Crucial MX300 525GB
CAPACIOUS AND FLEXIBLE, IT’S THIS MONTH’S BEST VALUE SSD AND IT COMES WITH HARDWARE ENCRYPTION, TOO
L ike the Adata Ultimate SU900 – and every SATA SSD – the Crucial MX300 struggles to dierentiate 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 oered, 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 aordable 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.