What is the difference between Crucial M500 vs MX500, and which one is better? We will help you choose between these two entry-level SSDs from Crucial by comparing them against each other. Note that Crucial M500 is older than Crucial MX500. They come with differrent capacity options and technologies, so you can expect their overall performance to differ as well.
Read on to find out more information about:
– The available capacity options on Crucial M500 and Crucial MX500
– What flash memory chip and controller that each model here uses
– The additional features on Crucial M500 and Crucial MX500
– The comparison of their sequential and random performance
– Which one between Crucial M500 vs MX500 that provides a better value for the money
Crucial M500: Capacity Options
Crucial M500 pulled a lot of attention when it was launched because it was the first product to use Micron’s 128Gb MLC NAND, which offered increased density and improved cost saving. As a result, the company was able to introduce Crucial M500 with a decent range of capacity options at very affordable price points. See also: Crucial M500 Vs BX500
Previously, high-capacity SSDs were extremely expensive. But, since the release of Crucial M500, SSDs have become more and more affordable. High-capacity SSDs not only become cheaper, but also improve in performance and durability.
Crucial M500 is available in the 2.5-inch form factor with four capacity options: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. These are great options if you need a budget-friendly SSD to store your films, music, or games. Additionally, there are also M.2 and mSATA form factor options available in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB, but they actually still use the SATA interface.
Crucial M500: Technologies
As mentioned above, Crucial M500 was the first to use Micron’s 128Gb MLC NAND. However, this technology now has become obsolete. One of the primary differences between Crucial M500 vs MX500 is that the newer Crucial MX500 comes with Micron’s 64-layer 3D TLC NAND, which is newer and more advanced.
Nevertheless, Crucial M500 was a really good entry-level SSD. It is armed with the Marvell 9187 controller with a custom firmware. This controller already offers DDR3 memory support. The largest capacity of Crucial M500 is armed with a 1GB DDR3 DRAM, which offers decent caching performance.
Crucial M500 is also given the ONFI 3.0 support, which optimizes the power consumption and the maximum interface speed. While ONFI 3.0 is able to provide a maximum interface speed of 400MB/s, Crucial M500’s implementation is capped at 330MB/s. However, this SSD supports dual-channel operations, so the maximum interface speed in real life can go up to around 660MB/s.
Crucial M500: Additional Features
One similarity between Crucial M500 vs MX500 is the 256-bit AES encryption engine. Every data that is written into the SSD is stored encrypted. So, when someone somehow manages to gain an illegal access to your data, they won’t be able to read the data right away.
In the default configuration, you don’t need to provide a password to secure your data. Everything is encrypted and decrypted on the fly with the default key in the controller. However, you can set a new ATA password in order to force the controller to create a new key.
The firmware of Crucial M500 is compliant with TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667. As the effect, you can use third-party encryption tools to add additional security layers. The combination of TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 also makes this SSD compatible with the Microsoft eDrive standard.
Crucial M500: Performance
Crucial M500 was among the good options in the entry-level segment of the market, but now it has been replaced by Crucial MX500. The numbers in the official specs of Crucial M500 are lower than those of MX500. When tested, the difference is indeed real and noticeable.
According to the official specifications, Crucial M500 has a sequential read speed of 500MB/s and a sequential write speed of 400MB/s. When tested on a desktop computer that is running on an Intel Core i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM, the average speeds in sequential reads and writes are 392MB/s and 369MB/s.
Crucial M500 is also said to be able to perform 80,000 IOPS in random reads and writes. When tested to perform mixed random IO tasks, the average speed is about 31.9MB/s.
By today’s standards, Crucial M500 is rather slow. It still offers better overall performance and durability than HDDs, but there are newer and more powerful SSDs out there. Crucial MX500 is one of those.
Crucial MX500: Capacity Options
Crucial MX500 has been aimed squarely at people who want to upgrade from HDDs or older generation SSDs. It is considered an entry-level SSD, and a successor of both Crucial M500 and Crucial BX300. It offers higher capacity options with a very aggressive pricing.
You can get Crucial MX500 in the 2.5-inch form factor. There are four capacity options: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. As usual, the cost-per-GB ratio goes down as the capacity increases, with the 2TB version being the most cost-effective for those who can afford it. The 2TB version also has the highest durability, measured in TBW (total bytes written). If you need a lot of storage space for your multimedia files and games, the 2TB version is an excellent choice.
You can also get Crucial M500 vs X500 in the M.2 form factor. There are only three capacity options here: 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. However, just like the case with Crucial M500, the M.2 SSDs of Crucial MX500 actually still use the SATA interface rather than PCIe NVMe. So, these M.2 SSDs of Crucial MX500 will perform similarly to their 2.5-inch counterparts.
Crucial MX500: Technologies
Crucial MX500 uses Micron’s 64-layer 3D TLC NAND, and is the second generation of the company’s MX series to replace MLC NAND with TLC NAND. Crucial MX500 has also separated itself from the previous generations by utilizing the Silicon Motion SM2258 controller. Yet, the usual features are still present, including the TCG Opal support and the dynamic SLC write cache.
This model has been introduced to succeed both M500 and BX300. Since the company doesn’t have a “Pro” series, Crucial MX500 is now standing as their sole flagship SATA SSD model.
One notable feat of Crucial MX500 is that all the different capacity options come with identical speeds. Older models typically have lower speeds in the smaller sizes, higher speeds in the bigger sizes. However, all capacity options of Crucial MX500 are rated with similar read and write speeds. We are not only talking about the sequential performance, but also the IOPS of the random performance. So, buying a smaller size doesn’t mean that you are compromising on performance.
Besides the capacity and price, the difference is just the durability, which is measured in TBW (total bytes written). Bigger sizes have higher TBW values, with the 2TB version having a TBW value of 700TB. This is equivalent to writing 50GB of data into the storage on a daily basis for 38 years. So, the lifetime is virtually unlimited. Even with a smaller size, the TBW value is already quite high, so you won’t need to worry about the durability.
Crucial MX500: Additional Features
Crucial MX500 comes with Integrated Power Loss Immunity. This mechanism will protect the drive from corruptive incomplete writes when an unexpected power cut occurs mid-operation. Power failure is very dangerous for a storage drive because it can corrupt the drive, especially when the drive is still in the middle of updating the master file table. It can leave the drive with unusable parts.
Crucial MX500’s Integrated Power Loss Immunity will ensure that you have readable master file tables when the power comes back. It won’t prevent partial writes, but at least the chance of the drive getting corrupted is significantly reduced.
It also comes with a 256-bit AES encryption engine to protect your data against illegal access. The data are encrypted and decrypted on the fly with the default key. Setting a new password will make the controller generate a new key.
Finally, a free version of the Acronis True Image HD software is included. It can create an image of your old drive and unpack the image in your new drive. It is very useful for migrating data quickly across drives.
Crucial MX500: Performance
Thanks to the new NAND technology and controller, Crucial MX500 can have better performance in pretty much every aspect. The sequential performance is rated at 560MB/s and 510 MB/s for reads and writes, respectively. Meanwhile, 4KB random reads and writes can be performed at 95k IOPS and 90k IOPS.
Crucial MX500 is quite faster than Crucial M500. When tested with an Intel Core i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM, Crucial MX500 provides average speeds of 481MB/s and 422Mb/s for sequential reads and writes. Meanwhile, in mixed random IO tasks, the average speed is about 48.1MB/s.
Compared to other entry-level SSDs, Crucial MX500 is among the finest. While it still can’t compare against more advanced and more expensive models in terms of speeds, the performance is already fast enough to allow you to browse through files quickly, play multimedia content smoothly, and run games without any lag.
Crucial M500 vs MX500
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Between the two, Crucial MX500 should be your choice. It is a newer model that comes with newer technologies. It offers higher speeds in both sequential and random operations. In addition, it also has better features, with Integrated Power Loss Immunity to protect against unexpected power failures, a 256-bit AES encryption engine, and an imaging software for data migration.