Crucial M550 Review – An Affordable Greatness

Crucial M550 Review

The Crucial M550 has arrived – built with its Marvell 88SS9189 controller for something truly great.

The design of the Crucial M550 is sleek and carries almost a military style grading that is common for the name of Solid State Drive (sounds very fancy). Essentially, gone are the days of clicking disks as we have previously covered, and the Crucial 1 TB ushers in this new standard with such a passive space offering in terms of PC real estate.

ControllerMarvell 88SS9189Marvell 88SS9187
NANDMicron 64/128Gbit 20nm MLCMicron 128Gbit 20nm MLC
Capacity128GB256GB512GB1TB120GB240GB480GB960GB
Sequential Read550MB/s500MB/s
Sequential Write350MB/s500MB/s130MB/s250MB/s400MB/s
4KB Random Read90K IOPS95K IOPS62K IOPS72K IOPS80K IOPS
4KB Random Write75K IOPS80K IOPS85K IOPS35K IOPS60K IOPS80K IOPS
Endurance72TB (~68GB/day)72TB (~65GB/day)
WarrantyThree yearsThree years

Above we can see the specifications of the Crucial M550 series across varying storage platforms.

The 1TB addition by Crucial fares decently well despite the 128Gbit 20nm NAND as the M500. The switch to binary capacity lends to the full 1024 GB space – no cutbacks like normal hard drives where 500 GB is more like 470 GB. Feature-wise the M550 takes a lot from the M500. The Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 support are taken directly to support Microsoft eDrive encryption. There is also power loss protection through the capacitors that allow the drive to finish saving everything from the NAND buffer.

Our test system included a 4770K, an ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Motherboard, and a MSI GTX 780 Gaming Card.  Read speeds on CrystalDiskMark on 4K sequential reached upwards of 380 MB/s while AIDA 64 reached a .12 ms read access speed on these 1 TB monsters.

Power consumption on the Crucial M550 1TB hit a mark between performance, value, and low thermal dissipation. The M550 1TB is an exceptional drive and RAID speeds are helped with the improved willingness of read access at fast and very comparable speeds to other drives on the market.

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