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A great bang-for-your-buck SSD 03/08/2014
After using this to dual-boot OpenSUSE 13.1 and Windows 8.1 on my MSI CX61 laptop this has proven to be a fast and reliable SSD from Crucial. While it's not the fastest out there it has proven to be an amazing "daily driver" for booting. This is my third SSD I've used, the past two being a 30GB OCZ Vertex which was mediocre and a 64GB Kingston which was good but not overly impressive, this SSD outshines the competition, especially when it comes to price. The firmware is also very easy to upgrade, you run a small EXE file directly while in Windows. There is also a boot disk option available if you don't run Windows, so this SSD is very Linux-friendly. The Crucial website has detailed info on how to use the firmware update utility.
Boot times and speeds are amazing. Windows 8.1 is at a login prompt within 10 seconds or less, and OpenSUSE 13.1 boots in a snap. Large applications such as Cisco Packet Tracer or the MS Office Suite open in a few seconds flat. Windows Updates that would take hours to install now are only limited by my internet speeds.
Perhaps the only downside is that it's packaging and extras are very bare-bones. It comes with a very small manual with little documentation (basically how to install into a laptop) and a small piece of adhesive plastic for mounting the SSD in a 9.5mm bay for laptops that have a more traditional drive height as opposed to the 7mm thickness for Ultrabooks or other ultra-thin laptops.
Though for the price I feel that it is justifiable that no extras are included. However if you are clueless when it comes to migrating to a SSD you will have some trouble. I would strongly recommend that if you have this SSD and don't know what you're doing to some extent that you have someone who has technical expertise help you with it.
It is highly recommended that you upgrade the drive to firmware MU03 which fixes a few issues with the thermal throttling control to prevent the drive from overheating, as well as issues with the Intel Haswell platform.
The new firmware update was made public by Crucial in 09/24/2013, so if you bought your SSD you'll want to check your Firmware revision. Details are available on the Crucial website.
I am planning to purchase a second M500 for my desktop within the coming month. After having a SSD as my boot drive it seems like all hard drives are painfully slow during boot up.
It's certainly not the fastest SSD out there but for the fact that both it's cost and near-bulletproof reliability makes this a amazing SSD for breathing new life into a older laptop or desktop. Highly recommended.
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