Crucial M550 512GB SSD Review

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Crucial M550 512GB Internals

Four diminutive screws are all that holds the backplate on the Crucial M550 drive. Fortunately for us, there was only one small void sticker over a screw and no other anti-intrusion features employed.

Crucial M550 512GB Open

Four more screws hold the PCB and there’s a thermal pad between the controller and the shell of the drive which sticks them together making it a little harder to remove.

Crucial M550 512GB PCB

The first side of the PCB contains only the NAND modules with eight total on this side.

Crucial M550 512GB NAND

The 20nm Micron MLC NAND chips on the 512GB drive is 128Gb in density whereas the smaller drives use 64Gb chips. They carry part number 3ZA2D NW386.

Crucial M550 512GB PCB

The flip side of the board also contains eight NAND modules for a total of 16 on the drive, along with the controller and cache chips.

Crucial M550 512GB Controller

The cache ship carries FBGA code D9RLT which corresponds to part number MT42L256M16D1. This is an LPDDR2 SDRAM part that has a capacity of 4Gb (512MB). This works in tandem with the Marvell 88SS9189 which is the next generation controller from the 88SS9187 that we saw on the M500. It handles all of the usual duties like TRIM and garbage collection along with wear-leveling tasks. It also supports AES 256-bit hardware encryption and is responsible for overseeing the RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent NAND) technology we discussed in the article opening.

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  • basroil

    Hardly ground breaking performance, but for the price it’s going to be giving samsung a run for their money!

    • Nathan Kirsch

      You’ll have to wait for NVMe drives or other PCI Express solutions to hit the market before you’ll see ground breaking performance again!

      • basroil

        Meant more on the line of 4k performance, but even that is largely limited by SATA interface. Sequential performance in SATA disks is no longer really a test, any good company already maxes out the interface (though reliability tests still are good)

        Once NVMe drives come out into the open market all hell will break loose though, we might see some ridiculous (ly expensive) drives come.