Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
- Great performance, especially in 128GB and 256GB capacity points.
- Good cost/GB and availability (see below).
- Write speeds slightly reduced on 128GB model (but much less so than competing drives).
Pricing and Availability:
Current street prices (via Amazon) are as follows:
- 128GB – $88 ($0.69/GB) (Amazon)
- 256GB – $150 ($0.59/GB) (Amazon)
- 512GB – $240-304 ($0.47-0.59/GB) (Amazon)
- 1TB – $437-471 ($0.44-0.46/GB) (Amazon)
Amazon prices have been fluctuating on these, but if you keep an eye on them, you can snatch up your desired capacity at a great price. The direct competitor to the M550 is the ADATA SP920, but at the time of this writing we were unable to find any in the 512GB and 1TB capacities.
All M550 capacities come with a 3-year warranty.
The Crucial M550 series demonstrates an excellent use of the Marvell 88SS9189 controller. With firmware performance tweaks and intelligent die arrangements in the smaller capacities, Crucial was able to keep the performance very high across a broad range of capacities. Typically we see the smaller capacity points of a given SSD line suffer in performance. Crucial was able to minimize this by incorporating higher counts of smaller capacity dies into the smaller models. Keeping the die count high helps maintain parallelism, which ultimately results in great write performance. The 128GB M550 is one of the best performers we've seen at that relatively small capacity point. The Crucial M550 series is a worthy competitor in the SATA 6Gb/sec arena. I'd keep an eye out for sales, especially in the 128GB price point.
M550 gets Editor's Choice for aggressive pricing and the best performance we've seen out of the Marvell 88SS9189 controller.