Crucial MX500 1Tb
Crucial resets the SATA SSD marketplace
The SATA SSD market has been pretty stagnant of late. The performance advantage of PCI Express based NVMe drives means that older SATA drives no longer grab the headlines. SATA drives still make up the largest part of the SSD market though, and competition remains fierce. Crucial has fired the first shot of 2018 with the aggressively priced MX500. Even at launch it’s one of the cheapest 1TB drives on the market. That alone makes it a solid recommendation, though the MX500 is far from being a one trick pony.
Crucial parent company Micron is one of the leading flash producers in the world. It manufactures the 64-Layer TLC NAND flash memory found inside the MX500. These new memory chips are physically smaller and perform better than previous generation Micron NAND. This directly leads to cheaper street prices and better performance. The bestselling Samsung 850 EVO finally has some worthy competition. Somewhat surprisingly, Silicon Motion’s 2258 controller provides the brains of the drive. It’s an older controller indicating that performance improvements over the previous generation come from the NAND itself, along with firmware upgrades.
The 1TB MX500 is fantastic value, but it also comes with an impressive list of features and specifications. There’s a 7mm to 9.5 mm spacer adapter, 256bit AES hardware-based encryption support, power loss immunity and a welcome five year warranty. The warranty and encryption features are matched by its direct Samsung 850 EVO competitor, though the MX500 comes with a far superior endurance rating. The 1TB model allows for a pretty spectacular 360 Terabytes Written. This compares to just 150 TBW for the 1TB Samsung 850 EVO. To put this into perspective, 360 TBW would equate to almost 200GB per day for five years. Needless to say, the MX500 should cope with many years of heavy duty operation.
Performance wise, the drive is able to max out the SATA interface in sequential testing. CrystalDisKMark testing shows the MX500 hitting just over 560MB/s read and 510 MB/s write speeds. These figures closely match the Crucial specification. Random reads and writes with small files and in/out operations are the truest performance differentiator however, and it is these figures that really impress. Read performance in particular proved to be
the MX500 is fantastic value, but also comes with an impressive list of features and specifications
class leading, while writes were also strong, but not exceptional.
Crucial has given the SATA SSD market a welcome kick in the pants. The MX500 is our new SATA 1Tb drive of choice. The sweet spot combination of features, value, warranty and performance deserves top marks. There are few better performing SATA SSDs and none that offer the value the MX500 does. Many makers of 1TB drives will be forced to cut prices to compete. CHRIS SZEWCZYK