If you’re a Crucial fan, you know that the M4 has been the company’s best-selling SSD family ever and it’s one of the staple SSD brands mentioned in hardware builds on international sites like Ton’s Hardware. The M4 has been around for a while now and it’s showing its age, being usurped by Samsung’s 830 and 840 family and beaten on value by OCZ. The M500 is Crucial’s answer to the competition and it even comes with a reasonably-priced surprise.
The M500 family is spread across all manner of form factors – there are 2.5″ drives, mSATA drives and the new NGFF M.2 form factor, which will be used in the next generation of Ultrabooks based on the Haswell family. It might even be adopted into Apple’s next update to the Macbook Air and Pro lineups but that’s a bit far into the future. For now, it’s the capacities the M500 accommodates that are most interesting, especially in the 2.5″ form factor.
With a Marvell controller and parent company Micron’s 20nm NAND flash, read speeds are as high as 500MB/s depending on the port speed (SATA2 or 3) and write speeds of 130MB/s for the 120GB model, 250MB’s for the 240GB model and 400MB/s for the remaining two 480GB and 960GB drives. Yeah, you read that right – a 960GB solid state drive. Crucial quotes all M500 variants as having a 1.2 million hour MTBF (mean time before failure) and guarantee write endurance up to 72TB (40GB a day). There’s also a three-year warranty included as well.
As for the pricing, the 120GB drive has a RRP of $130, the 240GB is $220, the 480GB is $500 and the 960GB, oddly enough, will ship with a RRP of just $600. Most enthusiasts will gloss ovre the smaller drive sizes, but a 960GB SSD for the same price as Transcend’s SSD720 512GB, or the OCZ Vector 512GB. If Crucial can maintain that price advantage when their drives reach our shores, I can see a lot of enthusiasts snapping up that 960GB variant very quickly.
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