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Crucial Adrenaline 50GB Caching SSD Review

Crucial’s Adrenaline SSD is a very dark grey SSD which is quite different than most SSD drives we have seen to date. The chassis is entirely metallic, with the drive’s PCB carefully held “floating” between the two metallic plates. The edges of the chassis are rounded, increasing the feel of quality and improving aesthetics. Crucial placed the sticker with the series logo and artwork at the bottom of the drive, not at the top.

Since the fancy sticker is placed at the bottom of the drive, the sticker with the drive’s basic specifications, part and serial numbers and other necessary data naturally is to be found at the top side of the drive.

After cracking open the Adrenaline SSD, we removed the full size green PCB. The controller chip can be seen at the right side of the board, with a 128MB RAM memory chip right above it, while the NAND flash chips can be seen at the left side of the PCB.

Unlike the other caching SSDs we have tested to this date, the Adrenaline is the only one using a Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 controller. This configuration is usually found on premium, professional grade drives.

The NAND flash memory chips found in the Adrenaline drive are supplied by Micron; a natural choice, as Crucial is their own sub-division. The Micron 29F64G08CFACB-12QC used in the Adrenaline drive are fully synchronous type memory chips, which are usually reserved for high end drives as well. The chips total to a capacity of 64GB; however 14GB are reserved for optimized performance. The controller/memory controller makes you wonder what Crucial had in mind, designing a caching SSD by using one of the best configurations currently available. 

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