Crucial is a global brand of Micron Technology, Inc., one of the largest memory and flash storage manufacturers in the world. They make computer memory upgrades (DRAM) and solid state drives (SSDs), and offer more than 250,000 upgrades for over 50,000 systems. They have a reputation for quality and their SSD’s are well regarded.
Today we will be looking at Crucial’s M550 256 Gb SSD. Offing speeds up to 550 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write is quite a step up from their previous offering, the M500. The M500 was a staple in the SSD market and with good reason, it was fast and reliable. Crucial has taken the M500 and upgrade the controller to the new Marvell 88SS9189. Also new is the Micron 64Gb 20nm (MLC) Flash. This is certainly interesting. Let us find out if the M550 is a worthy successor.
Crucial’s take on the M550
Do more. Faster. Longer.
A breakthrough in innovation, the Crucial® M550 SSD is over 20 times faster than a typical hard drive* and consumes significantly less power. It enables your computer to boot up almost immediately, load files and programs almost instantly, accelerate demanding applications, and manage power so that your battery lasts up to 50 minutes longer. Backed by the most advanced feature set available – Native Write Acceleration, RAIN technology, Adaptive Thermal Protection, hardware-based encryption, and our exclusive data integrity algorithm – the Crucial M550 delivers a complete performance gain that’s measured by far more than just specs.
Consistently fast speeds. No exceptions.
Every manufacturer has ideas about how to deliver better performance. Some use file compression schemes, but those don’t help video, audio, or graphic files that are already compressed. Some steal system memory to improve a slow drive. The Crucial M550 treats all files the same, regardless of whether they’re compressed or uncompressed, so the specs we advertise are the same ones you’ll see in real world use: true 550 MB/s sequential reads across all file types.
Download large files in seconds, rather than minutes.
Our engineers are relentless and passionate about the products they create. To deliver consistently fast write performance, they developed a more efficient and dependable way to write data called Native Write Acceleration. This technology spreads the drive’s workload across several elements, and links the controller, custom firmware, and flash storage components together, enabling you to achieve inherently faster downloads, saves, and file transfers.
Achieve top speeds without sacrificing reliability.
Normally, as an SSD’s level of performance increases, its level of reliability decreases. Not so with the Crucial M550. With over 35 years of defining and refining some of the world’s most advanced memory and storage technologies, we leveraged our expertise to create RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent NAND). This technology protects your data at the component level, similar to the way RAID is used with multiple drives.
Save on power costs and enjoy longer battery life.
Run your system longer than ever before – and use less power. Based on published specs, a common laptop hard drive uses 2.5 watts of power on an average workload, compared to 0.15 watts on the Crucial M550 (which is up to 94% more energy efficient).** In everyday terms, this means significantly more battery life and substantial savings on power costs.
Guard against corrupt files with our exclusive data integrity algorithm.
If one of your videos, photos, or files happened to get corrupted, there’s a good chance it would no longer be usable. That’s why we’ve taken additional safeguards to ensure the integrity of your data. As a leading manufacturer of the flash storage components that go into SSDs, our exclusive multi-step data integrity algorithm is built into the components we use, arming them with four layers of defense against data corruption.
Secure and protect your data – with no loss in performance.
You probably save lots of sensitive and personal information on your computer – encrypt it and keep it safe. As a self-encrypting drive, the Crucial M550 incorporates the highest level of hardware encryption into the controller, allowing the drive to operate at full speed without the performance loss associated with software-based encryption. The Crucial M550 is one of the only drives on the market to meet the rigorous requirements of TCG Opal 2.0, IEEE-1667, and Microsoft® eDrive®.
Specifications are up next.