Crucial M550 Series Solid State Drive Review

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Our Test Methodologies: Under each test condition, the Solid State Drives tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a separate drive used for the OS and benchmark installations. Out testbed's motherboard was updated with the latest BIOS available as of press time and AHCI (or RAID) mode was enabled. The SSDs were secure erased prior to testing, and left blank without partitions for some tests, while others required them to be partitioned and formatted, as is the case with our ATTO, PCMark 7, and CrystalDiskMark benchmark tests. Windows firewall, automatic updates and screen savers were all disabled before testing. In all test runs, we rebooted the system, ensured all temp and prefetch data was purged, and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle and for the system to reach an idle state before invoking a test.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 and SSD Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Card -

Memory -

Audio -

Storage -


Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-4770K

Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH
(Z87 Chipset, AHCI Enabled)

Intel HD 4600


Integrated on board

Corsair Force GT (OS Drive)
AData XPG SX900 (256GB) 
Samsung SSD 840 EVO (250GB)
Intel SSD 730 (480GB)
OCZ Vertex 460 (240GB)
Crucial M550 (550GB / 1TB)

OS -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Relevant Software:
Windows 8.1 Pro x64
Intel, iRST
DirectX 11

Intel HD

Benchmarks Used:
IOMeter 1.1.0 RC
HD Tune v5.50
ATTO v2.47
CrystalDiskMark v3.0.3 x64
PCMark 7
SiSoftware Sandra 2014

I/O Subsystem Measurement Tool

As we've noted in previous SSD articles, though IOMeter is clearly a well-respected industry standard drive benchmark, we're not completely comfortable with it for testing SSDs. The fact of the matter is, though our actual results with IOMeter appear to scale properly, it is debatable whether or not certain access patterns, as they are presented to and measured on an SSD, actually provide a valid example of real-world performance for the average end user. That said, we do think IOMeter is a reliable gauge for relative available throughput within a given storage solution. In addition there are certain higher-end workloads you can place on a drive with IOMeter, that you can't with most other storage benchmark tools available currently.

In the following tables, we're showing two sets of access patterns; our custom Workstation pattern, with an 8K transfer size, 80% reads (20% writes) and 80% random (20% sequential) access and a 4K access pattern with a 4K transfer size, comprised of 67% reads (34% writes) and 100% random access.

Both of the Crucial M550 series drives we tested offered competitive performance in IOMeter, and hung right with some of the highest-performance drives we've tested with both access patterns.

In terms of total bandwidth, the Crucial M550 outpaced all of the other drives, save for the recently released Intel SSD 730 series.

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JefferyPruett 9 months ago

So many Ssd to chose from and so little answers which the best.

StaticFX 9 months ago

the current speed winner is the OCZ Vector 256gb @ 286mb/s

in comparison.. the Crucial M500 480gb is 226 MB/s


the worst is intel something at like 55 mb/s


it can vary hugely...

great test done by toms hardware:,3269-6.html


its a good read

realneil 9 months ago

Crucial is the one brand of SSD that I've never tried.

These look to be good though.

childishradio 9 months ago

I feel like I should've bought a crucial over the samsung ssd I have now, mostly because of the price. I don't think I would have noticed any speed differences myself

StaticFX 9 months ago

i did see somewhere a price per mb/s chart lol - cant find it now

lipe123 9 months ago

The answer is pretty easy honestly.

Most people still use a standard hard drive and going to *any* SSD is going to be a day/night improvement.

The difference in these drives is like watching the grand prix, the difference between the winner and the loser is 20 seconds over a race of 2 hours.

It just comes down to what you can afford and thats why I got the Samsung because you get 250Gb instead of 235-240 that most other drives give you.

SNicko 9 months ago

Great review Marco :) Crucial SSD is the brand that i trust.

StaticFX 9 months ago

lipe, thats really not true...


an normal HD maxes out typically at like 150mb/s (normal is lik 75mb/s ish - so with a good SSD coming close to double (or triple) that you can transfer data a 2x-3x the speed.

 if you are copying data etc or loading large files, (or booting) you will see a significant increase in speed.

idiot5 8 months ago

I have a crucial M500 (slightly lower read/write speeds, but pretty close to the 550) and I like it. My only issue so far is that I get random blue screens when I play games. it might be a driver issue of some kind, but i'm not sure yet. it runs everything well and goes a lot faster than my old hdd and I think it was a very good purchase. If i had the money, i'd go back and get a bigger 550.

AlbertoGarcaAlcolea 8 months ago

For a brand like Crucial has to work twice as hard to have the same market as other brands?

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