying a little more attention just to be safe. Even in case when you want to put it in desktop computers, there is an adapter to make it work.
Crucial M500 Features
Crucial M500 still used the same Marvel controller with a custom firmware from Micron as well as the NAND. Even though it still the same, these parts got updated in kind of interesting ways. The controller used now is Marvell’s 88SS9187, which is the updated version of 9187 that was used in M4. This new controller is speed or feature bump over the 9174 that also planted in Plextor’s M5 Pro. This upgrade to Marvell’s 9187 brings a benefit, which is the support for DDR3 memory and in the largest configuration, this SSD features 1GB of DDR3-1600.
Even when the controller remains the same, the NAND of Crucial M500 is changed. When the item released in 2013, it was the first drive to have the latest version of IMFT 20nm MLC NAND with 128GBit die, which all previous NAND devices from IMFT and its competitors only able to have 64Gbit or 8GB per 2-bit MLC NAND die. This move is making 1TB SSDs finally becomes cost effective ever. The prominent change to achieve this move is by shifting the page size from 8KB to 16KB.
Crucial M500 Price and Warranty
Today, the current price of new (unused) Crucial M500 is around $197.97 for the 240GB capacity, which make is around 82 cents per GB. The company also gives you 3 years limited warranty to make sure the SSD will fulfill its life cycle.
About Crucial M550
Crucial M550 was released not long after the M500 that we have talked above around a year after in 2014 next to Intel’s 730 series. After releasing the previous model, we know Crucial is targeting mainstream market and because it can’t compete with many other items out there that targets enthusiast users where M500 has no place there, M550 is finally launched to offer higher performance and to stay competitive in all product areas. Both of them are very similar in appearance and your M550 is still comes in 2.5 form factor.
Crucial M550 Features
We know that the use of 128Gbit NAND was among the main reason why M500 have a bad performance, so in this new model the company decided to bring back 64Gbit NAND in M550 lower models, which is the 12GB and 256GB capacity while the higher 512GB and 1TB stay with 128Gbit NAND. With the decision only those lower capacity can compete in the term of performance because the die count is twice of the same capacity in M500.
Taken from anandtech, when tested, the 128BG did beat 240GB M500 in all metrics, which shows there must be some firmware tweaking. The higher capacity also get performance upgrade, but if compare to the lower, it is still not that significant. Another difference in M550 is the controller because now it used Marvell 9189, which is 9187 updated version. The major upgrade are support for LPDDR as well as better optimization for DevSleep. These upgrade help with power consumption and can hence extended the battery life.
Since M550 is the upgraded version of M500 the features come with are also still the same. It has TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 support, which is the requirements for Microsoft’s eDrive encryption and there is a NAND-level technology to make it more robust against power loses, which is caused by the capacitors that provide enough power to complete in-progress NAND writes when the power suddenly loss.
Crucial M550 Price and Warranty
Today, the price for Crucial M550 is around $699.97 for the 1TB capacity, which makes it falls into $68 cents per GB and similar like many other Crucial’s disks out there, you will get 3 years limited warranty to make sure it serve the life cycle.
Now, let’s compare Crucial M500 with M550. As it has been mentioned earlier, M550 is the upgraded version of M500. It has different NAND in the lower capacity models but still has 128Gbit NAND in the top capacity just like all M500 units. However, since there is some firmware tweak in M550, it can perform faster than the older model in sequential read, write, 4KB random read, as well as 4KB random write. Another improvement is it now more robust against power losses.
Crucial M500 Vs M550
All in all, the decision is all yours to make. In our opinion, it is clear which is better among them. Speaking about the performance, the lower capacity is definitely more significant in all aspects but the availability is scarce because it is quite hard to find M550 than M500 today. However, for better performance and cost efficient, we will recommend you to pick M550 over its brother M500.