In this article, we will compare two consumer-grade SSDs, both of which are very popular in the market. They are Crucial M500 vs Samsung 860 Evo. Truth to be told, Crucial M500 is a pretty good choice for basic storage needs, considering its affordable price. However, if you want to get the best performance, go straight for Samsung 860 Evo.
After reading this article, you will understand better about:
– The capacity options on Crucial M500 and Samsung 860 Evo
– The quality of the hardware components in each SSD here
– The additional features of each SSD model here
– The comparison of their speeds and overall performance
– Whether you should go for Crucial M500 or Samsung 860 Evo
Crucial M500: Capacity Options
We’ll start with Crucial M500. Not so long ago, high-capacity SSDs were still very expensive. However, thanks to the rapid technology advancement, the manufacturing cost of NAND chips has recently become much lower than ever before. This has enabled many manufacturers to start producing high-capacity consumer-grade SSDs and sell them at reasonable prices. Crucial M500 is one fine example. See also: Crucial M500 Vs MX500.
When it was first released, it pulled attention from a lot of people because it was the first product from the company to use the 128Gb MLC NAND chips from Micron. This technology offered higher density as well as increased cost saving. As a result, Crucial M500 has become a popular low-budget choice for people who are just upgrading from their old HDDs.
However, from the capacity options alone, Crucial M500 vs Samsung 860 Evo are already very different. It is clear that Crucial M500 is targeted at the low-end segment.
You can get Crucial M500 in the 2.5-inch form factor. In this variant, there are four capacity options available, which are 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any larger than that. Additionally, Crucial M500 is also available in M.2 and mSATA variants, but these ones are actually still SATA-based rather than PCIe-based, and are only available in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB.
Crucial M500: Technologies
While Crucial M500 was the first product to use the 128Gb MLC NAND chips from Micron, now you can consider this technology obsolete. Newer, faster, and more robust NAND technologies have come up, like the ones in Crucial MX500 and Samsung 860 Evo. And those alternative options aren’t really expensive.
The controller inside Crucial M500 is a Marvell 9187 unit which provides DDR3 memory support. To take advantage of that, Crucial M500 is also armed with 1GB of DDR3 DRAM. This has helped to ensure sufficiently fast caching performance.
This SSD also already has ONFI 3.0 support. As a matter of fact, ONFI 3.0 has a maximum interface speed of 400 MB/s. However, the implementation in Crucial M500 is limited at 330 MB/s. On the positive side, the SSD can perform dual-channel operations, so the maximum interface speed in a real use should be around 660 MB/s. There is enough headroom for transferring large data.
Interestingly, both Crucial M500 vs Samsung 860 Evo come with AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption, and both are compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1667. In other words, both of them can safeguard your data and are compatible with a wide range of security implementations.
In case of Crucial M500, encryption and decryption are performed on-the-fly. Whenever you write data into it, the controller will encrypt the data using a default key. When you want to read the data, the controller will automatically decrypt them. You can set a new ATA password to force the controller to generate a new key.
Crucial M500: Performance
Initially, Crucial M500 was one of the finest options in the entry-level segment. It was a great substitute for a dying HDD, and it was also a decent storage solution for games and multimedia files. However, in terms of today’s SSD performance standards, Crucial M500 is just mediocre. To be fair, it is still much better than most HDDs.
According to the specs, Crucial M500 has sequential read and write speeds of 500 MB/s and 400 MB/s, respectively. The maximum random read speed is the same as the maximum random write speed, which is 80,000 IOPS. It definitely looks promising.
However, there is no surprise that the real-life speeds are lower than the claimed speeds. This is often the case. If we try to compare the performance of Crucial M500 vs Samsung 860 Evo, there won’t be any competition. When tested, the average sequential read and write speeds of Crucial M500 are only around 392 MB/s and 369 MB/s. It has an average speed of about 31.9 MB/s in mixed random IO.
Samsung 860 Evo: Capacity Options
Now, let’s shift our focus to Samsung 860 Evo. It was extremely well-received by the market when it was just released, and it is still among the most popular SSDs today. The secret behind Samsung 860 Evo’s success is the V-NAND technology inside it.
Actually, the company’s advantage in the market has lessened recently. Although Samsung 860 Evo is now on the fourth-gen V-NAND technology, many other competitors are now also selling their own 64-layer 3D NAND SSDs at competitive price points, and they have closed the gap. The hard limit of the SATA interface also won’t let Samsung 860 Evo stand out any more than it already has in terms of raw performance.
Samsung 860 Evo comes in the 2.5-inch form factor with five capacity options: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. Amazing, isn’t it? The large-capacity options are perfectly suited for gaming and long-term storage. In addition, the M.2 variant is available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, and the mSATA variant is available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB.
Samsung 860 Evo: Technologies
One of the most notable differences between Crucial M500 vs Samsung 860 Evo is the controller. Inside Samsung 860 Evo, you can find the MJX controller which supports low-power DDR4 memory. It is also very likely that the controller is paired with an integrated memory controller, and that the whole thing is constructed on a small lithography to maximize the power efficiency, cool operation, and manufacturing cost saving.
The company claims that the fourth-gen V-NAND technology is 30% more efficient in terms of power consumption than its predecessor. To signify that advantage, the company has reduced the input voltage of Samsung 860 Evo to just 2.5 Volts. The program time has also been reduced to 500 microseconds, which means that Samsung 860 Evo is about 1.5x faster than the previous model.
As mentioned above, Samsung 860 Evo has an AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption engine. It is also compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1667. In other words, it is fully compatible with the Microsoft eDrive standard. It should be good enough for storing sensitive information.
The SSD comes with the Samsung Magician software. It will allow you to monitor the drive and enable/disable the Rapid Mode, which is the company’s DRAM cache algorithm that can improve the overall performance and minimize the wear on the flash chips. You can also use the software to create a bootable thumb drive. Finally, there is a built-in data migration tool that will allow you to clone data quickly from an old drive to a new one.
Samsung 860 Evo: Performance
The performance of Samsung 860 Evo is extremely good, especially if you consider the fact that it is not too expensive. Many people believe that Samsung 860 Evo is the best choice available in the lower segment of the market.
The performance specifications are identical across the different capacity options. The sequential read and write speeds are rated at 550 MB/s and 520 MB/s. Meanwhile, the random read and write throughputs are topped at 98,000 IOPS and 90,000 IOPS.
However, the biggest advantage of Samsung 860 Evo over the competitors is actually its capability in maintaining optimum performance at low queue depths. As a result, the real-life speeds are consistently good and very close to the specs. Furthermore, the company is actively improving the V-NAND technology to increase the performance, durability, and power efficiency, so it is very difficult for the competitors to catch up.
When tested, Samsung 860 Evo is much faster than Crucial M500 in pretty much every aspect. The average sequential read and write speeds are 481 MB/s and 450 MB/s, and the average speed in mixed random IO is around 50.4 MB/s. Hence, Samsung 860 Evo is a top-performer that will allow you to watch movies, play games, and do heavy work without any lag or delay.
Crucial M500 vs Samsung 860 Evo
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Between the two, Samsung 860 Evo is much better and thus more recommended. Although it is a little bit more expensive, it is totally worth the money. It is much faster in both sequential and random operations. Additionally, it has decent security features, and it has larger capacity options.