Crucial MX100 512GB SSD Review

Crucial MX100 SSD Review
Reviewer: Tyler DeGiacomo
Category: 
Storage
Model: 
CT512MX100SSD1
Price: 
$209.99

The Crucial MX100 is a mainstream Soild State Drive (SSD) targeted toward budget conscious consumers who want the benefits of flash storage without a big price tag. In this review we're going to take a look at Crucial's latest offering, the Crucial MX100 SSD.

The Crucial MX100 SSD

Crucial MX100 SSD Front

The Crucial MX100 SSD is available in three different capacities, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB retailing for $79.99, $109.99, and $224.99, respectively—all of which are backed by a three-year warranty.

When choosing a storage size, you'll want to be aware of the varying levels of sequential write performance. While all capacities in the Crucial MX100 series are all quoted to deliver 550MB/s sequential reads, the 124GB drive has sequential write performance up to 150MB/s with 40,000 IOPS, the 256GB drive is at 330MB/s with 70,000 IOPS and the 512GB drive capacity offers 500MB/s with 85,000 IOPS.

In this review we're going to be performance testing the 512GB model which is rated for up to 550MB/s sequential read and 500MB/s sequential write.

Crucial MX100 SSD PCB 2

Inside of the MX100 is a Marvell 88SS9189 controller with custom firmware developed in-house by Micron (Crucial's parent company). The controller is paired with Micron's new state-of-the-art 16 nanometre (nm) 128Gbit MLC NAND flash. This combination delivers significant performance improvements over the M500 line and shares the same advanced features as its more expensive sibling, the M550, at a lower price.

Some note worthy features included are on-board capacitors providing power-loss protection, enabling preservation of data if the power is interrupted. Whilst the drive is designed to operate from 0C to 70C, Adaptive Thermal Protection intelligently adjusts NAND operations if internal temperature begins to reach the maximum specification and does so until returning to an acceptable level. Hardware support for 256-bit AES encryption is present, along with a safeguard against data loss from physical flash memory failures with RAID like redundancy technology called RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent NAND). All features once previously reserved for expensive enterprise class Solid State Drives, now available in Crucial's MX100.

Though Crucial products have an outstanding track record for reliability, the MX100 product line offers a 3 year limited warranty. This is down from 5 year which we saw on previous generation products, but not to worry, the MX100 has a calculated arithmetic mean (average) time between failure of 72TB. This equals 40GB of writes per day for 5 years.

Features

Highlight summary:

  • Hardware-based AES-256 encryption
  • Native Write Acceleration
  • Redundant Array of Independent NAND (RAIN)
  • Adaptive Thermal Protection
  • Power Loss Protection
  • SATA 6Gb/s interface (3Gb/s backward compatible)
  • 3 year limited warranty
  • Free shipping (Like all Crucial products)

Specifications

  • Type: 2.5-inch
  • Height: 7mm (with 9.5mm adaptor)
  • Flash Controller: Marvell 88SS9189
  • Flash Type: Micron 16nm MLC NAND
  • Serial ATA: Transfer rate 6Gb/s (backwards compatible with 3Gb/s)
  • Temperature: Operating (0°C to 70°C) Non-operating (-40°C to 85°C)
  • Acoustics: 0dB
  • Mean Time Between Failures: >1.5 million hours
  • Drive Endurance: 72TB=40GB per day for 5 years

Performance

Performance testing will be done under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) using an ext4 file system. Your performance may vary. Factors affecting performance include: The file system used (e.g. ext2, ext3, etx4, jfs, reiserfs, Btrfs, xfs) and SATA interface (6Gb/s vs 3Gb/s).

Test System

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 @ 3.60GHz (8 Cores)
  • Motherboard: ASUS Z87-PRO
  • Chipset: Intel 4th Generation
  • Memory: 32768MB (32GB)
  • Disk: 512GB Crucial_CT512MX1
  • Graphics: On-board Intel HD 4600 3072MB
  • OS: Ubuntu 14.04
  • Kernel: 3.13.0-37-generic (x86_64)
  • File-System: ext4
  • Interface: SATA 6Gb/s

Crucial MX100 512GB Benchmarks

Dbench is a filesystem benchmark that generates load patterns similar to those of the commercial Netbench benchmark, but without requiring a lab of Windows load generators to run. It is now considered a de-facto standard for generating load on the Linux VFS. Here we simulate the load of 1 client.

Crucial MX100 512GB Benchmarks

CompileBench tries to age a filesystem by simulating some of the disk IO common in creating, compiling, patching, stating and reading kernel trees. It indirectly measures how well filesystems can maintain directory locality as the disk fills up and directories age.

Crucial MX100 512GB Benchmarks

This test measures how long it takes to extract the .tar.bz2 Linux kernel package.

Crucial MX100 512GB Benchmarks

Flexible IO Tester (FIO) is a workload simulation tool. The graph above shows an Intel IOMeter File Server Access Pattern test which performs a mix of random and sequential IO and read/write workloads. User-defined variables such as the transfer request size, the percentage of random requests compared to sequential requests, and the read/write distribution to mimic the realistic usage. Performance is determined by the number of seconds it takes to complete the test.

Crucial MX100 512GB Benchmarks

IOzone was used to measure Linux filesystem read performance.

Crucial MX100 512GB Benchmarks

IOzone was also used to measure Linux filesystem write performance.

Gallery

Conclusion

The Good - Pros
  • Premium features sets
  • Excellent value
  • Competitively priced
  • Strong endurance
The Bad - Cons
  • Varying performance across capacities
  • Only 3 year warranty
The Ugly - Problems
  • N/A
The Verdict - Opinion
  • Purchasing the larger capacity 512GB over a 128GB or 256B variant will net you slightly higher gains in performance, but over all the Crucial MX100 product line offers solid performance, reliability and premium features without the expensive price tag.

    Based on MSRP of $224.99 the price per GB on the MX100 is $0.43, this translates even lower considering online retailers are currently selling this SSD for $209.99. An excellent purchase in our opinion.

Innovation: 
3/5
Performance: 
3/5
Compatibility: 
5/5
Cost / Value: 
5/5

17/20

Overall score


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