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

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Crucial

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

Crucial and their parent company Micron have certainly launched their share of SSDs over the years. Product launches have effectively toggled back and forth between both names, with Crucial handling the upgrade market while Micron proper handles the OEM side of things. Both sides have one thing in common - solid performing SSDs at a budget-friendly price point. Having the best performing SSD on the market is great, but does nobody any good if the majority of purchasers can't afford it.

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We had Micron out to discuss the MX500 before we completed our testing. Here is the full discussion video:

Specifications:

  • Micron® 3D TLC NAND Flash
    • RoHS-compliant package
    • SATA 6 Gb/s interface
    • TCG/Opal 2.0-compliant self-encrypting drive (SED)
    • Compatible with Microsoft eDrive®
    • Hardware-based AES-256 encryption engine
  • Performance (ALL CAPACITIES):
    • Sequential 128KB READ: Up to 560 MB/s
    • Sequential 128KB WRITE: Up to 510 MB/s
    • Random 4KB READ: Up to 95,000 IOPS
    • Random 4KB WRITE: Up to 90,000 IOPS
  • Power consumption:
    • 250GB: <3.5W
    • 500GB: <4.5W
    • 1000GB/2000GB: <5.0W
  • Endurance – total bytes written (TBW):
    • 250GB: 100TB
    • 500GB: 180TB
    • 1TB: 360TB
    • 2TB: 700TB

A few points from these impressive specs:

  • Performance specs are common across *all* capacities. Yes, even the smallest model is rated to perform as well as the largest.
  • Endurance is very high, especially for TLC NAND. Samsung's 850 EVO 500GB and 1TB models are rated at 150TB. Heck, the 850 PRO 1TB is only rated at 300TBW. Sure that's the same rating carried up from the 512GB model of the same, but it's not Micron's fault that Samsung opted to capacity-bracket their endurance ratings.

Packaging:

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No frills here. Quick start guide contains a link to crucial.com/support/ssd to get you started.

Read on for our full review of the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD!


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

January 22, 2018 | 11:28 AM - Posted by MrX (not verified)

Maybe the trim results are like that because Crucial MX500 NCQ (Native Command Queuing) TRIM is actually working unlike Samsungs SSDs which have broken NCQ TRIM (this is why 8xx series are blacklisted for NCQ TRIM in Linux kernel).

Is there any test you could do to confirm this? Maybe somehow try to disable NCQ TRIM and then run the tests again. Maybe even run MX500 and 850 EVO in IDE mode instead of AHCI to make sure that NCQ is not a factor.

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