Crucial’s mainstream MX500 drive range, to replace the MX300, is the companies first to be shipped with Micron’s latest 2nd generation 3D NAND using 64-layers compared to the 32-layers of the first generation. It is also the first MX drive to use a controller other than a Marvell one, using instead the Silicon Motion SM2258, the same one that powers the BX300 but with updated firmware.
The new drive is available in four capacities; 250GB, 500GB (the drive supplied by Crucial for this review), 1TB and the flagship 2TB drive in a 2.5in format and as a M.2 2280 SATA drive in the same capacity line-up, minus the 2TB drive. The 2.5in drives can be brought as standalone drives or bundled with 2.5in to 3.5 in converter enclosure.
All the drives in the range, including the M.2 drives have the same Sequential read/write performance rating of up to 560MB/s and 510MB/s respectively. When tested with the ATTO benchmark, the reviewed 500GB drive produced a read figure of 564MB/s … a wee bit better than the official figure – as was the write performance at 522MB/s.
Random 4K performance is quoted at 95,000 IOPS for reads and 90,000 for writes, again the same for both formats of the drive. Under test conditions, the drive under review produced a read score of 99,261 IOPS, a fair chunk over the official figure while the write performance came in a little shy of the official number at 88,158 IOPS.
Despite the change of controller, the MX500 retains all the usual features of the MX range; AES-256 hardware encryption engine supporting TCG Opal 2.0 and Microsoft eDrive, RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent NAND) and Exclusive Data Defense technologies to protect your data.
Talking of data protection, another feature the MX500 has albeit in a different form from previous MX drives is protection against power loss for data at rest. Instead of the rows of capacitors on the PCB, Crucial have a new integrated technology called Power Loss Immunity which works within the firmware and the NAND to protect the data instead of relying on external capacitors.
The 500GB drive comes with an 180TB TBW endurance figure and Crucial back the drive with a 5 year warranty.
We found the 500GB MX500 available on Crucial’s website for £115.19 (inc VAT) HERE
- 64-layer 3D NAND
- Overall performance.
- 5 year warranty.
- Drive cloning software not built into the Storage Executive utility.
Kitguru says: In the MX500, Crucial have a mainstream drive that mixes good performance with a highly competitive price tag that may well make competitors sit up and take notice.