Crucial MX100 SSD Review (256/512 GB) – Crucial Strikes a Victory For Value

MX100 PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS

The MX100’s packaging is just a cardboard box matching Crucial’s typical blue and grey theme as seen with their other SSDs.

Crucial MX100 - 512GB Front Box Crucial MX100 - 512GB Back Box

Included in the box is not only the 7mm thick 2.5″ MX100, but a 7mm to 9.5mm spacer you can attach to the drive if need be for size compatibility purposes. Furthermore and more interestingly, they seem to be taking note on what other companies have been doing when they include their migration software with their drives. Crucial is including Acronis True Image HD key with every MX100 drive as well.

Crucial MX100 - Included

The casing of the MX100 is a nice etched aluminum finish with the PCB screwed into the aluminum casing and then protected by an aluminum base plate.

Crucial MX100 - 512GB Back Crucial MX100 - 512GB Front

Once we void the MX100 warranty by removing the casing, we get to see the beauty that lies inside.  A green PCB that appears to look almost exactly the same as the M550.

Crucial MX100 PCB Front

There is a Marvell 8 channel 88SS9189 controller. A thermal pad attached to the aluminum casing rests against the chip to help dissipate heat.

Crucial MX100-14

This controller is a little more optimized than the previous 88SS9187 controller The M500 has and allows for better DevSLP support. DevSLP allows for very low power usage in sleep mode. The MX100, it will only use 100mW of power at idle. And when active, the drive will use up to 3.7W of power for the 256GB variant and up to 4.2W for the 512GB variant when transferring data.

Crucial MX100-12

On the PCB there are 16 modules of Micron NAND flash memory, as well as a single Micron cache memory chip on the front. By using the Micron FBGA Decoder, we can identify the 256GB memory as having the product number MT29F128G08CBCCBH6 and the 512GB memory product number being MT29F256G08CECCBH6. It is 16nm MLC NAND flash memory with each module being 16GB in capacity for the 256GB drive and 32GB for the 512GB drive.  Although the total RAW capacity of these SSDs are 256GB and 512GB, usable storage space is only 238GB and 476GB respectively.

Crucial MX100-16

And finally, below we end our PCB tour with a close up of the power capacitor array that allows for the drive to stay on long enough to flush the DRAM buffer to the NAND in case of a power failure.

Crucial MX100-13

15
Leave a Reply

avatar
6 Comment threads
9 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
PaulOllyRob CBenjamin Hojnikfeferswanjame Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

This drive is an insane value, especially given performance. It’ just too bad, that they won’t offer 1TB version.

Samsung should really update it’s aging 840EVO, because crucial is destroying them 🙂

NoldorElf
Guest
NoldorElf

Performance wise, the 840 EVO actually is competitive compared to this. The drawback is that it is a TLC drive. Even at 16nm, the MLC MX100 will be a better choice (that and it has power loss protection). Judging by the performance, only the 512 GB version seems to fully saturate the controller. Heck, the 512 GB version is about as fast as the M550, which is supposed to be the “performance” version of Crucial’s SSD line. The 256 GB version is slower. I would imagine that the 128 GB version is even slower. The only thing I wish was… Read more »

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

> The only thing I wish was a better controller. Marvell 88SS9189 powers this chip. On one hand, it’s a reliable, proven beast. We should not have any hitches on this drive. Usually for those who want reliable, it’s become standard advice on the computer enthusiast forums to wait a few months when a new controller hits the market to make sure that there are no issues. On the other, it’s not the fastest chip around. Write performance isn’t top notch it looks like. I guess at this price point, it’s not possible to get a top of the line… Read more »

NoldorElf
Guest
NoldorElf

Re-reading the Sandisk reviews, you may be right. They do use the same family of controller. Hmm interesting, so it is the NAND that is holding the chip back. Hmm, this drive might get somewhat faster with newer firmware. But yeah you are right that the 16nm NAND is not that good. ” But to be honest, its not like someone buying such a drive is gonna notice the difference anyway. Especially writes speeds (which are often criticized). Bulk of workload is reads anyway. There is little use for very fast sequential writes on consumer drives anyway.” It will depend… Read more »

guest
Guest
guest

looks like someone turned off their cstates for once

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Yes… we are running a bit of a balancing act on this one, leverage coming from the fact that all new motherboards are optimized with C States off. It is still very funny how little education there really is on the benefits vs vulnerability with C States on or off.

Rob C
Guest

Can the Guide get an update about “C States” ?

It looks like one was planned but I do not see it in the Guide:

http://www.thessdreview.com/Forums/ssd-optimization-guide/2763-altering-c1e-c3-c6-ssd-performance-enhancement-pros-cons-3.html

This HP Guide claims “C States” affect latency due to turboing: http://www.fusionio.com/load/-media-/2ojjak/docsLibrary/Configuring_and_Tuning_HP_Servers_for_Low-Latency_Applications-c01804533.pdf

Thanks.

Ralph
Guest
Ralph

It’s worth noting that the 256 is actually a 320 drive. With 20% overprovisioning the MX100 performance won’t degrade like a bargain drive with 7%

swanjame
Guest
swanjame

Ralph-

What do you mean by, “…the 256 is actually a 320 drive…”? When you pop it in, how many GB are available? Could somebody clone a nearly full 320GB HDD (Hard Disc Drive) onto this?

Jim

fefer
Guest
fefer

He meant it’s not 256, you get 220 GB (not 320 wtf) 🙂

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Actually, you get 238GiB of useable space 🙂

Mpegger
Guest
Mpegger

“Although the total RAW capacity of these SSDs are 256GB and 512GB, usable storage space is only 238GB and 476GB respectively.”

This is incorrect. Usable storage space is still 256GB and 512GB. The 238GB and 476GB is just Windows reporting the available space with the wrong suffix. It should be 476GiB, which is equal to 512GB. You can see it is in fact 512GB, by going into the properties window for the drive and you will see the capacity listed as over 512,000,000,000 bytes.

Dennis Htc
Guest
Dennis Htc

it’s hard to chose between the samsung evo 250 gb and mx 100. read different reviews on the mx100 that contradict one another. Guess some of these review sites get payed to say something positive or negative insteead of being objective. I have a samsung 830 now and i’m satisfied with it, never failed me. But i need a bigger one now. I like the protection and encryption on mx100. Samsung 840 evo doesn’t have that right? The price of the mx 100 is a bargain, but the writing performance is not great. Yeah single mode is ok, but not… Read more »

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Just go with MX100.
While on paper write performance isn’t all that great, its actually better than EVOs (330 vs 250MB/s) once evo runs out of fake SLC cache.

Powerloss protection, MLC flash and lower price makes it a nobrainer against EVO.
You either get price/GB king or something a lot better (like 850pro or pci-e based solutions). Everything thats inbetween makes little sense, given how much more it costs.