Crucial MX 500 500GB SSD Review – Blazing Fast

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Jul 9, 2018
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PRODUCT INFO

Crucial MX 500

December 2017
Type SSD
Price $109

Crucial, a subsidiary of Micron is a brand known for memory and storage for over a decade, has recently released its MX 500 SSDs which compete at the higher end of consumer SSDs with brands like Samsung. Its previous MX 300 drives were also quite successful and on the budget end their BX 300 drives also did well in the budget segment. Those asking where the MX 400 is, may not know in some languages the word for the number 400 to be derogatory term.

After looking at the budget focused MyDigitalSSD SuperBoot 2 512GB and Patriot Burst 480GB today we’re looking at one of the highest end drives in the SATA form factor. The drive features Microns own 64-layer 3D TLC V-NAND which is in lower 256GB dies lower than the older models 384GB dies, which means they no longer have the odd capacities of the older drives and have shrunk the physical size of the NAND down 30% and allows them to do away with the capacitors used on the PCB for power loss protection while still providing the feature. Which leads to a lower total cost.

crucial-32gb-nvdimm-2Related Crucial Expands Server Memory Portfolio with its First 32GB NVDIMMs Offering

While the other two drives were definitely budget focused, and not ideal for a primary OS, this drive should keep up with just about everything aside from high-end NVMe drives. Though at its price point it can definitely still be considered for a secondary drive.

The drive is currently available on Amazon for $109.99 for our 500 GB version with the 250 GB version coming in at $69.99, the 1 TB coming in at the rather low $199.99 and finally, the 2 TB coming in at a still rather pricey $449.99

First Look At The Crucial MX 500 500GB 2.5 Inch SSD – Unboxing And Closer Look

The Crucial MX 500 comes in a clamshell design box and features a small insert that includes the links to their support and service pages. The box is a thicker cardboard than the other products we’ve tested and this makes sense since this is a bit of a higher end drive.  Finally, the drive comes with a 5-year warranty, much higher than the 3 years all the other drives we’ve tested have come with.

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Like all other drives we’ve tested this drive is a 7mm SSD in the 2.5 Inch form factor and includes a 9.5mm adapter which allows it to be almost entirely universal.

This drive like all others we’ve tested uses a plastic enclosure, though this one seems a bit thicker. For the price, metal would be nicer, especially so if you want to use it on a cookout. Finally, we can see the SATA power and data connectors.

Testing Setup

Component Model
CPU AMD Ryzen R7 1700 @ 3.4GHz
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB 3200MHz
PSU XFX 1050W
OS Windows 10-64 Bit Spring 2018 Update
Motherboard Asus X370 ROG Hero IV
Case Phanteks Enthoo Luxe

Crucial MX 500 500GB SSD Performance Benchmarks

Crystal Disk Info 7.5.1

Crystal Disk Info is a wide tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It will display temperatures, the number of power on hours, the number of times it has been powered on, and even informing you of the firmware version of the device.

Nothing of real significance here, we do see the firmware and TRIM and DevSleep enabled.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware software to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs), hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

Here we see the Crucial drive taking a significant speed jump at smaller file sizes and eventually leveling off after 1MB, though its writes are occasionally beaten by the MyDigitalSSD SuperBoot 2 at higher speeds, it is within margin of error at less than .5%, however, it maintains the win in read speeds the whole way through.

Crystal Disk Mark 6.0

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software Made by a Japanese coder named Hiyohiyo and is one of the simplest and most frequently used tests for storage due to its simple and easy to understand UI. It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed,select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill).

Here we see the Crucial MX 500 take a significant lead over the Patriot Burst, and in all but the sequential speeds, it takes the win, especially in the heavier tests in this benchmark as it should as the more expensive product.

AS SSD

AS SSD is the opposite of ATTO as it uses incompressible data rather than compressible data and simulates the worst possible scenario imaginable for an SSD which gives the best understanding of performance when pushing the drive to its limits.

We separate the IOPS and MB/s in the results for ease of reading.

Here we see the difference between the MX 500 and the SuperBoot2 equalize in the worst situation possible and performing very closely to one another, the Patriot drive is left in the dust for the harsher workloads, though performs well in the 4k 1T workload.

On the IOPS side you see the Patriot drive trailing again and the Crucial drive leading by a significant amount in the 4k 64T read, and all 512B tests. So far we’ve noticed the Crucial drive is much better at moving smaller files quickly.

Diskbench File Transfer Test

For real-world testing, we have decided to use Diskbench to move a large game directory (The Witcher 3) which comes in just under 43GB with a nice mixture of large and small files. We use this workload to simulate either a gamer moving the games of his primary drive to a secondary drive or someone moving large directories over.

Looking over here we see the Crucial drive pull ahead, by a significant amount, absolutely crushing the competition, the SuperBoot 2 performs reasonably, but the Patriot Burst shows its weaknesses yet again with it being better than some hard drives, though at its price isn’t really in the same league as the Crucial drive. If you plan on moving lots of files to and from this drive, you’re probably going to want to spend the extra money on the MX 500

PCMark 8 Storage 2.0

The PCMark 8 Storage Benchmark is used to create real-world testing scenarios that many users use on an everyday basis. With 10 traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and as well as Battlefield 3 and World Of Warcraft, the light to heavy common workloads have been represented. This is unlike other tests that it shows off real-world performance between storage devices. The higher the score the better the drive performs, and application tests are measured in seconds. The test has a break in cycle as well as 3 rounds of testing.

The Storage bandwidth shows the Crucial drive taking a heavy lead, though the score shows barely a performance difference. Finally looking at the tests all drives perform reasonably well compared to one another, in these workloads the difference would be rather hard notice any performance differences.

Conclusion

All in all at $110 on Amazon right now, the Crucial drive is a great pick at the higher end of SATA SSDs, while in many cases the differences between it and the MyDigitalSSD SuperBoot were very minor, it did jump ahead quite a bit in our file transfer tests and does have a 5 year warranty which can make consumers feel a bit more confident in their purchase. If I were to use any of these drives as a primary drive today, I would be using an MX 500, For a gaming drive, this is probably the best drive available. The reads and write performance was very solid and for a few bucks extra you do get a much better warranty and better built drive. With all of that said I will be giving it our Editors Choice Award

9

For a bit more money you get a better warranty and a very capable drive, it's one of if not the best SATA drive on the market.

Performance9.5
Value7
Design & Aesthetics9
Features7

Pros

  • Fantastic performance
  • Great Warranty
  • Great File Transfer Speed
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