Our readers, and almost anyone that has
searched to upgrade their spinning HDD to a much faster and more silent SSD will
have surely come across the Crucial name, but in case you’ve missed it you can
always visit their website and find out more about Crucial simply by clicking here.
Back in 2010 our reviewer, Wendy Robertson
did an in depth review of the Crucial
RealSSD C300, and after four years and two great drives in between, I am
referring to the Crucial
M4 and the Crucial
M500, Crucial now has a new drive, the M550. There is only one major
question to be answered here, will the new M550 keep pushing the performance
and the technology forward? From my previous experiences with Crucial I would
be very comfortable answering with a simple ‘yes’. But we don’t want to rush
things, so let’s start by taking a look at the package, its contents, and what
there is inside the drive.
So let’s get on with the review.
Crucial M550 512GB SSD
As always I will be first examining the
packaging and its contents.
The front of the box has a darker blue colour
and the rear of the box
The new M550 shares the same design as the
previous M500, so as you can see there isn’t anything new to report here, other
than the name of the drive and also the size which has increased from 480GB to
A closer look at the Crucial M550 512GB SSD
Top side of the Crucial M550 SSD
As we can see everything is almost
identical to what we saw with the Crucial
M500 SSD, and that’s not a bad thing. Where we need have the changes is inside.
Now let’s look at what’s inside the SSD.
the top of the Crucial M550 we find eight NAND chips made by Micron, an M550
Marvel controller, and also a DDR3 memory chip.
the back of the Crucial M550 SSD we find another eight 20nm NAND chips manufactured
is a closer look at the Micron 20nm MLC NAND.
close look at the eight channel Marvell 88SS9189 controller.
DDR3 memory is also manufactured by Micron.
The following specifications are taken from
the official Crucial website, to find out more click here.
There are several things that caught my
attention, first are the improved read and write speeds, and next I am very
happy to see that the starting capacity is 128GB and goes as high as 1TB, other
than that we have all the nice features that Crucial provides with their SSDs,
such as RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent NAND), full AES 256-bit Hardware
Encryption, and Adaptive Thermal Protection. Crucial also promise that the
newer drive will increase your battery life by up to 50 more minutes, since the
new M550 is 94% more power efficient. The drive available in the three formats,
2.5mm (5mm and 7mm thick), mSATA, and the new M.2. All the M550s have a three
the above screen shot we see all the available info for the Crucial M550 SSD.
Let’s head to the next page where we
take a look at our testing methods and the review PC.