By: Jonathan Kwan
December 24, 2014
When you hang out with the same group of people frequently enough, it is easy to integrate inside jokes into your every day life. This is because the deep mutual understanding developed between each other will automatically create an overly comfortable zone in discussion, and this works out pretty well -- as long as you are with the same people all the time. Recently, I was hanging out with a different group of friends. When one of them gave me their cell phone number, I said, without thinking, that I would "call [her] maybe". Now, with my usual group of friends, this would have just been a regular remark, since we say it so often with no real implications. However, with this group of friends, everyone else just looked at me weirdly -- to which I quickly followed up with a "just kidding". As you can see, sometimes, we take things so for granted, it is easy to forget about that it is even there at all. Ever since 2011, I have equipped every computer I own with one or more SSDs. In fact, since then, I have moved to forgo traditional HDDs altogether, and just slapped in a bunch of SSDs for all my storage needs. It was not before long that I forgot how a hard drive performed, until the day I started using my office computer conveniently equipped with only hard drives, and I started to scratch my head wondering why the computer took so long to boot, and how long it took to extract certain ZIP archives. It was then I remembered that solid state drives were a luxury until quite recently. With the release of OCZ's ARC 100, SanDisk's Ultra II, and Crucial's MX100 we are reviewing today, has it finally dawned upon us the day that we can finally equip every mainstream computer with a good performing SSD? We fired one up to find out.
Our review unit of Crucial's MX100 solid state drive arrived in a standard bubble envelope from the company's American headquarters in Meridian, Idaho. This is unlike most of the products we cover here at APH Networks, where it usually comes from California, USA. Just a little bit of background information, Micron Technology is the largest privately owned, publicly traded employer in the area, with approximately five thousand employees. Making a nine hundred kilometer trip up north to us here in Calgary, our review unit of the company's latest value oriented SSD arrived in a bubble envelope. Everything arrived quickly and in excellent condition for our review today as usual using FedEx International Priority.
If you have been following APH Networks for a while, you will realize we have covered quite a number of solid state drives from almost every major manufacturer. As such, we have seen quite a number of different retail packages, ranging from simple plastic shells to big fancy boxes. Yet, Crucial's MX100 retail package still manages to retain the Crucial-ness in this area, which has not changed too much over the years. It uses relatively compact, thin square box to deliver the SSD into the hands of the consumers, with the box contents and other miscellaneous information printed on the back. As you can see in our photo above, the box art evokes a strong business feel. The blue gradient background is blended in with wave stream patterns; while the outline of the letters "MX" are vertically oriented on the right to give the overall design a bit of visual style. At the top, a silver band extends across the entire to accommodate Crucial's logo and the MX100 model name. A 3/4 shot of the solid state drive is printed boldly across the middle. Finally, the capacity is listed at the bottom left corner, where our particular review unit is the 256GB variant. The Crucial MX100 is available in 128GB and 512GB as well.
Before we move on, let us take a look at the features and specifications of the Crucial MX100 256GB, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
Form Factor: 2.5-inch internal SSD
Module Size: 256GB
Warranty: Limited 3-year
Specs: Crucial MX100 256GB SATA 6Gbps 2.5" Internal SSD • 550 MB/s Read / 333 MB/s Write
Product Line: Client SSD
Interface: SATA 6.0Gb/s
Device Type: Internal Solid State Drive
Unit Heigth: 7.0mm
Form Factor: 2.5-inch (7mm)
Package Content: Crucial Box, 2.5-inch (7mm) SSD, 9.5mm adapter bracket
The Crucial MX100 256GB does not have a whole lot of stuff included with it out of the box. This no-frills approach keeps the retail box small and excess waste low, and I am always appreciative of companies who do not throw in extras for the sake of throwing in extras. The drive itself is wrapped in an antistatic bag. Other items include rubber spacer, and a piece of paper with an Acronis True Image HD activation key printed on it. The reason why the spacer is necessary is because the drive is only 7 mm thick. Older 2.5" drives are 9.5 mm thick, so if you have a drive bay that requires the extra height for proper installation, Crucial has made sure your bases are covered.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach 22.214.171.124
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 8.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage