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

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.7

The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance.  For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

First up we have the MX100 256GB results.

Crucial MX100 256GB - AS SSD Crucial MX100 256GB - AS SSD IOPS

Reaching an overall score of 1060 and sequential speeds hitting 520MB/s reads and 330MB/s write is pretty decent for this drive. Furthermore, it was able to achieve the rated IOPS for its capacity no issue coming in at 85,773 read IOPS and 70,931 write IOPS at queue depth 64. While such high IOPS are nice to see, most consumers should be looking at the 4K performance of the drive. High queue depth speed results over queue depths 3-5 usually don’t matter much for typical consumer desktop usage.  Reaching 31MB/s 4k read and an impressive 116MB/s 4k write is decent performance out of a budget oriented drive.

Now the copy Benchmark results.

Crucial MX100 256GB - AS SSD Copy

This test basically gives us an idea on how the drive will deliver performance with a certain type of file. Comparing to our 1TB M550 results, Crucial seems to have improved the performance a bit with this drive.

Now we have the 512GB results.

Crucial MX100 512GB - AS SSD Crucial MX100 512GB - AS SSD IOPS

The 512GB drive delivered decent performance in this test as well reaching a max of 518MB/s read and 479MB/s write. However, it wasn’t able to reach the rated IOPS of 90k read and 85k write in this test. 4k results are the same as the 256GB variant coming in at 31MB/s read and 116MB/s write.

Copy Benchmark results.

Crucial MX100 512GB - AS SSD Copy

Here we see slightly better results than the MX100 256GB for ISO and Game rows, but slower speeds on the Program row. The difference is so minute that it is really a tossup between margin of error and actual performance differences.

ANVIL STORAGE UTILITIES PROFESSIONAL

Anvil Storage Utilities (ASU) are the most complete test bed available for the solid state drive today.  The benchmark displays test results for, not only throughput but also, IOPS and Disk Access Times.  Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.

Crucial MX100 256GB - Anvils Storage Utilities Crucial MX100 512GB - Anvils Storage Utilities

And above are Anvil’s results, with a result of 5,210 points the 512GB beats out the 256GB overall which achieved 4,889 in this test. Furthermore, both drives had an issue reaching their rated IOPS. To see if I could get anything more out of them I tried the dedicated IOPS testing meters for read and write.

Crucial MX100 256GB - Anvils Storage Utilities Read IOPS Crucial MX100 512GB - Anvils Storage Utilities Read IOPS

Here we go, now we are seeing some results. Testing at a queue depth of 32 the 256GB MX100 is able to reach 97,930 4k read IOPS and the 512GB is able to even break the 100k IOPS barrier at 100,086 4k read IOPS! For being rated at 85k/90k IOPS this is quite impressive!

Crucial MX100 256GB - Anvils Storage Utilities Write IOPS Crucial MX100 512GB - Anvils Storage Utilities Write IOPS

And for our write tests, again both drives exceed their rated IOPS. The 256GB MX100 reaches 78,685 4k write IOPS and the 512GB reaches 87,047 4k write IOPS.

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Benjamin Hojnik
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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
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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
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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
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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
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guest

looks like someone turned off their cstates for once

Les@TheSSDReview
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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
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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
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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
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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
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fefer

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

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

Actually, you get 238GiB of useable space 🙂

Mpegger
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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
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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
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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.