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  • blackmagnum - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    How times have changed. SSDs now have better bang-for-the-buck than hard disk drives. No noise, low power, shock resistance... the works. Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    That's not quantitatively true. 2TB hard drives are available for about $100 which is 0.05/GB no SSD can match that.

    SSDs have better power usage, performance, shock resistance but they lag in capacity.
  • ABR - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Actually they tend NOT to have better power usage, at least when compared against 2.5" laptop hard drives. But everyone thinks they do anyway since it just seems like a purely electronic device should use less energy than a mechanical one. Reply
  • akedia - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I don't believe that's correct. Sure, sometimes, some SSDs in some usage scenarios might use more, but it's generally correct that SSDs use less power than even 2.5" HDDs. Below I've linked to recent (within the last year) reviews for two current generation examples, the WD Scorpio Blue and the Samsung 840 Pro. The SSD beats the SSD on all measures other than writing, which over the course of time is unlikely to tip the scales, and even then they have to note that the system was tested in a desktop which didn't have DIPM enabled. So this is a worst-case for the SSD, without all of its power-saving features enabled, and it still comes out generally on top, while providing vastly superior performance on all measures.

    It's not true that ALL SSDs beat ALL HDDs at ALL times for ALL usages in ALL circumstances, but it's also not true that 2.5" HDDs have better power usage in general. They don't. And that's without even considering how much less time such a higher performing device would take to read or write a given amount of data, spending much less time out of power-sipping idle. Cheers.
  • akedia - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link


    The SSD beats the HDD on all measures other than writing, it doesn't beat itself. *facepalm*
  • ABR - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    The SSD link you site, together with another review on Tom's Hardware, report
    very different values for power usage than most places I've seen. For example,
    here on Anandtech:

    Generally averaging 3-5 watts, whereas good HDDs are in the 1.5-2.5 range. It would be good to know the reason for the discrepancies. It does seem that smaller processes are starting to help the SSDs catch up though.
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    You do realize that SSD's can get their work done quicker and get back to idle much faster than any mechanical drive? Unless you're looking at a SSD that has horrible idle power characteristics there's little hope in hell for a HDD to compete as far as power efficiency goes. Reply
  • ABR - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    What I realize is that there is a lot of hand-waving and warm fuzzy thinking in this area, but few hard numbers. The ones that I *have* seen tend to suggest SSDs are still catching up in power efficiency. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link


    Consuming about as much power (give or take a few 10%) for one or two orders of magnitude less task completion time results in one to two orders of magnitude less energy consumed to complete the task. And that's what really counts, for the wallet and the battery.
  • mayankleoboy1 - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    Instead of "Power usage" , lets see the "Energy usage" of the whole system, (that is powerused*time)
    I strongly suspect that SSD's will easily beat any HDD here.
  • Crazy1 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Using the 2012 charts from Tom's Hardware I was able to compile some numbers between the 840 pro and popular mobile HDDs. While not a comprehensive comparison, these numbers are coming from a single source, so they should be reliable enough to provide a general understanding that there is a power savings when using an SSD instead of an HDD. These are the average power consumption numbers during the following workloads.

    ------------------------------------idle----------video playback---------Database-
    840Pro 128GB 0.03W 0.4W 1.2W
    840Pro 256GB 0.03W 0.5W 1.4W
    840Pro 512GB 0.04W 0.6W 1.5W

    WD blue 500GB 0.36W 0.94W 2.2W
    WD blue 1TB 0.6W 1.1W 1.9W
    WD black 750GB 0.9W 1.4W 2.4W
    Seagate XT 750GB* 0.8W 2.1W 2.6W

    * The XT 750GB is running sata III. The XT 500GB running sata II gives power numbers closer to the two WD Blue drives.

    It's fairly clear from these numbers that the 840pro uses less power than mobile HDD's. This isn't true for all SSD's though. Some of the Sandforce-based SSDs result in similar average wattage numbers as WD Blue drives. Those SSDs are still more power efficient because they have a better performance-per-watt ratio.
  • Crazy1 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    My table was ruined. Hopefully this is easier to read.

    ------------------------------------idle----------video playback---------Database-
    840Pro 128GB _______0.03W ________0.4W__________ 1.2W
    840Pro 256GB _______0.03W ________0.5W __________1.4W
    840Pro 512GB _______0.04W ________0.6W __________1.5W

    WD blue 500GB ______0.36W ________0.94W _________2.2W
    WD blue 1TB ________ 0.6W _________1.1W __________1.9W
    WD black 750GB _____0.9W _________1.4W __________2.4W
    Seagate XT 750GB*___0.8W _________2.1W __________2.6W
  • vol7ron - Monday, December 09, 2013 - link

    Take it to the forums Reply
  • leexgx - Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - link

    personally do not trust TW site but SSDs do use less power then an HDD over the same time (say 10-30 seconds) Peak power on some SSDs mite be higher then an laptop HDD but that be for an extreme short times so a SSD will be idle for most of the time where as HDD is very likely going to be still be active reading due to its Slow random access speeds (Writes normally but your typical laptop is mostly reads, HDDs reads and writes are about the same power wise) Reply
  • Wolfpup - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    Yeah, SSDs don't automatically use less power than mechanical drives...and for that matter aren't automatically more reliable either. Reply
  • Arkive - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    "Bang for the buck" depends entirely on how much storage you need and it's use-case. Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Did you just want to be the guy that made a shocking statement or something? Even if its totally fucking false? SSD wont be better bang for the buck for at least another two generations, probably three.

    And everyone discussing power req. is amusing. We are talking about fractions of cents, people, and if you think that adds up somehow in a server environment, you forgot to 'add up' the fact that these will not last even half as long as a enterprise quality HDD/SDD, so your going to have to replace them at least once. Bang for the buck? Bullshit. What these things are, are awesome fast preforming little pieces of amazing - but you will pay for it, get real.
  • leexgx - Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - link

    he was talking about laptop hdds,but still mostly incorrect as Most SSDs idle at under 0.1w where an SSD will be at for most of its life (assuming consumer laptop, not server or workstation loads) Reply
  • mutantmagnet - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    SSDs are dramatically more vulnerable to brown outs and power surges than mechanical drives. This SSD's price point made me consider briefly I could forgo hard drives completely but SSDs aren't quite there yet. Reply
  • leexgx - Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - link

    interesting (bit of old post to reply to) an SSD dieing to a power surge, i would resolve your issue first Reply
  • Bkord123 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    This might not be the place to ask this question, but here goes. I have a 4yr. old Macbook Pro and have wanted an SSD for years. BUT...I read a bunch of times that if you buy an aftermarket SSD instead of an SSD through Apple, you'll have issues with TRIM and that the only aftermarket SSDs that properly handle TRIM for Macs are the ones sold by OWC ( I really don't know much about this TRIM, but I got scared off because I was told the SSD performance will steadily decline which I do not want. Any help here, folks?!? Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Yes just buy a non-OCZ drive and you'll be fine. all modern SSDs have garbage collection built in at hardware level, and there are several software "TRIM Enablers" you can get for OS X that work great. Stop worrying and just go buy one... Reply
  • lightsout565 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    lurker22 is correct. I recently bought a 128gb Samsung 830 to replace the decrepitly old 5400 drive in my late 2011 macbook pro 13". Install was a breeze. Just search "Trim Enabler" and install it. This allows you to enable TRIM on non-Apple SSD's. I've had it for about 3 weeks now and have had no problems. Once you go SSD, you don't go back. The speed is just incredible. Reply
  • Bkord123 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Thanks to both lurker and lightsout! Now the question is, WHICH SSD??? I only need 240-256gb. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Go for the Samsung 840 Pro Reply
  • jamyryals - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Unless you have a specific need for the Pro versions of drives, I would get a Samsung 840. I have the 830, and it's excellent for my use (I'm a software dev). The speed differences between 840 and 840 Pro will not be noticeable for a "normal" workload. You'd be happy with either, but considering you most likely won't be able to tell the difference I'd just save the money and not get the pro. Reply
  • Andhaka - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Problem is the 840 standard has some issues on longevity using three layered cells. ;) Better invest in a 840 pro to gain some longevity to reuse the drive in a future computer.

  • Solid State Brain - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Source? Reply
  • emperius - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link Reply
  • ABR - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I had an OWC with 7% spare area in mine for a couple of years, never enabled TRIM (only available a third-party hack), did tons of writing and rewriting of mixed compressible and incompressible data daily, and ran the thing continually at 80-90% full -- and could observe no degradation in performance at all. Clearly some usage patterns can expose degradation, but it might not be as easy as it looks, or maybe just not as noticeable. Reply
  • NCM - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    TRIM support is built into the OS X, but disabled by default for non-Apple drives. As others have pointed out, the freeware utility 'TRIM Enabler' easily takes care of that. The only other thing to know is that some OS X updates may reset TRIM to 'off', so it's as well to check after any update and re-enable it if necessary.

    I take care of an office full of Macs, including Mac Pros, iMacs, Minis and MacBook Pros, the majority of which have SSDs that I installed. I'm typing this on my 2010 MBP with a 512GB Plextor M3P.

    With the price of SSDs now this is a very worthwhile upgrade, and particularly one that offers a new lease on life for older computers.
  • Bkord123 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    All of these comments are going to make my wife mad when I buy yet another gadget! I'm not as worried now about the TRIM issue. Btw, does this site have a page that ranks hard drives? I did look and didn't see anything here. Reply
  • jamyryals - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Anand has a Bench utility you can use to compare devices. Here's two popular reliable drives -
  • glugglug - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    With most SSDs no longer using 4KB pages, does it make sense to have 8KB and 16KB random write tests?

    Also, does application performance improve if the drives are formatted with an 8KB or 16KB cluster size?
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Most real world IOs are 4KB. Reply
  • glugglug - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Not true, even with the default 4KB cluster size the drives get formatted with. If you format with 16KB clusters, *none* of the IOs will be 4KB. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Based on the workloads we've traced (using default cluster size), 4KB is the most common IO size, although it obviously varies and some workloads may have consist of larger IO sizes. Do you have something that backs up your statement? Would be interesting to see that. Reply
  • glugglug - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    According to the table in the article, for the Anandtech 2011 Heavy Workload, 28% of the IOs are 4KB, not "most".

    I am thinking that what must happen for a 4KB IO on a drive with 16KB pages is that it has to read the current contents of the 16KB page so that the 4KB being rewritten can be merged into it, then write a 16KB page, so each write really ends up being a read + write operation not just the write by itself.

    Worse, when TRIM is used, if the TRIM operation covers only 4KB of the 16KB page, the page can't really be trimmed, because the other 12KB might still be in use; the drive firmware can't know for certain, so having a cluster size match or exceed the drive's page might result in better steady state performance over time because of TRIM not losing track of partial pages.
  • Tjalve - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    I think there are some caching involved when dealing with writes thats smaller then the page size of the NAND. I would guss that the M500 caches in DRAM. There are other vendors that use the onboard flash for caching. Like Sandisk nCache for example. Reply
  • glugglug - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    For some SSDs that is definately the case. I'm pretty sure Sandforce needed to do it for example, both because the compression makes the size of the flash writes unpredictable, and because if you look at the cluster sizes the chipset supports to go with various obscure controllers its kind of nuts.

    I don't think that is the case here though, because if you multiple the marketed 4KB random write numbers by 4KB, you pretty much get exactly the sequential write speed, and write-back caching to deal with the smaller writes would result in much better sequential performance.
  • Mr_RXN - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I was planning to get a Cruical M4 128GB for making a custom Fusion Drive.
    So I shall just stick with my original plan rather than change to M500 120GB?

    Thanks : )
  • meacupla - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I think you would be better off with the M4, if only for it's great firmware support. Reply
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Well kind of a disappointment given the hype. IMHO a small OS drive should be good at random reads / writes while a large drive like the m500 should be good at sequential stuff. A 940 (Pro) would probably offer noticeable better level load times in games and if you don't need 480 GB...Then the high idle power consumption isn't ideal too for laptop use. It's over 3 times higher than the 940. All in all it is a compromise and doesn't invalidate all older ssd's. Reply
  • meacupla - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    You get what you pay for. These are on the cheaper side for SSDs. The fact it uses TLC flash should give you a hint. What is nice about this series is the speed of the 480GB model. Before this, the fastest drives in any series were 240GB models, but now 480GB is also a viable alternative... If you can pay for it. Reply
  • dilidolo - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Where did you get it's TLC?
    It's clearly said in the first paragraph it's 128Gbit MLC NAND with 3000 PE.
  • meacupla - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I don't know either. I must not have had my morning tea. Reply
  • Tjalve - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Is there a reason for there not being any pictures of the front of the drive? With the controller and the NAND? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    There are some on page 2
  • Tjalve - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Great stuff. Btw. rae thoose small capaictors there in the upper right corner? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I've got more photos I'll be posting, just wanted to get this out asap :) Reply
  • BHSPitMonkey - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Correction: "securily" should read "securely" in the section about encryption. Reply
  • iaco - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Only 72 TB of writes? That must be a mistake. That's even worse than Samsung's TLC NAND with 1000 write cycles. At 500 GB, 1000 cycles is equal to 500 TB. 3000 cycles for MLC NAND is 1500 TB. Anand, please tell me the spec is wrong, otherwise this drive is not worth the price. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    That's directly from the M500 datasheet. Note that Intel rates the 335 at 20GB of writes per day for 3 years or 21.9TB but explicitly calls that out as a minimum endurance. I suspect that's what this 72TB rating is as well. Samsung doesn't publish similar numbers for the 840 and everyone comes up with their endurance numbers in different ways so they wouldn't likely be comparable either.

    The NAND is no less reliable than previous 20nm versions, so I have no reason to believe we won't see significantly longer lifespan out of the M500 than just 72TB of writes.

    Take care,
  • microlithx - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    If you look at Micron's data sheets, particularly at the enterprise SATA SSDs, you'll see they report 7 PB. They won't guarantee it but they'll probably reach that if you overprovision accordingly. Reply
  • NotablePerson - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    What I'm confused about is how the 72TB endurance rating is the same across the board for all four of the SSDs. Shouldn't there be at least SOME variance in their ratings on account of the additional NAND? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I don't have the datasheet with me (I'm travelling this week) but that 72TB was not sequential writes. IIRC it was 90% random and 10% sequential (and a couple of different IO sizes too), hence the endurance rating. Anand should be able to confirm the exact methodology but 72TB sounds normal in my ears, some have ~30TB (but 100% 4KB random writes). Reply
  • Solid State Brain - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    I believe this is their way of telling buyers that they do not officially support or endorse enterprise usage (ie more than 40 GiB/day) on these drives, although their NAND flash memory is specced for way more than just 72 TiB of writes especially on higher capacity models.

    I would expect the 960 GB (1 TiB) drive to unofficially endure for at least 1.5 PiB of writes (at 2x write amplification).
  • Solid State Brain - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    I meant to say that the 960 GB model (894.07 GiB) has 1 TiB of flash memory installed on its PCB. The "missing" capacity is for overprovisioning purposes. Reply
  • comomolo - Friday, May 03, 2013 - link

    I can't believe they sell a 1TB drive that will day after fully writing it just 72 times. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    This was a bit disappointing, I think. Hopefully a FW update or two will improve the numbers a bit, otherwise it just feels like a step backwards if you're not going for the 1TB model. Reply
  • RU482 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I have had an M500 mSATA 120GB running Anvil Storage Utilities for a couple weeks now. Like the Intel 535 30GB and 240GB, the M500 120GB is slower and runs hotter than Sandisk 64GB X100 and x110 evals I'm also testing Reply
  • teiglin - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    How long would it take to run the Destroyer on a HDD? Or is that too depressing to consider? :) Reply
  • andrew-1983 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    The AS-SSD incompressible sequential read numbers seem rather low, in other reviews it's around 490MB/s, not 390, both for the 960GB and the 480GB size. Or am I missing something? Reply
  • philipma1957 - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I am waiting on my 960gb an amazon preorder. I will build a mac mini fusion with the 1tb hgst 7200 rpm hdd. my quad 2.3 mini will also have 16gb ram kingston plug n play. Reply
  • philipma1957 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    all my gear came on tues I set up the mini and it now has a 1.96tb fusion drive. very nice machine with a very nice ssd. Reply
  • danielmorris - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Once you get the new destroyer benchmark done and most of the ssds run through it, I think it would be interesting to run an hdd or two through it. It might take a week or two but it would encourage us who still have an hdd to get an ssd. Reply
  • praftman - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    Recently the MyDigitalSSD was reviewed and it was mentioned a 960GB varient was undergoing review. Here we see:

    "...the M500 is really the only game in town. ...a good, high-capacity SSD for notebook use and based on my options today, I'd have no issues going with the 960GB M500."

    ...So does that mean that the MyDigitalSSD 960GB is looking not up to par? At only $800 and with better Idle power consumption it was my first choice.

    Also, it is my understanding from the article that the lower Idle figures Micron claims are entirely dependent on these next-gen Haswell laptops and I should see no such difference from your reported ~1w with my 2012 MBP...correct?
  • praftman - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    ? Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    in the Destroyer test, even with so many tasks, the average QD is ~5.5 .
    That means that for the average desktop usage, the QD is around 1. We need more tests that simulate such low QD usage.

    Also, I am curious why are you testing consumer SSD's with a workload that is atleast two orders of magnitude more intensive than what people actually use. Basically, you are testing a client SSD with a Server workload. I dont see what it tests.
    What is the use-case of testing such loads on a desktop SSD ?
  • Tjalve - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    I agree. Thats why ive done some benchmarking of "real world scenarios". I actually recorded HDD activity from three diffrent people who use there computer for three entirley diffrent reasons. One beeing a gamer, one beeing one of the people at the office where I work (outlook, word, powerpoint,firefox) and the last one is recorded from a friend of mine who is a freelance video editor. So the last trace is based on him editing and compiling videos.
  • mayankleoboy1 - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    thanks! These look much better, and more realworld+consumer usage. Reply
  • metafor - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    I'd be very interested to see an endurance test for this drive and how it compares to the TLC Samsung drives. One of the bigger selling points of 2-level MLC is that it has a much longer lifespan, isn't it? Reply
  • 73mpl4R - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    Thank you for a great review. If this is a product that paves the way for better drives with 128Gbit dies, then this is most welcome. Interesting with the encryption aswell, gonna check it out. Reply
  • raclimja - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    power consumption is through the roof.

    very disappointed with it.
  • toyotabedzrock - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    If you wrote 1.5 TB of data for this test then you used 2% of the drives write life in 10-11 hours.

    As a heavy multitasker this worries me greatly. Especially if you edit large video files.
  • Solid State Brain - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    As I written in one of the comments above, they probably state 72 TiB of maximum supported writes for liability and commercial reasons. They don't want users to be using these as enterprise/professional drives (and chances are that if you write more than 40 GiB/day continuously for 5 years you're not a normal consumer). Most people barely write 1.5 TiB in 6 months of use anyway. So even if 72 TiB don't seem much, they're actually quite a lot of writes.

    Taking into account drive and NAND specifications, and an average write amplification of 2.0x (although in case of sequential workloads such as video editing this should be much closer to 1.0x), a realistic estimate as a minimum drive endurance would be:

    120 GB => 187.5 TiB
    240 GB => 375.0 TiB
    480 GB => 750.0 TiB
    960 GB => 1.46 PiB

    Of course, it's not that these drives will stop working after 3000 write cycles. They will go on as long as uncorrectable write errors (which increase as the drive gets used) remain within usable margins.
  • glugglug - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    It is very easy to come up with use cases where a "normal" user will end up hitting the 72TB of writes quickly.

    Most obvious example is a user who is using this large SSD to transition from a large HDD without it being "just a boot drive", so they archive a lot of stuff.

    Depending on MSSE settings, it will likely uncompress everything into C:\Windows\Temp when it does scans each night scan.

    You don't want to know how much of my X-25M G1's lifespan I killed in about 6 months time before finding out about that and junctioning my temp directories off of the SSD.
  • Solid State Brain - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    I am currently using a Samsung 840 250GB with TLC memory, without any hard disk installed in my system. I use it for everything from temp files to virtual machines to torrents. I even reinstalled the entire system a few times because I hopped between Linux and Windows "just because". I haven't performed any "SSD optimization" either. A purely plug&play usage, and it isn't a "boot drive" either. Furthermore, my system is always on. Not quite a normal usage I'd say.

    In 47 days of usage I've written 2.12 TiB and used 10 write cycles out of 1000. This translates in 13 years of drive life at my current usage rate.

    My usage graph + SMART data:

    Temp directories alone aren't going to kill your SSD, not directly at least. It likely was something caused by some anomalous write-happy application, not Windows by itself.
  • juhatus - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    What would you recommend overprovisioning for 256Gb M4 with bitlocker, 10-15-25% ? Also what was the M4's firmware you used to compare to M500? Also are there any benefits for M500 with bitlocker on windows 7? thanks for review, please add 25% results for M4 too :) Reply
  • Solid State Brain - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    Increasing overprovisioning is only going to matter when continuously writing to the drive without never (or rarely) executing a TRIM operation every time an amount of data roughly equivalent (in practice, less, depending on workload and drive conditions) to the amount of free space gets written.

    This almost never happens in real life usage by the target userbase of such a drive. It's a matter for servers, for those who for a reason or another (like hi-definition video editing) perform many sustained writes, or for those working in an environment without TRIM support (which isn't the case for Windows 7/8, although it can be for MacOS or Linux - where it has to be manually enabled).

    Anandtech SSD benchmarks aren't very realistic for most users, and the same can be said for their OP reccomendations.
  • gochichi - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    Crucial is in a unique position. I don't think people care about performance numbers. What we know is that SSD s are either a nightmare or a dream. What we want is a dream. People want simple understandable marketing.

    My favorite SSD so far is a Monster Digital 240gb Daytona. It has been absolutely flawless. But the 120 gb version is a lemon. Reselling the drive would never happen. Monster Digital is probably not going to be a player in the SSD market going forward.

    My point is, what's at stake here is who's the next Seagate? The next Western Digital? Of SSDs. Samsung can do no wrong, much like Apple. And yet this weird little company called Crucial has enjoyed tremendous on-the-street notoriety with their M4 series.

    As far as I can tell the M4 is a little outdated. My question is why not release an M5? Why 500? Why waste so much consumer goodwill? Is it just that this drive isn't good? Or not good enough for proper successorship?

    I don't know why I've purchased crucial drives before, it started with a little 64gb m4. The I just trust the m4 line. My point is why does Crucial carry bad models and why so many confusing numbers? The m4 is a golden opropportunity. Where's that trusty m5 follow up? Samsung has understandable generations and model lines. They're making sure they're the Western Digital of SSD. Why isn't Crucial doing similar?
  • Solid State Brain - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    The reason why it's M500 and not M5 is probably because of Plextor:
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    Crucial isn't exactly small, they are a subsidiary of Micron. As said above, Plextor has M5S and M5 Pro SSDs so M5 would have been very confusing, hence the M500. The OEM version of M4 was C400, so it's actually not that confusing. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    -- My point is, what's at stake here is who's the next Seagate? The next Western Digital? Of SSDs.

    Getting harder to say. The three well known public companies doing SSD (mostly) as such, STEC, OCZ, Fusion-io, have been missing all targets for a least a couple of quarters. Violin may or may not IPO in the next few months.

    The reasonable answer is that there won't be a Seagate or WDC for SSD. It's well understood how to take commodity HDD to Enterprise Drive, using tighter QA and some incrementally better parts at modest cost. With SSD, as this review shows, "progress" in feature shrink isn't improving any of the factors at lower cost. It is quite perverse. The NAND suppliers will come to dominate consumer SSD, with performance asymptotically approaching a bit better than current HDD, with a price premium. Look for TLC, with huge erase blocks, long latencies, slowing controllers (having to do all that much more work to get around the NAND).

    Enterprise SSD will likely fade away, to be replaced by NAND arrays, along the line of the Sun/Oracle device, which has been around for a few years.
  • dilidolo - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    Everyone else mentioned Super Cap in M500 but not here. I just want to confirm if it's true. Reply
  • Tjalve - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Therte seems to be capacitors on the drive. But i would like to know aswell. Reply
  • klmccaughey - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    The pricing is WAY off. £274 ($420) for 240GB one in the UK!!! They must be mad. Reply
  • philipma1957 - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    the 960gb was 570 usd at amazon. at your price x 4 it would be $1680. that is a lot of value tax. Reply
  • philipma1957 - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    I just went on amazon uk the 240gb is 168 pounds the 480gb is 321 pounds. some what better. then the price you found Reply
  • Karol Bulova - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    I own Samsung 840Pro (it had cash-back recently) so I welcome this comments from articles on Anandtech.

    'The 840 Pro does an amazing job with 25% additional spare area however, something that can't be said for the M500. '

    'if you simply set aside 25% of the total NAND capacity as spare area' performance improves'

    I am running Win8 64bit with TRIM enabled - what is unclear for me though, is:

    1. is spare are just free not occupied space on the HDD (e.g. when it is not full)
    2. or is it just un-formatted partition (without a filesystem - thus no files expect for header)
    3. or there shouldn't be any partition at all - and drive will somehow figure it up that I just magically allocated spare area

    Or is there some utility for Samsung to do spare area? Please advice - from what I understand I should reinstall windows and choose 192GB as my main drive capacity instead of full!
  • Solid State Brain - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    In theory, the spare area can be only configured on a clean drive, which means one would have to secure erase it (and therefore lose all data) and then create a partition smaller than the drive's maximum user capacity. The remaining unused (raw, unpartitioned) capacity should then be used by the drive as spare area for wear leveling operations, in addition to the factory OP area (usually derived from the GiB->GB capacity difference). In practice it *should* be sufficient to notify the drive that the empty space is actually empty with a TRIM command before resizing the partition.

    In your case the Samsung Magician software allows to double the drive's factory spare area (no other adjustment possible, at least in version 4). It doesn't perform a secure erase, so perhaps it isn't really necessary after all.

    I don't know however if the Samsung 840 controller actually actively detects when a certain portion of the drive is "raw/unpartitioned". Theory dictates that it shouldn't be able to discern that without the OS somehow telling it so.

    If a partition-wide TRIM operation is enough, then one can increase overprovisioning manually on an live/used system by:

    1) Performing a full-system TRIM command with the Windows 8 integrated "drive defrag/optimization" tool (or with the "fstrim" command line tool in Linux, although this works only on ext4 partitions), or with dedicated third party utilities (some commercial defragmentation software performs a system-wide trim on SSDs instead of regular defrag).
    2) Resize the last partition manually with Computer Management>Disk Management>Shrink Partition.

    Anyway, in practice all this hassle is going to benefit you only if you routinely perform dozens of gigabytes of sustained writes per day in a possibly trim-less environment. I doubt very much that most users would be able to feel any difference with their workloads.
  • AlB80 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    "Total NAND on-board" and "DRAM" values are specified in "GB" and "MB", but it should be "GiB" and "MiB". Reply
  • JellyRoll - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Shut up JohnW lol Reply
  • JellyRoll - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    There is a huge misstatement in the article..."I introduced a new method of characterizing performance: looking at the latency of individual operations over time."
    First: it isnt individual operations, several thousand are taking place per one second interval.
    Second: Anand did not introduce this type of testing, it was a blatant copying of other another tech websites testing.
  • JellyRoll - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    There is a huge misstatement in the article..."I introduced a new method of characterizing performance: looking at the latency of individual operations over time."
    First: it isnt individual operations, several thousand are taking place per one second interval.
    Second: Anand did not introduce this type of testing, it was a blatant copying of other another tech websites testing.
  • twtech - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    I think it's kind of interesting in the comments, people are looking at the performance figures and saying, "Oh, it doesn't perform as well as a Samsung 840 Pro, so I'm disappointed."

    I have a couple computers booting off an M4 (slower than the M500), and one that has a Samsung 830 as the boot drive. The Samsung is quite a bit faster in benchmarks, but do I notice? Nope, not really. The jump to having any SSD at all is significant. The jump from one SSD to another - provided neither have something like firmware issues causing stuttering as some old models did - is negligible.

    I think the more important factor here is that we have a nearly 1TB SSD for $600 - less than what 512GB drives were selling for 1 year ago. That's big enough that many users may not even need a separate mechanical storage drive.
  • JellyRoll - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    Part of the issue is the unrealistic test parameters. Testing with such ridiculously severe workloads is not irepresentative of a real-world use. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately I couldn't wait for the launch of the M500...had to "make due" with a 512GB M4. Oh well, it's still a great drive! Reply
  • random2 - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    I cannot imagine anyone who doesn't have some sort of tech background, trying to read these articles. Granted I am no certificated IT professional, I have been very interested in hardware and software for over a decade, and have been a reader of Anandtech for almost as long. Which brings me to this. Can we not have some of the terms abbreviated or otherwise, hyper-linked at least to an article providing further explanation?

    Case in point; ONFI 3.0
  • af3 - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    I was thinking of ordering a $350 256G Lacie Thunderbolt Rugged external SSD for the purposes of booting another OS without needing to use space on my internal/main (SSD) drive.

    Can anyone tell me whether there might be a superior (in terms of performance and cost) alternative that might utilize something like one of these new Micron drives?

    Does anyone know whether or not the Lacie is fast and whether or not I might have something better by getting another external Thunderbolt device and installing one of these Micron drives?
  • philipma1957 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    it is all about how much you want to pay. if you buy 1 960gb micron ssds and buy a pegasus r4. with 41tb hdds you can get a very fast booting mac setup. cost is 600 + 999 or 1600. pull one 1tb hdd from the pegasus and put in the micron 960gb ssd. you have a 1tb ssd as your boot drive and 3 x 1tb hdds for storage along with a 1tb hdd as a spare.. but that is a 1600 solution pretty high cost Reply
  • Umika - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    I have now one of these M500 SSDs and I have actually managed to lock me out of the drive using 3rd party OPAL TCG software. Now the printed PSID comes into play: I have downloaded the Seagate SeaTools utilities for Windows to try to crypto erase the SSD, but to no avail - the SeaTools always terminate with an error message. Is there any other openly available software to try to erase or PSID revert the drive to factory settings? Reply
  • gzon - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - link

    I am also experiencing problems with the OPAL encryption. Windows 8 does not seem to revert the disk back to manufactured-inactive state. Also tried PSID revert with SeaTools but it did not work. Where can I find software to PSID revert the disk? Reply
  • mikato - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - link

    "the key is just stored in the controller and everything is encrypted/decrypted on the fly"
    What happens if the controller breaks somehow and you need data recovery? You're just screwed? Of course backing up is the best way to go but we all know not many people do that and with these large SSD sizes they'll be taking on more data and not just an OS and programs that can always be reinstalled.
  • odedia - Sunday, July 21, 2013 - link

    I can just drool over the thought of putting two of these in my 17 inch Macbook Pro. I currently have a 128gb Intel SSD and a 500gb spinning drive. This will be a serious upgrade, and I'll be able to RAID0 them together for better performance and easier drive management. Reply
  • littlesandra88 - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    How can an ATA BIOS password not be secure, if it changes the password (makes a new hash)? Reply
  • paaraa - Friday, November 29, 2013 - link

    People always keep hammering about the Samsung SSD's, but did you know about the bad block issue they have? Look up the 'SSD Endurnce Experiment' (the 200TB update) at Tech Report and you will see the bad block tally of the Samsung being way up there.

    New Egg current (black friday) has the 480gb M500 on sale for $279, pretty good. I have two M4's (128gb) and they have been great for years now.
  • Gallopsu - Monday, December 23, 2013 - link

    This article mentions increased performance by 25% over provisiong. Is this something that must be configured in the bios or firmware. Or is it accomplished by simply not filling it to capacity. Or should only format it to 768GB and leave the rest untouched? How can I confirm that it is actually working? Would hate to give up that space and not get the benefits. Reply
  • clifforama - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    Have you had any response from Crucial regarding how to perform a PSID reset/revert? Reply
  • bogdan_kr - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Yes, I would like to know that too. Crucial has not provided any information on their forums but I guess they could possibly send some more specific information to you Anand :-) Reply
  • Gadgetik - Friday, February 17, 2017 - link

    Time is chagned now. It's era of SSDs Lot of new features have been added and are way better than the hard drive. So say good bye to hard drives.


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