Anandtech has a review of the Micron M500, which is the first 960 GB SSD to retail for less than $600. Micron had to make some decisions to get that combination of capacity and price, so it’s not truly a no-compromises SSD, but like the article states, it’s a not-quite-a-terabyte capacity at the price that the best 80 GB drive was selling for in 2008. That’s a long way to come in five years. At $599, the price is high, but it’s not out of reach. If you really need that much high-speed capacity, you can probably come up with that sum.
And the drive’s reception has been very good. It’s backordered everywhere I’ve looked.
The drive offers a few other goodies besides capacity, like onboard AES-256 encryption that can integrate with some operating systems. Windows 8 can offload Bitlocker to the drive, for example, giving you good security at virtually no cost in performance. Did I just say something good about Windows 8? Yes, yes I did. I can’t believe it either, but we may have finally found a reason to buy Windows 8. Encrypting data on laptops containing sensitive data is extremely important, but I know from experience that the performance penalty is often crippling. Thanks to Micron, there’s finally a real problem out there that Windows 8 can solve.
And since this is the first drive to appear using a new manufacturing process, there’s more savings where that came from, once yields improve and competition heats up. There’s no reason for the price to fall as long as Micron is selling this drive faster than it can make them, but the drive offers a groundbreaking price, and I expect it to be cheaper still in Q3 or Q4 of this year.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.