Crucial has just announced a new product to its range, a SSD hard drive that offers vastly more storage space than before.
The Crucial M500 SSD comes in 120, 240, 480, and 960GB capacities. With the largest capacity drive selling for £450 (including VAT).
The Crucial M500 SSD comes in a 2.5in form factor and can be installed the Mac Pro, Mac mini and MacBook Pro (without Retina Display), although Apple is moving away from allowing this sort of upgrade and it's new MacBook Pro with Retina Display and iMacs cannot accept hard drive upgrades.
According to a Crucial press release, the new drives utilise the Micron 20nm MLC NAND flash with a SATA 6Gb/s controller and Micron custom firmware. However, it's worth noting that no upgradable Mac has a SATA 6Gb/s interface, instead they are all using the slower 3Gb/s SATA connections.
There were also problems with the initial Crucial SSD firmware that led to the drives failing to function after 5,000 cycles. Although Crucial has fixed this problem with a firmware update.
The new drives hardware-based encryption, data protection against unexpected power loss, and an adaptive thermal monitoring system.
SSD drives are much more expensive than traditional hard drives, but they offer much faster boot up and operaton speeds, often breathing new life computers. Aside from the higher cost involved, SSD drives have also been limited in size compared to the traditional hard drives.
By getting close to the 1TB mark the new Crucial drive allows a laptop owner to have the kind of storage space they are accustomed to. There is still the issue of cost, however. The Micron M500 960GB SSD price is £450 (inc VAT), considerably more than the £65 pound that 1TB hard drives typically cost.