Crucial has been making reliable cost effective mainstream SSDs for years now. Each new product release striving for better performance, reliability, and value. The recent release of the M550 built upon their M500, offering even better performance, but at a higher price point per GB. Because of this, Crucial needed to release a more modern lower budget drive.
They had already separated their product line of SSDs in the 2012 with their V4, offering a more budget friendly SSD. However, it turned out to be a bad move. To make the V4 cheaper they skimped out on the controller and used an unstable and slow Phison controller and firmware. This lead to users having windows freezing issues and real world performance was almost similar to HDDs besides boot times.
They have moved on since then. This time around, instead of skimping out on the controller, they turned to a newer cheaper NAND manufacturing process, 128Gbit 16nm IMFT NAND. In fact, the SSD basically has all the features of a M550, with the exception of its newer cheaper NAND. As a result, today we get to review the first product on the market to use this 16nm NAND, the new Crucial MX100.
CRUCIAL MX100 SSD SPECIFICATIONS
The Crucial MX100 SSDs come in a 7mm 2.5″ form factor and is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. As with many SSDs, it features SMART, ECC, and TRIM support. What makes it more unique are the many features it shares with the M550 including:
- Hardware Encryption – The MX100 features the latest AES 256-bit hardware encryption support. As a continuation of their other M500 and M550 SSDs, it is also one of the only drives currently on the market to be in accordance with Microsoft® eDrive®, IEEE-1667, and TCG Opal 2.0 encryption standards. This means when enabled, your data will be safe from thieves and hackers. Not only that, but there is a significant performance improvement over typical software based encryption which relies on the system CPU to encrypt data before it is written to the drive.
- Native Write Acceleration – Crucial’s Native Write Acceleration features allows for more consistent performance with fewer lags in storage response. The features of the firmware and drive design that enable Crucial SSD’s to take native advantage of the drives inherent parallelism without employing caching or compression to achieve the highest levels of performance.
- Adaptive Thermal Protection – When the temperature sensor reaches out of the normal rated operation temps, this technology allows for the Crucial MX100 to dynamically adjust storage component activity to keep the drive cool. Mainly, it reduces write data throughput to about 150MB/s, if greater temps occur after that point performance will drop another 50% and read rates will be reduced as well. Once temperature returns to 65C, the SSD performance will revert back to normal operating speeds.
- Exclusive Data Defense – To prevent precious user data from corrupting, Crucial has a multi-step integrity algorithm built into the components. They include methods like error correction and integrity checking and also leverage our RAIN implementation. What results is four layers of Exclusive Data Defense ensure the integrity of your data and guard against corrupt files.
- RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent NAND) – RAIN basically takes some of the NAND and makes it dedicated strictly to parity rather than user space. This feature helps to protect user data against page and block level failures in the NAND. In the MX100, the parity ratio is 127:1 for every 127 bits of user data, there is another 1 bit is used by RAIN for parity.
- Data Path Protection – Essentially, Data Path Protection allows for checks and correction on the data as it travels in the drive to processing in the system and back. A feature like this usually isn’t found on a consumer drive and is more oriented towards the enterprise market.
- Power Loss Protection – Again, typically a feature of most enterprise grade SSDs, power loss protection is almost a standard feature of Crucial SSDs now. The MX100 is no exception to his. The PCB contains a row of capacitors that will allow the drive enough power to safely transfer in buffer data to the NAND in case of a power failure. A very nice feature to have to preserve your data when you don’t have yourself a UPS or even just a hard reset.
As we can see in the chart above, the sequential read and write speeds are advertised up to 550MB/s and 500 MB/s respectively on all file types. Random high queue depth IOPS are rated at up to 90,000 read and 85,000 write for the 512GB variant. Its write endurance is rated for 72TB as it has been in the past with most of their drives. And it comes with a 3 year warranty and is backed by amazing customer support.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The Crucial MX100 SSD is currently available at the time of this reports publishing (Check here!) MSRPs for these drives come in pretty low, good news for the consumers. The 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB drives come in at $79.99, $109.99, $224.99 respectively. That is less than .50 per GB at the higher capacities. The goal of the low price pint is to maintain a competitive edge in market prices as more competition is released.