Micron M550 SSD Review

by Paul | Last Updated: August 29, 2021

Micron upgrades their M500 with the Micron M550 and it came to deliver a better performance than its predecessor. Although it looks similar in some aspects to the M500 it comes with more form factor options and storage capacity.

The Solid-state drive is designed to enhance the performance need of businesses and enthusiasts who are involved heavily with high graphic performance computing, ultrathin, and media/video applications. In terms of performance, the SSD drive is quoted to deliver 550MBps for sequential write speeds, and 500MBps for sequential read speeds.

It also comes with industry-standard encryption that is the AES 256-bit hardware encryption and it is compatible with Microsoft eDrive. For more protection, the M550 has an increasing redundant array of independent NAND protecting data at the component level. There are a lot of other aspects to explore so read along.

In this comprehensive review, we will provide you with all the information you need to evaluate the Micron M550 as the best SSD card for you. read on for its key features as well as pointers for selecting the best SSD card for your laptop.

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Why you need the Micron M550 for your laptop

An SSD card otherwise known as a solid-state drive is a computer data storage device that uses flash memory chips and it doesn’t have moving parts. It keeps data safe and performs faster than HDD cards (hard disk drive). If your laptop doesn’t have an SSD card then you are missing out on fast performance and a number of other features that will save your time.

An SSD card doesn’t have any moving parts so data stored inside will be safe even when it falls to the ground. Because there are no moving parts inside an SSD it won’t come up with any mechanical problems.

Laptops that rely on HDD cards have to supply energy to the card before it works. A laptop that uses an SSD card wouldn’t sacrifice any power to in order to service the SSD card because it doesn’t come with a motor like we find inside an HDD card.

A laptop that uses SSD card has faster read and write speeds than a laptop that uses HDD card. there is the need for an HDD card to spin before it works and it slows down the read and write speed. An SSD card uses flash memory chip and data read and write speeds happen instantly and that’s why it is fast.

 Maybe you have heard some weird noises when carrying out a graphic demanding task on your laptop well sometimes it’s the HDD card inside. Using an SSD card like the Micron M550 guarantees almost zero noise because we don’t have any parts moving. It also generates less heat an SSD card is better if you want your workflow to be faster.

Selecting the Best SSD Drive for your Laptop 

The Micron M550 looks almost the dame with its predecessor the Micron M500. It has a smooth and refined metal finish that is durable. The solid-state drive is finger proof thanks to the metal finish. At the front we have some stickers that labels the drive alongside Microns Logo and model number.

We have screws by the side of the Solid-State drive that will be used to mount the SSD drive. It comes in a slim profile and its just 7 millimeters thick. The Micron M550 will fit in many ultra-books and many other laptops.

We have the SATA power and data connectors at the front of the SSD card. the 1TB variant uses the Marvel 9189 controller as well as 16 NAND die, each NAND die is 64GB. If you are wondering what a NAND die is then it’s the highest level of a NAND flash component.

The successor to the M500 also offer more storage capacity for example you get 514 GB instead of the 480 GB model on the M500 line up. We have three form factor that include the 2.5 inch, mSATA, and the M.2 form factors that give you an option depending on the type of laptop or system you might want to pair it with.

The SSD drive has three years warranty and it comes with a number of other hidden features like sleep support, native write acceleration, and garbage collection. The read speed is 550MBps at maximum and it has a write speed of 500Mbps at maximum which is pretty decent.

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Here are 6 key points for selecting the Micron M550 for your laptop

Good Build Quality

The SSD drive has a metal finish that makes it cold to the touch and also durable. It has four screws that allows it sit inside any Ultrabook or laptop. Micron made the SSD drive slim at 7mm and it will work perfectly fit inside many laptops. the SSD card is versatile and comes in different form factors.

Low Power Consumption

The SSD drive doesn’t have any moving parts unlike we have inside a hard disk drive. It works continently and doesn’t make any sound while working. The Micron M550 doesn’t consume power because it doesn’t have any moving parts. When idle the SSD drive measures 1.0 watts of power when in use it reads between 2.46 watts and 4.37 depending on what it us been used for.

Warranty

The Micron M550 comes with 3 years warranty which is really amazing. During the first three years of usage if there should be any technical problems with the solid-state drive then you can qualify for a replacement because of the warranty. You need to keep the stickers and box intact however because if they are not available they might deny you the warranty.

NAND Technology

The Micron M550 uses a NAND flash memory that makes it perform fast while keeping your data safe. they added NAND die which is the highest level of NAND flash component. It performs consistently and it also has some smaller chips that adds to the NAND flash to keep the performance consistent all the time.

Great Performance

The SSD drive is going to deliver top notch performance with a read and write speed of 550MBps and 500MBps. This is actually one of the few SSD drives out there that come in at an affordable price and still deliver great performance. the 4K read and write speed is also decent although the SSD card was not made to give industrial level of performance.

Different Form Factors and Storage Options

The micron m550 come in three form factors that include an M.2, mSATA, and 2.5 inch. You also get to select the different storage options available that start from 64GB up to 1TB for the 2.5 variant while the mSATA, and M.2 variant max out at 512GB.

 Having different form factors available gives users options depending on where they want to fix the SSD card. more storage option would also give you room to choose the storage capacity you want.

A Closer Look at the Micron M550

We have 8 screws securing the drive four on the case and four for PCB. The high-performance Marvell controller tends to get warm after a while but Crucial added some thermal pads to allow the casing dissipate heat from the controller and DRAM cache. Crucial opted for a slightly improved controller by Marvell for better performance and lower power consumption.

The 512 GB variant is equipped with 16 modules of 128GB 20nm synchronous MLC NAND for a capacity of 512 GB. For DRAM buffer they used a single 4GB module of micron LPDDR2 that gives the drive an ideal 512 MB DRAM buffer.

The SSD drive also includes power loss protection capacitors which will allow the drive to flush data from its volatile DRAM cache into non-volatile NAND in event of sudden power loss. This is an enterprise grade feature that is almost never found on consumer-grade SSD drives.

The new Marvell controller that was used inside the SSD drive gives it better benchmarks and performance result during tests. It addressed some of the issues that consumers had with the Micron M500. Another important thing that Crucial addressed with the M550 is the fact that they settled on completing the storage instead of 418 GB on the M500 you are getting the complete 512 GB on the M550.

About the Micron M550 manufacturers

Micron Technology Inc. is an American producer of computer memory and computer storage including USB flash drives, flash memory, and dynamic random-access memory. Their headquarter is based in Boise, Idaho. Its brand product is marketed under the brands Crucial and Ballistix.

Product Specifications and Features

Form Factor – 7mm 2.5 SATA, mSATA, M.2

Controller – Marvell 88SS9187

Storage Options – 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB

NAND – Micron 64/128Gbit 20nm MLC

Interface – SATA 3 6 GB per seconds

Warranty – Up to 3 years

Dimension – 2 x 0.14 x 1.17 inches

Weight – 70 grams

Description of the Micron M550

The Micron M550 is an SSD card that comes in different form factors that guarantees speed. it is an affordable SSD card that come in different storage sizes.

It uses NAND flash memory that was developed by Micron themselves they also added more components to improve write and read speeds. The SSD drive has an upgraded Marvell controller that makes the performance better.

Pros of the Micron M550

Durable – the SSD drive is durable and would surely last long. It has a very good build quality and it works with both windows and macs. The metal finish adds more in terms of durability and it also have some chips and components that further protects files and data stored in the SSD drive.

Different Form Factors – the Micron M550 comes in different form factors which means regardless of the type of laptop you are using there is a variant for you. we have the M.2, mSATA, and 2.5 form factors. Its nice to see different variants as most brands try to only put out one or two variants. It comes in 7 nanometers across all the form factors.

Good for Graphic Intensive Tasks – the SSD drive is suitable for some graphic intensive task like gaming and 4K video editing. It has a great read and write speed that makes it suitable for gaming. The Micron M550 has a NAND flash and 64 bits die that makes performance even better. It can be used to directly edit contents and run some 3D modelling apps as well.

Warranty – the SSD drive has up to three years warranty which is great. having warranty means a lot because if there is any technical problem the brand can replace the SSD drive for you. to claim the warranty, you need to keep the stickers on the SSD intact as well as the package it comes with.

Cons of the Micron M550

Lacks Software Support – the SSD drive lacks software support and it is important that it comes with a software. There are a number of cheap SSD cards out there that has support for software. You cannot tweak the SSD card or modify it to work in a specific way. Other brands even offer cloud storage services with their software package. 

F.A.Q

Will this fit on a desktop?

It will fit in a desktop and it comes in different form factors that you can choose depending on the form factor that your desktop needs.

Is there a software I can use to migrate data and files from an older SSD drive?

There is no official software and that is one of the major issues you will face using the Micron M550. Other than that, every other thing is okay.

Will it work with Windows 8 operating system?

It should work perfectly fine as long as it fits into your desktop or laptop. the SSD drive works well on both Windows and macOS.

Rounding Up

The Micron M550 is one of the quickest solid state drives you can get at an affordable price. Even by 2021 standards, the SSD card will still serve you well. It has three years warranty that adds to the more capacity it comes with.

It has good benchmark scores because of the choice of components that was added alongside the NAND flash. There are some features that makes the SSD drive even more worthy like the 256-bit hardware protection and data protection incase power trips off while in use.

Micron really upgraded the M550 when you compare it with the M500. For a slight difference in price that I think shouldn’t be a problem getting the M550 is completely worth it.