Crucial M550 512GB Solid State Drive Review
Chris Hadley / 7 years ago
A Closer Look
On the face of it, the M550 looks no different to the M500 that I looked at last year and barring the printed details, there is nothing different at all. On one side of the casing we have this simple yet strikingly designed product label whilst on the other side of the drive, the usual serial numbers and logos are found.
Opening up the drive and lifting off the thin metal cover, the PCB is secured into the thicker part of the drive casing, with a thermal pad sat between to provide a better pathway for heat transfer.
Whilst we already know that the M550 has more up-rated components, to the untrained eye, there is a striking resemblance to the layout of the M500. The controller and DRAM sit close to the SATA terminals whilst two sets of NAND packages line each side of the PCB.
At the heart of the board we have one of Marvell’s latest controllers; the 88SS9189.BLD2 single core 8 lane controller which is capable of delivering the high speeds that Crucial deemed necessary for this unit.
The next major improvement comes in the form of sixteen 256Gb NAND dies from Micron Technology. These MT29F256G08CECABH6-10:A 20nm NAND packages together give this model the 512GB of space that it needs.
Finally, sat alongside the controller, Crucial have given the M550 a 256MB buffer to work alongside the controller and access hot data, whilst mainly holding the logical address tables and drive indexes during use.