For years, we've talked about price versus performance with SSDs. Performance was always the major metric to compare per dollar, because when grouped, a larger SSD didn't fit into other capacity brackets on a per dollar basis. Things are changing though, and mainstream, or value SSDs, whatever you want to call them, have drastically changed the market.
If you plan to spend $200 to $250 on a new SSD, then you have a few options. On the performance side, Samsung's 850 Pro and SanDisk's Extreme PRO ding your credit card for $199.99 in 256GB class capacity sizes. Intel's 730 240GB SSD comes in at $231.98. Then there is the Crucial MX100 512GB, which is double the capacity size, but comes in at a friendly $214.99. To be fair though, even Crucial's flagship M550 512GB, the "Pro" model in Crucial's line up, fits our $250 limit. Newegg has the M550 512GB listed for just $244.99 at the time of writing.
Today we're focusing on the Crucial MX100 512GB. Just a week ago, we tested the MX100 256GB, and we found it to be a solid performer for most non-heavy users. The 512GB is also a value based SSD, but we suspect this capacity size fits the sweet spot for most gamers.
Since a lot of you guys are getting ready to head back to college, and have a pocket full of scholarship or grant money, this is a good time to tell you about Crucial's best capacity per dollar offering.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The MX100 series ships in three capacity sizes, 128GB, 256GB, and the large 512GB model we're testing today. All three capacity sizes are rated for 72TB of data writes, or equal to 40GB per day for five years. The 512GB model is the fastest of the lot; it's able to write sequential data at 500 MB/s -up from the 150 MB/s, and 33 MB/s on the smaller capacity models. The sequential read speed is same across the board, 550 MB/s, which is close to the limits of SATA III.
Inside, Crucial used a Marvell 88SS9189 controller with Micron developed firmware. The controller is paired with Micron's new 16nm lithography NAND flash. The combination delivers very high random read (85,000) and random write (90,000) 4K IOPS; this type of performance is much more than the price would suggest.
The MX100 also uses the same controller Crucial used on the flagship M550. All of the advanced features trickled down to the MX100. Hardware encryption from an AES-256 engine supports both TCG Opal 2.0, and Microsoft's eDrive. Other advanced features also made the list as well.
The MX100 series hit the market in the middle of June 2014, and the prices have leveled off from the MSRPs. The MX100 512GB we're looking at today now costs just $211.99 at Amazon, which is less than 50 cents per GB; a nice place for gamers looking for high capacity in a low price, but high quality build.
PRICING: You can find the Crucial MX100 SSD 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.
Canada: The Crucial MX100 128GB SSD retails for CDN$79.99 at Amazon Canada, the Crucial MX100 256GB SSD retails for CDN$180.34 at Amazon Canada, and the Crucial MX100 512GB SSD retails for CDN$224.99 at Amazon Canada.