Cru­cial MX300 525GB

CAPACIOUS AND FLEX­I­BLE, IT’S THIS MONTH’S BEST VALUE SSD AND IT COMES WITH HARD­WARE EN­CRYP­TION, TOO

PC & Tech Authority - - REVIEWS -

L ike the Adata Ul­ti­mate SU900 – and ev­ery SATA SSD – the Cru­cial MX300 strug­gles to dišer­en­ti­ate it­self on per­for­mance. In fact, it did sur­pris­ingly poorly in our se­quen­tial read test, with a last-place score of 449MB/ sec. Don’t get too hung up on that, though: its bench­mark scores were on point in ev­ery other re­gard, with ran­dom 4K write speeds a par­tic­u­lar strength. It still rep­re­sents a tremen­dous boost com­pared to any me­chan­i­cal disk.

The MX300 range comes in some slightly odd sizes. 275GB and 525GB ca­pac­i­ties are ošered, along with a lim­ited-edi­tion 750GB unit and high-end 1,050GB and 2,050GB mod­els. It uses Cru­cial’s 3D TLC flash me­mory, which crams three bits of data into ev­ery cell, and then stacks cells on top of each other to cre­ate very dense me­mory chips.

De­spite the un­usual ca­pac­i­ties, these drives don’t over­pro­vi­sion by de­fault. If you want to help your drive last longer, you can al­lo­cate be­tween 1% and 50% of the drive’s to­tal ca­pac­ity us­ing the sup­plied Cru­cial Stor­age Ex­ec­u­tive soft­ware. You also get a copy of Acro­nis True Im­age HD 2015, just as with the Adata SU900. Again, this isn’t a full backup sys­tem, but it’s a use­ful bit of hand-hold­ing if you want to clone the con­tents of your old hard disk onto the new one.

One area where the MX300 scores over the SU900 is 256-bit AES hard­ware en­cryp­tion. That’s a lit­tle sur­pris­ing, since both drives use the same con­troller, but only Cru­cial has cho­sen to im­ple­ment sup­port for Opal and eDrive. That means you can pass­word-pro­tect the en­tire drive, if that’s sup­ported by your BIOS, or use Win­dows BitLocker if it’s avail­able.

Don’t be fooled into think­ing of this as a pro­fes­sional-grade SSD. O¤cially it has a write tol­er­ance of 160TBW: that’s fine for a do­mes­tic drive, but a long way be­hind what you would ex­pect from an en­ter­prise-class SSD.

But let’s not cavil about what the Cru­cial MX300 isn’t. It’s a tempt­ingly ašord­able SSD in a gen­er­ous size, with de­cent – al­beit slightly un­even – per­for­mance. You get hard­ware en­cryp­tion, disk-cloning soft­ware, full con­trol of over­pro­vi­sion­ing – and even a 2.5mm spacer in the box. Re­ally, you can’t say fairer than that.

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