Crucial MX500 500 GB Review

Introduction

Crucial’s MX500 SSD was released in December of last year and is the first TLC drive that offers convincing performance that’s similar to what MLC drives offer. Our initial review was of the 1 TB variant. Today, we take a look at the 500 GB version.

Just like its bigger 1 TB brother, the Crucial MX500 500 GB uses an SMI controller instead of the Marvell chips we saw on earlier MX-Series drives. It also uses Micron’s own 64-layer 3D TLC NAND chips, which is a first for the company. While TLC chips provide cheaper cost per Gigabyte over more traditional MLC NAND, they also come with lower write performance. In order to work around that, Crucial designates a small, variably sized amount of memory as SLC cache, which writes a single bit to each TLC cell instead of three. While much faster, such a setup is basically a speed vs. size tradeoff. According to Crucial, the SLC cache is variably sized to provide the best performance.

The MX500 Series is available in capacities of 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. Crucial has also announced M.2 models of the MX500 in similar capacities which aren’t available on the market yet—we expect our review sample very soon.

With a price of $125, the Crucial MX500 500 GB is priced extremely competitively, especially if you consider its performance and five-year warranty.

Specifications: Crucial MX500 500 GB
Brand: Crucial
Model: CT500MX500SSD1
Controller: Silicon Motion SM2258
Flash: Micron, 16 nm TLC
MT29F512G08EEHAFJ4-3R:A
Endurance: 180 TB total bytes written
Form Factor: SATA 2.5″
Thickness: 7 mm (Ultrabook compatible)
Capacity: 500 GB (465 GB usable)
12 GB additional overprovisioning
Interface: SATA 6 Gbps
Device ID: CT500MX500SSD1
Firmware: M3CR010
Warranty: 5 years

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