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Crucial M500 SSD Review – A continuing evolution

Posted 10 June 2013 09:48 CET by Antonis Sapanidis

 

Review: Crucial M500 480GB Provided by: Crucial EU Model: M500 480GB Firmware version: MU02

 

 

Evolution continues  for Crucial and their SSD products. The Crucial M500 is the SSD that is replacing the trusty old M4 SSD. As we can expect the M500 not only does everything that that the M4 did, it does much better, and adds more functions to improve not only the SSD but also the overall experience that the user gets.

Our regular users remember the review that Myce did in the past for the Crucial RealSSD C300, and later for the Crucial M4. Now it’s time to take closer look at the M500. As we expectedthe names inside are the same, Micron & Marvell, but the numbers have changed, and the M500 has the latest equipment that Micron and Marvell have to offer, so now only one question remains to be answered.

How does the Crucial M500 perform?

Crucial was kind enough to provide me with the M500 480GB SSD for this review. Now you can start reading this in depth review of the Crucial M500 SSD to find out more about it’s performance.

Company info.

If you're unfamiliar with Crucial, and their products, you can visit their website to find out more about them, by clicking the link here.

Now let’s start this review.


Crucial M500 480GB SSD

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the package and what it comes shipped with.

Packaging

Box front

Box rear

The packaging of the Crucial M500 is relatively small, and it’s very clean and good looking. The front of the box is very appealing to the eye, and it also has all basic the information you need to know about the drive. Moving to the back we can see that Crucial is keeping the same approach, as it only gives you the information you need to know, such as what’s inside the box, and where to look for your product support. Scanning the QR code with your Smartphone will lead to http://www.crucial.com/support/ssd/

Inside the box

The Crucial M500 came in a very simple package, which includes the document for the three year warranty, a spacer to make the drive compatible with the 9.5mm form factor, and of course the drive that comes in the usual anti-static bag.

A closer look at the Crucial M500

Top side of the Crucial M500 SSD

Drive underside

The drive as we can see continues to have the same clean look as the previous drives had, this time the chassis isn’t painted and it has a brighter look than the previous drives, something that I liked.

Now let’s look at what’s inside.

On the top of the Crucial M500 we will find eight NAND made by micron, the Marvell Controller, the DDR3 memory chip, and also a lot of capacitors at the top right.

On the back of the M500 we can see another set of eight 20nm Micron NAND chips.

A closer look at the MLC NAND, manufactured by Micron using a 20nm technology,

A picture of the Marvell 88SS9187 controller that uses a custom Crucial firmware.

The DDR3 chip that is used as a cache is also manufactured by Micron.

Specifications

The following specifications are taken from the official Crucial website.

From the above table we can get a more detailed view of the various sizes that the M500 is available in and the performance that each size can give. As we can see the drive has MTBF of 1.2 million hours, and also a very impressive endurance of 72TB.

One final thing that it’s worth mentioning is the wide variety of form factors that the M500 is available in, from the standard 2.5” inch, to the widely spread mSATA, and also you can find it in the M.2 form factor.

Adaptive Thermal Protection

One very interesting feature of the Crucial M500 SSD is the adaptive thermal protection. Whilst the drive is designed to work from 0C up to 70C, the adaptive thermal monitoring is able to reduce NAND operations when the SSD’s internal temperature begins to reach the maximum specification. The SSD will remain in this state for as long as it’s needed until the drives temperature returns back to the specified operating temperatures.

Note that adaptive thermal protection does not change the current negotiated speed of the SATA bus, nor does it require or cause any new commands to be issued on the SATA bus.

More importantly, it would be very hard for most regular users to make the M500 reach temperatures that will require the drive to trigger this function.

CrystalDiskInfo

In the above picture we can take a look at all the info available for the M500.

 


Let’s head to the next page where we take a look at our testing methods and the review PC.

 

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