While we still don't have what you could really call a "bargain" solid-state drive that offers the capacity of a traditional hard drive for a similar price, Crucial has taken a, ahem, crucial step forward with its new M500 SSD line.
Though its smaller capacities hover around the $1 per gigabyte that we've come to expect in SSD pricing — the 120GB model coming in a little above ($130), the 240GB ($200), and the 480GB ($400) versions skirting just below — it's the 960GB flavor that is getting the attention. That's because its sticker price is $599.99, or about 60 cents per gigabyte.
No one interested in a cheap storage upgrade will be dropping $600 on an SSD, but enthusiasts with deeper pockets looking to combine solid-state performance with more capacity may jump on this drive. As you might expect, it won't necessarily provide the best performance via its 20nm MLC NAND flash, Marvell 88SS9187 controller, and customized firmware — for instance, AnandTech found it to be slower than Samsung's SSD 840 — but it gets points for power consumption and IO consistency.
We keep waiting for major price drops to really thrust solid state drives into the mainstream of the PC world (having already conquered the tablet market), and the 960GB M500 looks like it's one of those important progressions in that happening.
Is the per-gigabyte cost enticing enough for you to upgrade to Crucial's new drive? Let us know in the Talkback section below.