In 1996, we picked our name because it described the crucial role of memory – your system won't work without it. We also picked our name because it described our mission. At the time, none of the major memory manufacturers sold to actual computer users – they mainly sold to system makers. We thought it was crucial to change that. As a brand of Micron, one of the largest memory manufacturers in the world, our vision was to bring you the expertise that was typically reserved for system makers. It was a big idea, but it started small – and we had no idea where it would take us.
It all started in a small corner of unused office space on the Micron sales floor, where we sold 1MB memory modules over the phone. This was during the age of the fax machine, so customers would fax in what they wanted and we would pack and ship it by hand that afternoon. Word quickly spread that if you wanted quality memory (and help knowing what to get), you called Crucial. It hasn't changed since. Our operation was lean and thin then (system compatibility data was entered click by click into a massive spreadsheet, if that's any indication), but we knew how to make quality memory and deliver old-school customer support – it was simply a matter of making memory approachable and relevant. Enter our tools.
In 1998, we transformed our tried and trusted compatibility spreadsheet into what's now known as the Crucial Memory Advisor™ tool, the industry's first compatibility tool (and still the gold standard). The tool lived on our brand new website and took the guesswork out of a memory upgrade: All you had to do was input your system's make and model, and in seconds, you'd get a list of compatible parts. Before the Crucial Memory Advisor, you had to know a lot about computers since each system only works with a few select parts (out of more than 100,000 that are available). The tool positioned us as the memory experts just as the Internet revolution was taking off, and business began to grow – fast!
A few years later, word of our products, service, and tools spread and we expanded into Europe, and later, into Asia. As we expanded and our team grew, we didn't want to compromise the passionate support we were known for. We were proud of having a team that geeked out over new technology, gamed when they left work, and built computers just for the fun of it. So when we expanded, we built our team around people that really lived and breathed memory and storage. Our philosophy hasn't changed since.
After a few years of expansion, we released a new tool called the System Scanner. This one took the Memory Advisor concept a step further – now you didn't even have to know your system's make and model to find an upgrade. By running our scanner, you instantly learned a lot about your system, including what types of memory and storage were compatible, how many memory slots your system had, and more. To date, we're at 25 million scans and counting.
In the mid-2000s, we used a new type of NAND flash memory we'd developed to create some of the first solid state drives, or SSDs. These were over 10x faster than hard drives, and made your computer boot up and load apps almost instantly. No more delays and long load times. It's impossible to really overstate the importance of SSDs, as they continue to revolutionise computer performance as we know it. Not only was the Crucial® C300 the industry's first native SATA 6Gb/s SSD, but it opened the door for the Crucial M500, which was the world's first terabyte-class SSD available for less than $600.
In 2014, we launched some of the world's first DDR4 memory technology that was twice as fast and efficient as previous generation technology. DDR4 technology is already being used to power the devices of today and tomorrow, and it makes everything on next generation computers and servers faster and more energy efficient than before. You've likely already enjoyed the benefits of DDR4 technology, as it's being used in data centres to transform the speed of the cloud and how fast you're able to stream videos and access content online. The power that enables this is available for your next computer!
The highest levels of quality and innovation are only possible as part of a major memory manufacturer. Thirty-five years ago when Micron started, we were one of over 40 memory manufacturers. Now there are just a handful. We're one of them, and we're here to make all types of memory and SSD upgrades available to you.
So, if your computer is running slower than you'd like, you know what we'll say: You probably don't need a new system. Just more memory and faster storage.