Tuesday, 16 January 2018 13:00

Mini review: Crucial MX500 1TB SSD


How does Crucial's latest SSD compare with the previous model?

iTWire recently reported the debut of Crucial's latest SSD, the MX500.

We received a review sample, and put it to the test in the same MacBook Pro used to try out the earlier MX300 SSD.

The box only contains the drive and a spacer, which is only needed with systems designed for drives that are 9.5mm rather than 7mm thick. If you are installing the SSD in a desktop computer that lacks 2.5in drive bays, a 2.5in to 3.5in converter bracket should also be on your shopping list.

If you're using the drive to upgrade a notebook or other system that only accommodates a single drive, you'll need a SATA-to-USB cable (or equivalent, such as a 2.5in drive case) to transfer (clone) the contents of the existing drive to the SSD. On the software side, Crucial provides a download link to a custom version of Acronis True Image for Windows users. The company also explains how to do the job using standard features of macOS, but we chose to use SuperDuper! as it makes the job simpler.

The tools you'll need to physically install the drive depend on the computer, but typically one or two screwdrivers will do the job. For example, we needed a 00 Phillips driver to remove the lower case of our MacBook Pro and to release the drive from its mounting, plus a T6 Torx driver to swap the mounting pins from the old drive to the new one.

Crucial provides general instructions for the installation process, with step-by-step guides for many Mac models. An Internet search will often reveal detailed instructions or a video demonstration of how to install a drive in a particular computer.

The MX500 is capable of sequential reads at up to 560MBps, and up to 510MBps for writes, according to Crucial. Using BlackMagic's Disk Speed Test utility, we recorded 511.7 MBps reads and 467.8MBps writes.

That compares favourably with the 473.5MBps and 411.7MBps that we saw in our test of the MX300, although the difference isn't really noticeable in everyday use. That said, if you still have a hard drive in your notebook you'll really appreciate the added performance delivered by an SSD.

The street price of the 1TB MX500 that we tested is around $400. You'll probably get change from $750 if you opt for the 2TB version, but that's still a fairly serious investment so we doubt many people would go for the larger drive "just in case" the extra space proved useful.

Moving in the other direction, the 500GB version is about $200, with the 250GB model completing the range at around $120.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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