By: Jonathan Kwan
March 9, 2018
"Here is your new license plate," the person at the local registry said as she handed me a license plate ending in "1688". I quietly giggled to myself about my sheer luck of getting the most Asian plate in the world -- I swear it was pure coincidence -- as I inserted my debit card to the payment terminal. A few years ago, in my Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK motherboard review, I talked about why Chinese people like license plates with certain numbers or combinations of numbers. While I did not grow up in a superstitious household nor am I superstitious myself, this is so ingrained in our culture anyway, everyone knows about the implications of these numbers or combinations of numbers right off the bat. And while some people may think I paid the agent to save me such a desirable license plate, or even think I am superstitious as I drive around in a Honda Pilot with a license plate ending in 1688, why would I not want to be the envy all of local C-Lais? Of course, with desirable numbers come undesirable numbers, and Chinese people generally like to avoid having a "4" anywhere, because it is homophonic with the word "death". So here we are today with Crucial's latest mainstream solid state drive, the MX500. In the past, we have reviewed the MX100, MX200, and MX300. Wait a second. What happened to the MX400? Exactly: It does not exist for the reason described. Featuring the same Silicon Motion SM2258 controller found in the BX300 and Micron's latest 256Gb 64-layer 3D TLC NAND ICs, will the MX500 deliver a new level of balance in performance, features, and price? Read on to find out!
Our review unit of the Crucial MX500 500GB solid state drive arrived in a FedEx branded bubble envelope from the company's American headquarters in Meridian, Idaho, USA. Crucial remains the only company to send us products from that part of our southern neighbors. Using the speedy International Priority service, it only took a day to get to us here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As always, everything arrived in excellent condition for our review today.
Crucial's retail package designs has always been about business, and the MX500 is no different. In fact, changes were mostly evolutionary since I first reviewed the MX100 back in 2014. The simple, environmentally friendly box is the same shape and size as everything we have seen before. It uses a relatively compact, thin square box to deliver the SSD into the hands of the consumers, with the 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 dark blue gradient background is plain for the easily distracted. A 3/4 shot of the solid state drive is shown boldly across the middle. Above it, you will find Crucial's logo and the MX500 model name. Finally, the capacity is listed in the bottom left corner by a label, where our particular review unit is the 500GB variant.
Before we move on, let us take a look at the features and specifications of the Crucial MX500 500GB, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
Form Factor: 2.5-inch internal SSD
Total Capacity: 500GB
Warranty: Limited 5-year
Specs: 500GB 2.5-inch internal SSD • SATA 6.0Gb/s • 560 MB/s Read, 510 MB/s Write
Product Line: Client SSD
Interface: SATA 6.0Gb/s
Device Type: Internal Solid State Drive
Unit Height: 7.0mm
Form Factor: 2.5-inch (7mm)
Package Content: 2.5-inch 7mm SSD SATA 6Gb/s, 7mm to 9.5mm spacer, Acronis True Image for Crucial cloning software and installation instructions
Crucial does not usually included a whole lot of stuff out of the box, and the MX500 500GB carries forward this tradition. 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. This is not to mention it is a mainstream drive, so a smaller bundle means more savings. The drive itself is wrapped in an antistatic bag. Other items include rubber spacer and a getting started guide with 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 184.108.40.206
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 9.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage
10. Benchmark: PCMark 8