Crucial MX500 500GB
Crucial’s MX500 series is available in M.2 and 2.5-inch SATA form factors, but only runs using the slower SATA protocol. That means sequential performance is limited to around 550MB/s regardless of which drive you buy.
Opt for the M.2 version and you’re limited to 1TB capacity, but the 2.5-inch version goes up to 2TB. Whichever version you go for, though, they all offer good value. Costing just $90 for a 500GB version, you can hardly buy a cheaper 500GB SSD.
It’s all the more surprising, then, that this drive performs well. The company’s previous generation drive, the MX300, offered great value, too, but it struggled for speed. Here, though, the MX500 trades blows with other SATA drives for top spot, leading in random read and write performance.
A slightly lower write endurance than the WB Blue 3D is notable, but not really a concern—all these drives should still last many, many years.
The drive itself is finished in a fetching metal case while you also get hardware AES encryption for secure data storage. Under the hood is Micron’s 3D NAND and an SMI SM2258 controller.
Excellent performance, for a SATA drive, and a rock-bottom price make this the best SATA SSD.