|480GB Crucial M500 Solid State Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 09 April 2013|
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Overview: Crucial M500 SSD
Solid state drive devices have gained quick popularity with performance-minded consumers because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computer systems. Likewise, these drives install quite easily into both desktop and notebook platforms without modification. The OCZ Vertex 3.20 SSD Series is best suited for performance-orientated users, giving personal computers a much faster response time and boosting productivity.
In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the 480GB Crucial M500 Solid State Drive, model CT480M500SSD1, which is advertised to reach 500 MB/s sequential read speeds and 400 MB/s sequential writes. Crucial's performance specifications suggest up to 80,000 random 4K read and write IOPS.
Crucial M500 SSDs are best suited for performance-orientated personal computer systems, but may also works extremely well in SOHO computer systems for demanding power users. Initial pricing reveals the following MSRP for each capacity: 120GB - $129.99, 240GB - $219.99, 480GB - $399.99, and 960GB - $599.99. 2.5" SATA retail 7mm SSD kits include a 9.5mm bracket for versatile installations.
The Crucial M500 SSD features a 7mm thick chassis that comes in a textured aluminum finish, which does not show fingerprints or smudges like a gloss surface would. Micron utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for their Crucial M500-series SSDs, with a series branding label at the top panel and product information on the bottom.
Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded into the Crucial M500 chassis, allowing this drive to fit directly into the SATA slot on existing notebook or compact computer systems. Fortunately, Crucial also includes a 7.0mm to 9.5mm adapter with their retail SSD kit, so the drive will easily install into larger fittings. The SSD mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes of upgrading I booted-up from a restored Windows 7 System Backup Image with ease.
Unlike fragile Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are not nearly as sensitive to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. Once installed the SSD is usually hidden away from view, which explains why Micron has maintained a conservative appearance with the Crucial M500-series.
Internal components are revealed by removing four small counter-sunk Philips screws located at the bottom of this solid state drive, although doing so will damage the attached 'Warranty Void' label that warn consumers against taking apart their product. By removing the SSD cover it will also remove your consumer protection with it.
Backwards compatible with SATA 1.5 GB/s and 3.0 GB/s interfaces, the Marvell 88SS9187-BLD2 SATA Revision 3.0 (6Gb/s) controller supports the ATA-8 ACS-2 command set, Microsoft Windows 8 drive telemetry, Data Set Management Command Trim attribute (when installed with a supported Operating System such as Microsoft Windows 7/8), Secure erase (data page) fast and secure erase command set, device sanitize feature set, Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slots, and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set.
In the next few sections we'll test the Crucial M500 solid state drive, comparing this SSD to other leading retail products intended for notebook and desktop installations...