A three-drive array is the sweet spot for an Intel RST based SATA array. A three-drive array can max out the sequential bandwidth available on an Intel motherboard, and nearly max out available random bandwidth. A three-drive RAID 0 SATA SSD array is the most cost effective, and highest performing storage option available to an enthusiast at this time. Right now, there are no consumer based PCIe drives available that can come close to delivering the performance of a good IRST SATA based RAID 0 array in an operating system environment.
When we last looked at Crucial's MX100 512GB, we came away impressed by its compelling performance in a two-drive array. The MX100 scaled better in RAID 0 than any drive we have tested to date. When we went from just one drive to a two-drive array, performance more than doubled in our heavy usage model testing. Another aspect we were thoroughly impressed with was the quality of the MX100's components. MLC NAND in BGA packages and integrated host power-loss protection are features you do not typically find in a SSD that is as affordable as the MX100. In addition, the inclusion of Acronis data migration software adds value.
Things change fast in the computer hardware universe, but right now, I feel Crucial's MX100 512GB SSD is the best bang for the buck available in two-drive RAID 0. But what about a three-drive array - the sweet spot? As we have demonstrated many times in the past, the fastest single drives are rarely ever the fastest drives in an array. The MX100 512GB SSD is a prime example of this.
As a single drive, the MX100 is nothing special, but when you RAID 0 a pair, everything changes, and an MX100 array becomes one of the fastest arrays around. Today, we aim to find out what happens when we introduce a third drive into our MX100 array. Let's go!
Crucial's MX100 SATA III SSD is available in three capacities, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Specifications list the 512GB MX100 SSD as capable of 550MB/s sequential reads, and 500MB/s sequential writes. Random read/write speed is listed at 90,000/85,000 IOPS. Crucial's MX100 comes in a 2.5" x 7mm z-height form factor, and ships with a spacer, should you need to increase the drive's thickness to 9.5mm. The MX100 supports AES 256-bit hardware encryption that meets TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 standards. Microsoft's eDrive is also supported. Crucial backs the MX100 with an industry standard three-year warranty, with a 72 TBW limit.
Because this is a RAID review, we are going to focus on performance, rather than features. For a more in-depth look at the MX100's feature set, I will refer you to Chris Ramseyer's extensive review of Crucial's MX100 512GB SSD.
So, what will it be? Will the MX100 512GB continue to scale as we add a third drive to our array? Does a three-drive MX100 512GB array have what it takes to challenge the supremacy of our champion Intel 730 three-drive array, or our juggernaut Toshiba Q Series Pro three-drive array? Let's dive in, and find out.
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 $199.99 at Amazon USA.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Drive Details, Test System Setup, Array Properties]
- Page 3 [Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO, Anvil Storage Utilities, CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks (Trace Based OS Volume) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - Disk Response & Transfer Rates]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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