Crucial M500 960GB 2.5-inch Internal SSD
|Crucial M500 960GB 2.5-inch Internal SSD|
|Features and Specifications|
|SSD Testing Info and Benchmarks|
|M500 Final Thoughts|
Over a year ago at CES 2013, Crucial teased us with the promise of a "Terabyte-Class" SSD that was coming later that year. They were of course talking about the M500 series - and more specifically the 960GB version. They did deliver later that year and the M500 shipped in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB variants. Today we are spending some time with the 960GB M500 and while it may not be the fastest "Terabyte-Class" drive on the market, it currently is available for $464.99 at Crucial's web store and can be found cheaper online. This makes it one of the most affordable massive SSDs on the market today. While affordable is always nice, we would hope that performance should be very good as well - thanks in part to the 128Gb MLC dies that Micron uses in this unit.
We don't have other drives of this size to reference the M500 to in terms of performance, but we will see how it stacks up against a few other drives that are currently available - or are still being used in many systems today.
Other than the drive itself, the Crucial M500 960GB drive comes with a spacer that can be stuck to the unit if it requires installation in a system that requires the thicker 9mm drives to fit properly. This drive is a 7mm thin unit that is required for many newer laptops and Ultrabooks. If you have an Ultrabook that requires the M.2 format drive, the M500 is only available up to 480GB in this form factor.
The drive enclosure is all-metal, including the bottom plate and this is very helpful to promote durability and to protect the inner workings of the drive. Earlier SSDs that had plastic housings would flex a bit in some Ultrabooks and less-expensive notebooks that were not very rigid. This would cause the PCD inside to flex and attributed to a percentage of drive failure. Having a metal enclosure helps not only protect the drive, but also helps cool the controller.
The 7mm M500 906GB SSD isn't all that exciting to look at, but thankfully the 7mm form factor is much more versatile in today's notebooks and Ultrabooks. It has identical measurements to other thin SSDs we've looked at recently and should fit in virtually any system that supports either low-profile or standard-height 2.5" SSDs.
Before we jump into the benchmarks on the following pages, we'll take a look inside the drive as well as cover some of the features and specifications of the M500 line and see what we've really got on our bench.