Crucial MX500, 2nd Generation SSD (review)

Crucial has released a new SSD (solid state storage drive) using its 2nd generation Micron 64-layer, 3D TCL NAND. It is fast – very fast.

GadgetGuy covered the announcement at CES 2018 and now has a review unit – the 1TB, CT1000MX500SSD1.

Testing is really about speed – how fast will it go in comparison to a 1st generation SSD?

First, I connected the 2.5” drive via a SATA to USB3.0 adapter and did some read/write tests compared to the 1st generation Samsung T3 SSD – itself a beautiful and fast external drive.

Read/Write was 200/150MB/s compared to Samsung’s 150/80MB/s – a good 25-50% faster and the Crucial was rock solid in speed.

Next, I placed it in a relatively modern ASUS motherboard based PC. The existing WD Blue hard disk struggled to achieve 100MB/s read/write and this blew it out of the water achieving over 400MB/s read and write testing was limited by the speed the hard disk it was reading from at 100MB/s.

Complete boot time went from 68 seconds on the hard disk to 20 – almost instant.

Yes, it is fast although with the hardware I had, I could not achieve the claimed 560/510 MB/s read and write speeds. In international reviews the Crucial consistently performed within the top three 2nd generation SSD brands.

Setup

The drive was blank – no partition etc. Once connected to the SATA 6Gb/s interface (in theory about 750MB/s capable) I used Windows Disk Manager to create a partition and do a quick NTFS format.

There is an online SSD Install Guide as well and includes connection to a Mac or PC.

You will need a SATA-USB 3.0 adapter if you want to clone the existing hard disk to the SSD e.g. replace C: drive. A free version of Acronis True Image can be downloaded from the site to do this.

Then install it the PC, Mac, laptop etc and that’s it.

Crucial also provide Storage Executive software that enables firmware updates, faster safe caching, thermal monitoring and also identifies other drives in the system. A useful app.

Drive life

Who can tell – certainly a very long time. Crucial quote 1.8 million hours Mean-Time-Between-Failure ( 206 years) and testing this is outside my remaining lifespan.

It also supports Power-Loss Immunity which is a built-in feature of the NAND that protects your data if your system suddenly shuts down.

The 2.5” drive is available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes (M.2 format is maximum 1TB).

Encryption

The drives feature self-encrypting drive and full disk encryption if enabled via the ATA Security command in the system BIOS to take full advantage of the AES-256 encryption engine.

GadgetGuy’s take

Home and power users should strongly consider replacing hard disks with SSD – sure its more expensive (a 1TB hard disk is under $100) but it is so much faster for disk intensive operations like video editing or database work.

Pros:

  • More speed than you need
  • Low power use
  • 5” mount spacer included
  • Hardware encryption
  • Five-year warranty
  • Free Acronis True Image clone software
  • Online setup guide
  • Keenly priced for SSD

Cons:

  • Would have been nice to have the SATA to USB adapter in the box

Ratings

  • Overall: 5 – as you would expect
  • Features: 5 out of 5
  • Value for Money: 5 out of 5 but shop around
  • Performance: 5 out of 5
  • Ease of Use: 5 out of 5 – idiot proof install
  • Design: 5 out of 5 – it’s under the bonnet so you never see it

Price

Recommended price only – shop around for a bargain

250GB   $129
500GB   $199
1TB        $399
2TB        $769