Crucial M500 drive significantly reduces SSD price per gigabyte

Crucial M500 drive significantly reduces SSD price per gigabyte

Summary: Get 960GB of solid state storage for "just" $599.99, significantly undercutting the $1-per-gigabyte threshold.

TOPICS: Storage

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.

(Image: Crucial)

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.

Topic: Storage

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  • Just reduce the 256Gb/512Gb SSDs already!

    It's long over due that SSDs replace HDDs. They still cost far to much, aside from 60Gb and 120Gb models.
    • In five years' time,

      We won't believe how people of the past could possibly trust to store their precious data on a mechanical, goodness mechanical, spinning platter! How archaic to have a wobbling disk at 5400rpm that would result in total scratch should it so as scratch the disk head 0.1mm away.
      • Strawman much?

        First off, hard drive platters don't 'wobble' at all. If they did, they'd fail instantly. MTBF for hard drives is actually very high, even for those in laptops, because, not surprisingly, they design them for those situations.

        On the flipside, SSDs have their own unique and unpredictable failure modes, but they too are getting better.

        In the end, for the price of even the low cost SSDs, you could buy TWO HDs and use one as a backup for the other. To put this into perspective: a 1TB *laptop* drive (to keep the comparison fair) is $90 or 9c/GB, compared this 'bargain' SSD at 60c/GB. A 3TB desktop drive is $140 or around 4.6c/GB.

        When the price of SSDs finally get within a few percent of the price of HDs, maybe this will become the norm, but right now - and for the foreseeable future, SSDs aren't going to be replacing HDs except in very specific cases, like tablets where speed and low power trump the price difference.
        • SSD will replace HDD faster

          Why? Look at the PC market, workstation market.
          The new mainstream volume will be led by SSD devices (phones/tablets)
  • Yeah but will it hold up

    Only time will tell.
  • What about reliability???

    My concern keeps coming back to how long will the drive really last? I've read that the cheaper, less reliable chips were moved to the "consumer" products, while of course higher-end applications get the still-expensive, better quality ones. I'm all for saving money, but never at the expense of my OS and maybe even some data.
    • a five year warranty...

      For our business customers who require standard desktop PC's, we are replacing them with Dell Optiplex 7010/9010 with 128/256GB SSD's, then uplifting the warranty to five years next business day onsite for less than $100. We do image based backups of all our PC's, so if one goes down, the replacement disk shows up next day, and it takes me maybe twenty minutes to restore the image and slap it into the machine. Voila`
    • SSD drives remain accessible when they fail

      When an SSD drive hits its lifespan it converts to read only. It is still possible to lose data from a power search or physical damage, but it is much more likely to lose data on a hard drive.
  • I'm still not trusting SSDs

    After seeing a couple of USB drives fail with no warning after about a year of daily use, I'm not willing to trust my data to them.
    Marc Erickson
    • But standard HDDs fail as well!

      If you been using computers for any length of time, then you have experienced a hard drive failure. On that basis, as you won't use SSDs because of an unrelated USB drive failure, what do you use for mass storage?
      • But standard HDDs fail as well!

        Well duh. However the mean time between failures on a traditional HD is what, close to a quarter million hours? What is it on the SSD? Nobody knows "for sure", but it sure as heck isn't anywhere NEAR HDs. Even at $0.60 /gb, who can afford to replace a $600 drive every 1,000 hours of use?
        • But standard HDDs fail as well

          You always know what sort of response you will get when some starts their comment with the insightful words "Well duh"

          You need to understand a little more about MTBF and what that really means for rotational drives. Plus, what part of your anatomy did you pick the 1,000 hour figure from?

          Despite the hysteria surrounding SSDs (and MLC flash in general), it is an incredibly reliable form of storage. Factor in zero rotational parts and very power consumption (i.e. low heat dissipation) and you may begin to understand the whole picture a little better.
          • But standard HDDs fail as well - revision

            Of course I should have written "very LOW power consumption"
          • It's SLC drives that are supposed to last

            And they aren't coming down in price anytime soon. The built-in obsolescence in MLC drives will take care of that and keep SLC prices high.

            And there's still a lot of things you can't do on an SSD. Like Restore Points and hibernation which were disabled on my laptop when I first bought it.

            No wonder you get a "Well duh".
          • Name me a drive that uses SLC?

            Density and cost make SSDs using SLC flash impractical except in few few instances i.e. military. They are simply too expensive and/or too small for regular computer use.

            SSDs using MLC flash are, for all practical purposes, just as reliable as conventional drives. Maybe even more so.

            And you can re-enable restore points and hibernation if you want if you know how to do it. Personally, I disable restore on all my computers and not just those with SSD. Hibernate is a matter of choice and is perfectly compatible with a SSD. After all, you're not entering hibernate very often so what's the big deal. The page file is a bigger issue and can be disabled with negligible impact on performance.

            I think the biggest problem with SSDs is not the reliability. It's the comments made by people that either don't have one or have never used one or those that don't know how to use them for best performance.
          • I know OCZ offers SLC drives

            Go to their website and look. Yes they do sell them to consumers and they're expensive as hell.

            I don't know why anybody would disable Restore Points unless you are 100% sure any updates you get won't cause any issues. I usually delete them all except for the last two.

            The biggest problem with SSDs are fanbuis who are ooooed & awed by their speed but don't take into account issues later down the road.
          • Do you guys make this up as you go along?

            What does "They do sell them to consumers" mean? Of course they do, or at least someone will sell one to you. Whether it makes any sense to buy one is the real question. And the answer is invariably no.

            So, according to the OCZ web site, what "consumer" (or regular drives by another name) SSDs do they sell? Absolutely none, nada, zip, zilch.


            But when it comes to SSD/flash fan boys, have a read of this:


            IBM may not be what they once were, but they know a shed load more than you and me.
        • In FACT ...

          ... the Samsung 830 SSD series offer "a MTBF rating of 1.5 million hours, and comes with a three-year warranty" (source:,2817,2397067,00.asp)

          Oh ... and the MTBF of most mobile HDD's is SIGNIFICANTLY less than that for desktop drives because moving around an HDD while its metal disks are spinning rapidly DRAMATICALLY increases the likelihood of permanent drive damage.

          Whatever your computer storage choices, be sure to backup important data on multiple redundant storage facilities.
    • Any disk can fail without warning!

      That's why it's a good idea to backup your disks!

    • USB Drives..

      My experience has been that the failure with USB drives is typically the controller. Crack one open then move the drive. 9 times out of 10 it works!