By far, 16nm NAND is the smallest lithography flash to hit the market. Typically, as lithography shrinks, you get some good benefits, and some unfortunate consequences. The benefits come in the form of lower cost to the consumer for the same capacity. The consequences of shrinking lithography typically come in the form of lower performance, and reduced endurance.
We saw this scenario play out when Micron flash went from 25nm lithography to 20nm lithography. When 20nm IMFT flash first hit the market, its performance was downright abysmal; SSD prices came down dramatically, but so did performance. In its first generation, 20nm IMFT flash was easily outperformed by competing 19nm Toshiba flash.
Today, however, 20nm Micron flash is a more mature process, and has become an excellent performer, to the point of even challenging the best Toshiba flash for performance supremacy. Micron flash based SSDs are typically less expensive in comparison to their Toshiba based counterparts, but the Toshiba based drives usually have an edge in performance.
Crucial's 16nm flash based MX100 is basically their response to Samsung TLC flash based SSDs; moving to a 16nm lithography allows Crucial to compete with Samsung's EVO in terms of price. The question is: How will moving to a smaller lithography shake out performance wise? This shrinkage is reminiscent of the 25nm to 20nm change that preceded this die change. Will we see a big performance hit like last time?
Well, there is only one way to find out; let's dive in and see!
PRICING: You can find Crucial's MX100 (512GB) for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Crucial MX100 (512GB) retails for $209.99 at Amazon.