After looking at the entire M550 product line, I'm convinced the 512GB drive is the best for a large portion of our audience. Priced at just over $300, the 512GB M550 offers large capacity for game installations and the same high performance as the larger 1TB model.
The 512GB capacity size is the new sweet spot for capacity at affordable prices. When SSDs hovered around the $1 per GB mark, the price was out of reach for many, and the dollars didn't make sense. As drives moved closer to $0.50 per GB, this capacity size came to the top for capacity, price, and performance.
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 the controller with 20nm Micron flash. The two smaller drives use 64Gb die, while the two larger capacity size models use 128Gb die. This keeps write performance high across the entire product line.
Crucial rates the 512GB M550 at 550 MB/s sequential read and 500 MB/s sequential write speeds. Random performance is 95k read and 85k 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, a very nice power savings feature that can increase notebook battery life on supported notebooks.
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 provides Acronis data migration software via a download.
PRICING: You can find the Crucial M550 (512GB) 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 (512GB) retails for $331.22 at Amazon.
New Zealand: The Crucial M550 (512GB) retails for $616.99 NZD at Mighty Ape NZ.