You've seen the 128GB and the 1TB M550 reviews, and now it's time to fill in the gap. Today, we're looking at the 256GB capacity size that, like the 128GB model, uses 64Gb die to increase parallelism in Crucial's RAIN feature.
Just days ago, we saw the ADATA Premier Pro SP920 128GB with the same Marvell controller that's in the Crucial M550. The difference between the SP920 and the M550 is the NAND flash in the two smallest capacity drives.
In the SP920 128GB review, we clearly saw how the increased number of die per package increased performance. In the 256GB M550 review, we expect to see the performance increase over the SP920.
The flash, paired with the new Marvell 88SS9189 controller, puts the M550 in the top tier of performance with the fastest consumer SSDs in the world today.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The Crucial M550 hit the market in four capacity sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and the flagship 1TB model. All four models use the same Marvell SS889189 controller and pair it with 20nm Micron flash. The two smaller drives use 64Gb die, while the two larger capacity size models use 128Gb die.
Crucial rates the 256GB M550 at 550 MB/s sequential read and 500 MB/s sequential write speeds. Random performance is 90k read and 80k write. The M550 goes beyond just performance, though. The new flagship brings host power loss protection to the consumer market as well as TCG Opal and eDrive support for hardware encrypted data security. The M550 also supports DEVSLP for newer systems, which is a very nice power saving feature that can increase notebook battery life.
Newegg has all four capacity sizes in stock. At the time of writing, the 128GB was at $99.99, the 256GB at $168.99, the 512GB model at $334.99, and the large 1TB model at $529.99. All M550 models have a three-year manufacturer's warranty, ship with a 7mm to 9.5mm adapter bracket, and Crucial also provides Acronis data migration software via a download.
PRICING: You can find the Crucial M550 (256GB) SSD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Crucial M550 (256GB) SSD retails for $168.99 at Amazon.
Canada: The Crucial M550 (256GB) SSD retails for CDN$168.99 at Amazon Canada.
Australia: The Crucial M550 (256GB) SSD retails for $284.99 AUD at Mighty Ape Australia.
New Zealand: The Crucial M550 (256GB) SSD retails for $299.99 NZD at Mighty Ape NZ.