The Tera-Era has officially begun. Today Crucial starts launches the highly anticipated M500 product line and with it comes the first 1TB SSD in a consumer 2.5" form factor. The M500 series uses Micron's new 20nm NAND flash that can fit up to eight dies per package. The high density is what allows Crucial to stuff 1TB of space into a compact 7mm case.
You may have noticed the new capacity size, 960GB. Crucial is following Link A Media Devices and SandForce with over provisioning, reserving space for background tasks to increase performance. The new capacity sizes for M500 are 960GB, 480GB, 240GB and 120GB, a change from previous Crucial SSDs.
At CES Crucial didn't hesitate to tell us about the 960GB's $600 price. After a brief discussion we walked away thinking the other capacity sizes would scale evenly, but that didn't work out like we expected. There are four capacity sizes and the prices are reasonable - 120GB ($129.99), 240GB ($219.99), 480GB ($399.99) and the 960GB that we're reviewing today.
Certainly, there's some room here for Newegg, Tiger Direct and other e-tailers to move the MSRP after a few weeks on the market and we suspect that will happen quickly with the lower capacity sizes.
Let's take a look at the specifications and I'll explain.