Crucial has returned to the top of the SSD pack with the release of the M500. You could read the previous line alone and know that the M500 is the must have SSD for any application, but you really have to see the numbers to believe it.
The M500 is the successor to the stunning m4 SSD we reviewed in 2011, and my oh my was it worth the wait. Powered by yet another excellent Marvell chip, the M500 sets the scene for SSD technology both now and into the foreseeable future.
Crucial’s latest drives feature the latest in NAND development technologies – 128 Gb chips. The new NAND almost exclusively allows hardware manufacturers to create large capacity SSDs with incredibly competitive low prices.
Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO USB3
CPU: AMD Phenom x4 955 Black Edition @ 3.8Ghz
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz G-Skill Ripjaws X (9-9-9-24)
GPU: GTX 580 (1.5GB)
Note: All drives were benchmarked as is, out of the box.
AS SSD – 1.6.4237.30508
The drive was wiped before having Windows 7 64 bit installed on it. We then took the drive through a series of tests and benchmarks using common tools, the data and results of which have been provided below for review.
We’ve also included data from the Crucial m4 256 GB SSD as a comparison point when looking at the visual data. The m4 is Crucial’s high-end performance SSD and has received critical acclaim across the internet and print for its price, performance, and ability to carve up all in its path.
A common tool used to benchmark traditional Solid State Drives as well as having the ability to benchmark other drives and devices, AS SSD is a great piece of software. We ran the Crucial M500 through a number of AS SSD’s tests and then average the results to get data below.
The sequential read and write test of AS SSD provides valuable information into the writing and reading mechanics of any drive. How fast the drive can write large amounts of data reflects how suitable the drive may be for tasks such as video rendering that reward faster dumps.
The main weakness of the M500 is arguably it’s sequential write speed. Many top-end drives peak at 500 MB/s, while the M500 came it at only 424 MB/s during our tests. While many (if not all) users wont notice this, the speed loss will be felt in large scale file transfers and dumps.
The titular access time test does exactly that, test how quickly AS SSD can access the read and write functions of your drive.
The M500 impressively bested its predecessor, although we expected no less. Both tests were almost half of the m4’s results, and even when the drive has a lot of data to keep track of, the M500 still managed to perform admirably.
Crucial’s M500 gives a very serious glimpse of what the future holds for SSD technology and pricing. In such a short time Crucial has taken the SSD market by storm and continues to be a leader in pricing and large capacity SSD performance.
If you are looking for the best performance-per-dollar SSD on the market, the M500 is your absolute best bet. The reads and writes leave other drives in its wake and cements the M500 480 GB model’s place as the best 480 GB drive on the market.
If you’re serious about your SSDs, the M500 should be the only product on your radar.