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Crucial M500 960GB SSD Review - Crucial M500 960GB SSD

Crucial M500 960GB SSD Review

The Tera-Era has begun! Crucial leverages its 20nm NAND flash to achieve a major milestone, the first consumer 2.5" SSD to reach 1TB. Since parent company Micron owns the flash fab, the price is much better than you might expect.

| SSDs in Storage | Posted: Apr 9, 2013 1:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%      Manufacturer: Crucial

Crucial M500 960GB SSD

 

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Here we get our first look at the drive. Like Crucial's other SSDs, the branding label is on the bottom of the drive. On this side you can see the mounting points are located where they should be for your notebook sled or desktop adapter bracket.

 

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The label on the top of the drive has the model number, product number and serial number. The capacity size is listed as well.

 

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M500 is a 7mm form factor drive... AND THERE IS 1TB OF FLASH IN THERE! Sorry for the caps, but aside from the Intel DC S3700, most SSDs with this much flash are much larger, some even built on the 15mm z-height.

 

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The SATA power and data connectors are where they should be.

 

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Inside the case we found a piece of thermal transfer material and a thin layer of special plastic on the other cover.

 

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Inside we found 16 Micron 20nm NAND flash chips. Crucial stated that all capacity sizes would use 16 flash chips except for the 128GB, which uses eight.

 

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All capacity sizes use the Marvell 88SS9187 controller. Crucial built the custom firmware for the M500 so the performance will vary from other companies 9187 controlled drives.

 

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The 960GB M500 uses two DRAM buffers with 8GB of total capacity to store page data, no user data is stored in the DRAM.

 

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We've waiting for these chips for a long time. Crucial displayed the new 128-bit 20nm flash at the previous two CES trade shows. These chips have 8 die inside and are the secret ingredient to get to 1TB.

 

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The other side of the drive has the remaining eight NAND flash chips and the other DRAM buffer.

 

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The Crucial M500 has a sizable bank of capacitors to cover host power loss. Should your system lose power during a write operation, the data in route gets to the flash.

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