Crucial M500 SSD review round-up: 960GB at $600 is cheapest in class, available now

Crucial's budget-friendly yet high-capacity 2.5-inch M500 SSD has finally cropped up for sale today, as have the reviews of it from the usual enthusiast sites. While it's still not exactly low-cost, many applaud the fact that the company's $600 960GB drive is the cheapest near-1TB model you can get on the market. It uses Micron's 20nm MLC NAND flash, a SATA 6 Gb/s controller and is the first to implement the new 128Gb MLC NAND die. According to Benchmark Reviews, it certainly bests its m4 predecessor with peak speeds that reach 500 MB/s read and 400 MB/s write, with 80,000 IOPS in operational performance.

Both TweakTown and Anandtech concur that it's not quite as fast as its closest competitor, the Samsung 840 Pro, but as Anand Lai Shimpi said in his review: "If you need the capacity and plan on using all of it [960GB], the M500 is really the only game in town." TechnologyX, however, gives the nod to the 480GB model, if only because it's about $200 cheaper if you're willing to compromise on space. Crucial also offers the M500 in 120GB and 240GB for $130 and $220 for those with smaller wallets. If you're keen to see the full breakdown on this tiny wonder, head on over to the sources to judge for yourself, or just click on the Crucial link below to get your own.

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Crucial M500 SSD Now Available

New Drive Delivers Terabyte-Class Capacity, Faster Speeds, and Advanced Feature Set

Boise, ID and Glasgow, UK, April 9, 2013 – Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of the Crucial® M500 solid state drive (SSD). Featuring terabyte-class capacity, increased response times, and an advanced feature set, the Crucial M500 SSD is available now through select global channel partners and at The 2.5-inch drives are available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacities with MSRPs of $129.99, $219.99, $399.99, and $599.99, respectively.

Dramatically faster than a hard drive, the Crucial M500 SSD enables users to boot up their systems almost instantaneously, provides ample storage and powerful data transfer speeds, and easily addresses the multitasking demands of today's applications. Using Micron's 20nm MLC NAND flash, a SATA 6Gb/s controller combined with Micron's custom firmware to deliver up to 80,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS), the drive's sequential read and write speeds reach up to 500 MB/s and 400 MB/s, respectively.[1]

The Crucial M500 SSD incorporates features important for data protection and reliability, such as hardware-based encryption that meets TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE 1667 standards (TCG Opal 2.0 + IEEE 1667) when combined with appropriate software[ii], thermal management technology, protection against unexpected power-loss, and advanced error recovery techniques. In addition, the drive offers device sleep (DEVSLP), which increases system battery life while maintaining system responsiveness. This feature enables the drive to draw less than 5 milliwatts of power while the system is in sleep mode- a 93% power improvement compared to Crucial's previous-generation drives.[iii]

"We designed the Crucial M500 to meet the reliability and performance expectations of today's systems, and are thrilled to offer the first terabyte-class. SSD for under $600," said Robert Wheadon, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial. "The Crucial M500 is equipped with an impressive new set of features, making it a multifaceted solution for today and tomorrow."

Leveraging the industry-leading memory, design, and manufacturing capability of Micron Technology, the Crucial M500 is compatible with both PC and Mac® systems, and is backed by a limited three-year warranty. The 2.5 form factor is available in 7mm height and comes with a 9.5mm bracket. M.2 Weekly Cartera Dutieso send contentform factors are expected to be available in the second quarter of 2013.