Cru­cial BX300 480GB $145

Maximum PC - - BEST UPGRADES - www.cru­

ONCE YOU’VE used an M.2, you can’t go back. To be fair, that’s not strictly true, but it’s a good sound bite, and there are some trans­fers where you can no­tice the dif­fer­ence. Not ev­ery sys­tem has ac­cess to M.2, though, and even those that do tend to be lim­ited to one or maybe two slots. M.2 drives also de­mand a slight premium over 2.5-inch SSDs. That means there is still a mar­ket for the more tra­di­tional SSD, and such drives are still the go-to up­grade for any­one who is still run­ning a spin­ning hard drive.

The Cru­cial BX300 is our new fa­vorite bud­get SSD, pack­ing half a ter­abyte for a wal­let-friendly $145. As with any mod­ern SSD, per­for­mance is de­cent enough, al­though you’ll find that the straight through­put of any SSD that uses SATA is ul­ti­mately lim­ited by the in­ter­face. You can check out the full re­view of this new drive on page 86.

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