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Crucial MX500 2.5" SATA SSD Review - Make SSDs Affordable Again

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Crucial

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

Internals

Outside:

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Disassemble!

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Rear:

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Front:

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Controller close-up:

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Chip counts and analysis:

  • 1x   SM2258 Silicon Motion SSD Controller
  • 2x   D9SHD / MT41K256M16TW-107:P 512MB DDR3L SDRAM (total 1GB)
  • 16x NW925 / MT29F512G08EECAGJ4-5M :A 64 Layer 3D NAND Flash
    • Each package contains 2x 256Gbit (32GB) dies

Overall fairly straightforward for a SATA SSD layout, though we're used to seeing fewer chip counts at an equivalent capacity. Micron says an M.2 form factor is coming, so it will be curious to see how they manage to stack and arrange these dies within an M.2 2280 form factor.

Testing Methodology

Our tests are a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. We have developed a custom test suite as off-the-shelf tests just no longer cut it for in-depth storage testing. More details on the next page. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!

Test System Setup

We have several storage testbeds. A newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and a Gigabyte Z170X SOC Force (for RAID testing). Future PCIe and SATA device testing, including this review, take place on an ASUS Sabertooth X99, which comes equipped with USB 3.1, M.2, and can also handle SFF-8639 (U.2) devices with the proper adapter.

PC Perspective would like to thank Intel, ASUS, Gigabyte, Corsair, Kingston, and EVGA for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i7 5820K @ 4.125 GHz
Motherboard ASUS Sabertooth X99
Memory 16GB Micron DDR4 @ 3333
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 750
Video Drivers GeForce Game Ready Driver 347.88
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version N/A
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro X64 (update)
  • PCPer File Copy Test
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • IOMeter
  • YAPT
  • NEW TEST SUITE!!!

December 19, 2017 | 09:14 PM - Posted by LostInTheLongLists (not verified)

Now go back on those long lists of SSD tested and put a red box around the SSD being tested because that's some haystack of results to visually search through to see where the drive being tested compares to all those others in that very long List.

December 19, 2017 | 10:14 PM - Posted by Humanitarian

You can see the 4k and 128kb scores in the 2 top charts, take that score and scroll down till you get to it.

December 19, 2017 | 11:07 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The SSD being tested is at the top of the abbreviated charts - above the longer charts.

December 19, 2017 | 11:46 PM - Posted by khanmein

Allyn Malventano, Regarding the TRIM issues, can Crucial fix the problem with a firmware update? Thanks.

December 20, 2017 | 04:56 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Most likely, yes.

December 20, 2017 | 08:00 AM - Posted by John H (not verified)

Looks like a solid alternative to 850 evo..

December 20, 2017 | 09:09 AM - Posted by Cyclops

Allyn, what do you think of a MLC SSD with TLC cache?

December 20, 2017 | 10:20 PM - Posted by RealExascale (not verified)

TLC is slower than MLC, which itself is slower than SLC. Micron has SLC mode caching for their smaller MLC/TLC drives because it improves speed.

A TLC cache would hurt performance.

I have the 1TB MLC Crucial MX200, which has enough flash that it doesnt need an SLC cache, however i do use the Momentum Cache which uses system DRAM as a fast cache. Its a good idea if you have a UPS, which i do.

December 20, 2017 | 10:23 AM - Posted by Mobile_Dom

Interesting, I wonder if, with the BX line being the ultra cheap ones, we'll see it move to 3D QLC NAND before long, sure it'll be slower than the others, but it'll be a butt tonne cheaper.

December 20, 2017 | 10:27 AM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

get back to us when they are at $.10 a GB

December 31, 2017 | 11:37 PM - Posted by Sid (not verified)

Maybe in 5 years

December 20, 2017 | 03:58 PM - Posted by Abdullah Abdul-Rahman (not verified)

With regards to what Jon Tanguy said in the video about Power Loss Immunity eliminating the need for banks of capacitors - they were pretty cool to look at: https://i.imgur.com/wVXxOre.jpg

December 20, 2017 | 10:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous.. (not verified)

How does it compare with MX300?

December 23, 2017 | 02:22 PM - Posted by DaVolfman (not verified)

One of my takeaways is (trim speed aside) the performance on this isn't all that different from a Vector. And the Vector was a monster (an unsafe hotrod that blew a gasket if you cycled power at the wrong time) of a client drive when it came out and was MLC only. It's nice to see a budget TLC drive isn't completely compromised.

December 25, 2017 | 10:46 PM - Posted by Godrilla

Went from a 256 gig c300 at launch to a 500gig mx100, I just might upgrade to a 1 terabyte mx500.
Things are getting a bit saturated.

January 15, 2018 | 06:19 PM - Posted by Tt78 (not verified)

MX500 2TB appears to be 25% cheaper than the 850 EVO 2TB

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