I over the past 8 months, I have purchased two Crucial SSDs: a refurbished 128GB Crucial M4 and a new 240GB Crucial M500. Both have been very satisfactory in terms of performance and reliability, and I would recommend them without hesitation. I must say, though, the M500 has really been a great upgrade for me. I bought the M4 for $65 in September 2013, and used it for about 7 months. The performance was as good as one would expect, especially since the laptop it went in came with an HDD, but the capacity was lacking. I run lots of different software on my laptop, as well as Windows 8.1, and between all that and my own personal files, I was feeling a distinct lack of elbow room. That’s why, after some research, I decided to upgrade to the M500.
Again, the performance was excellent, edging out the M4 a bit, but the price point is what really got me. At capacities of 240GB and above, the M500 averages about 50 cents per GB or less, really a sweet spot for SSDs. I bought my 240GB model for $115, which my calculator tells me is about 47.9 cents per GB. The 480GB and 960GB models are at about the same price point right now on Amazon.
The best part about these SSDs is that they are really at about the peak of noticeable performance right now in the SSD space. Synthetic tests may give higher speeds on some of the higher end SSDs on the market (for instance, Crucial’s new M550, the Samsung 840 Pro/EVO, or the Sandisk Extreme II), but that is irrelevant for the most part. My computer now starts in 15 seconds, and I don’t think it makes sense to pay an extra $50 (or more) to gain an extra second. I imagine there will have to be a decent breakthrough in SSD speed and SATA specs for performance to take another hike. Even then, you’ll have to wait a few years to get that next jump in performance at the record low prices that the M500 is going for. So get ‘em while they’re hot!
(Disclaimer: I am in no way being paid to mention any of the companies, brands, or models mentioned here. This post is solely based on my own opinion and I make no guarantee as to its accuracy, either at time of posting or subsequently)