Need bigger, faster storage? Micron on Tuesday announced the immediate availability of the Crucial M500 solid state drive (SSD) line. These 2.5-inch drives feature terabyte-class capacity with options ranging from 120GB on up to 960GB, so if your pockets run deep enough, you don't have to choose between capacity (mechanical hard drive) or performance (SSD). In other words, you can have your cake and eat it too.
The M500 line uses Micron's own 20nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory and pipe data through a SATA 6Gbps interface.
Performance varies by capacity and breaks down as follows:
960GB: 500MB/s sequential read, 400MB/s sequential write, 80K IOPS 4K random read, 80K IOPS random write
480GB: 500MB/s sequential read, 400MB/s sequential write, 80K IOPS 4K random read, 80K IOPS random write
240GB: 500MB/s sequential read, 250MB/s sequential write, 72K IOPS 4K random read, 60K IOPS random write
120GB: 500MB/s sequential read, 130MB/s sequential write, 62K IOPS 4K random read, 35K IOPS random write
Not only does performance improve as you move up in capacity, so does the bang-for-buck factor. Micron's MSRPs are set at $130 for 120GB, $220 for $240GB, $400 for 480GB, and $600 for 960GB. If you have $600 to drop on storage, the 960GB model checks in at a rather attractive 62.5 cents per gigabyte.
"We designed the Crucial M500 to meet the reliability and performance expectations of today's systems, and are thrilled to offer the first terabyte-class. SSD for under $600," said Robert Wheadon, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial. "The Crucial M500 is equipped with an impressive new set of features, making it a multifaceted solution for today and tomorrow."
The drives are technically available to purchase now, though we're seeing street pricing on the 960GB model slightly above MSRP. That should change as more drives make it into the hands of retailers (or you can purchase directly from Crucial's website). In the meantime, check out this nifty video showing how Crucial SSDs are made: