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【Performance Test】SSD Competition to Intensify in 2H 2014: Crucial M550 mSATA 256GB Shows Respectable Performance
Published Jun.17 2014,05:46 AM (GMT+8)
During 2013, Crucial used its M500 SSD series to tackle the Serial ATA 6.0 Gb/s market, touting the products’ high efficiency as well as endurance; a year later, the company released a relatively more enhanced version of the series known as M550. We take a closer look at the difference between the two series below, and assess whether a mSATA M550 (the version we received) can actually perform as well as a 2.5 inch SSD.
Difference in Specs
M500 and M550 Comparison
The difference between M550 and M500 should not be hard to spot in the table above, as they are essentially two different types of products. Below, we have listed out the three main highlights that are worth noting about Marvell 88SS9189, the upgraded controller used by M550.
1. LPDDR Memory Support
3.Capacity and Flash Memory Enhancements
Assessing Crucial M550 through Various Test Methods
Motherboard：MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
Operating system：Microsoft Windows 8.1
Test software: AS-SSD Benchmark 1.7.473
ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.47
ATTO’s capacity and performance-related tests reveal M500 to be capable of performing at full speed when handling files over 64KB.
Can mSATA only be used as a Cache?
Despite a 256GB mSATA being almost as good as a 2.5 inch SSD storage device, whether the former can actually be used as a system disk for products such as Notebooks depends on their hardware settings. The smallest density for the retail version of M550 is currently 128 GB. While good enough for basic operating systems and software, this isn’t likely to satisfy the standards of the slightly more “picky” manufacturers. If mSATA is to ever to be used as more than just a cache, it may need to start making a bigger impact in the tech industry, beginning with the PC end.
The Crucial M550 is arguably a highly impressive product when it comes to performance and endurance, as the testing scores demonstrate. The product, moreover, features AES 256 <IEEE-1667> encryption, ensures proper temperature control, possesses great power management, and protects systems from power loss. Function-wise, M550 is hardly different from any high-end 2.5 inch SSDs. Whether future consumers will be able to open up to M550 and put their faith in such a product remains to be seen.