Crucial MX500 500 GB Review 24

Crucial MX500 500 GB Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The Crucial MX500 500 GB SSD is currently available online for $125.
  • Outstanding price-per-GB
  • Great price/performance
  • 5-year warranty
  • Encryption
  • Power-loss protection
  • 7 mm thin—Ultrabook compatible
  • Acronis TrueImage HD included (via Crucial website)
  • TLC not trusted by as many users as MLC
  • Slightly reduced performance in mixed random accesses
The Crucial MX500 is the company's new flagship SSD, built upon the foundation of Micron 3D TLC NAND flash and an SMI SM2258 controller, which we've seen used by many other vendors before. Unlike its predecessors, the company opted to part ways with Marvell, which comes with a significant cost reduction in a market where price is key. Crucial has also upgraded their warranty to five years in order to match Samsung's offerings in that regard.

Like all other MX-Series drives, the MX500 offers the full range of encryption features and also protects data at rest in case of a power outage. Endurance is rated at 180 TBW (for the tested 500 GB version). This comes down to 164 GB written each single day over a 3 year period, which should be enough for even the most demanding non-enterprise scenarios. It's also worth mentioning that these drives are designed to be resilient against power-losses. While older generations of Crucial MX-series drives relied on a bank of capacitors to put out just enough power to finish outstanding write operations and mitigate data loss; Crucial's redesigned flash program sequencing for its NAND flash chips achieves the same function without the need for a capacitor bank to hold a charge.

In terms of performance, we see the drive outperforming the previous-generation Crucial MX300, but not by a large margin. This means that the drive is right up there with the fastest SATA drives, which are all limited by the speeds the aging SATA interface can provide. Our synthetic testing reveals that unlike the majority of TLC drives, the MX500 doesn't suffer from the write hole when sending lots of data its way. It delivers a steady 400 MB/s even when the SLC cache is exhausted. Other drives end up much slower in that scenario (e.g.: 850 Evo and MX300 at 300 MB/s). Compared to the 1 TB version of the MX500 we tested a few months ago, performance is pretty much spot on identical, which is a good thing. Often, smaller capacity drives suffer from a performance penalty.

The Crucial MX500 500 GB currently retails at $125, which makes it one of the most affordable drives on the market in that capacity band, with a price per GB of only 26 cents. The included 5-year warranty underlines Crucial's trust in the product, and you also don't have to worry about it failing and taking all your data with it because of the data-at-rest protection. The biggest competitors for the MX500 are priced significantly higher: the Samsung 850 Evo and 860 Evo are $155 and $145 respectively. You may find cheaper SSDs in that capacity, down to around $95, but those drives usually perform worse, especially when heavily loaded with writes, which is where the MX500 shines.
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