back to article Crucial MX100 256GB SSD: Cut-throat competition in flash land

Micron subsidiary Crucial has caused huge waves in the consumer SSD market with its low-cost M500 drive range – and then gave its competitors further aggravation with its M550 series refresh this year. It’s only been about three months since the M550 launch but Crucial is back with a new range of drives to cause further mayhem, …

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Bronze badge

Hmmmm I think .....

...... its time to clear down my system partition and do a little drive cloning.

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Re: Hmmmm I think .....

If you're talking laptop, you could consider slaving your (presumably) HDD into this

IcyBox IB-AC642

sticking your ODD in the caddy and installing your OS afresh on the SSD

(and then do some tidying)

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Re: Hmmmm I think .....

@bi66er You read my mind... :)

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Re: Hmmmm I think .....

Nope, tis a desktop. The need to do a fresh install was done away with Win 7, day 1 release install and still performs very well, just the spinning rust that's holding it back.

As for the transfer, a nice case and mobo means I have plenty of SATA connections and drive bays to keep it all neat and tidy :)

For laptops I use Ghost as over the years it has saved me a lot of work, boot from USB, throw the image onto the NAS and its ready to go with the new drive. Found it handy for drives on the verge of dying too.

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Ebuyer price

I guess this is why Ebuyer are discounting the M500 480GB to £170.

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Anonymous Coward

They've been discounting the M500 480GB to ~170 on and off for a while now, I bought one a few months ago. Nice drive, well worth the money.

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Anonymous Coward

good drives

I use 2 M500 960Gb Drives on my Laptop.

Now when I use a system with a HDD it seems to crawl along like a snail.

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Silver badge

It's not all about top end speed really.

For general use as long as they are pushing over 150MBps with 0.1ms access times I find its perfectly usable.

All in the access times really.

I picked up some prevous but one gen 40GB Intel SSDs for £19 each a few weeks ago. They work a treat for an old laptop upgrade. Still leaves around 18GB free after all the OS and software goes on.

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Silver badge
Linux

Re: It's not all about top end speed really.

Except 150MB/s is no faster than spinning rust. You want to back this up, right? Perhaps you want to install something or copy things too and fro every once and awhile.

It sounds like you have no advantage here when it comes to bulk storage.

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Headmaster

Re: JED

As stated, it's all in the access times. You don't hit 150MB/s on all but the fastest spinning rust, and only then when transferring large, contiguous files. Try that with small files and or fragmented data, on a consumer level drive, and you're now down in the low single digits. An SSD will blaze through large file transfers but it's when it's dealing with thousands of small bits of information in different places all at the same time that the real difference is found.

Also, while we're at it, it's "once in a while".

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It may not be top speed, but at that price/size ratio it's in a good position to get sold to some people who are still using HDDs, and for most common uses any SSD is going to feel vastly faster than nearly any HDD, simply because of no seek time.

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Happy

I am amazed.

I have not used any of Crucial's kit and cannot say anything about the quality but the prices are astonishing. SSD prices (per gig) appear to going through the floor in comparison to the painful not to say eye-watering reality of only a year or two ago.

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Re: I am amazed.

I'd like to like these drives, but I bought a M500 480gb that took ages to recognise in bios and then windows refused to install to it in a brand new mobile workstation. Sent it back, confirmed faulty, they sent a replacement, same issue and 5 wasted weeks later I'm using a 1tb Samsung evo now and it was fine from the go. Not confident to touch crucial again after this tho obviously a bad batch.

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@kokoro " Not confident to touch crucial again after this tho obviously a bad batch."

Good to know, that possibility was of course why I expressed myself cautiously with regard to quality. It is a major league PTA even when the company concerned behaves properly (replaces, refunds or whatever) because of the disruption/delay that kind of crap causes. Personally I have owned/used three Intel SSDs so far and am pleased with the quality if not impressed by the price! I have also heard good things from friends/workmates regarding Samsung's offerings.

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Bronze badge

@ OP on price per GB

For price per Gig, (based on ebuyer prices, not the articles):

128GB drive = 42p per GB

256GB drive = 29p per GB

512GB drive = 30p per GB

I've been monitoring SSD cost per GB for a couple of years on and off, and ignoring the 42p one, those other two are the cheapest per GB I've seen so far from ebuyer, and that includes special offers etc.

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Anonymous Coward

As an entry level drive the 120gb is ok, but honestly i would rather spend another £10 and get a Samsung evo with a much faster write speed.

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Silver badge

£54 for a 120GB Evo, on Amazon, at the moment.

Eagerly awaiting the delivery of mine. Samsung, Crucial, Kingston, and Sandisk are much of a muchness, pricewise, right now.

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Anonymous Coward

Crucial...

I will never buy another Crucial SSD so long as my 4rse points downwards.

Just got rid of my dreadful Crucial V4 64GB SSD which at first performed reasonably well, but then degraded after a few months, to the point installing anything on it (Windows Update being the killer) brought the system to a grinding halt. Firmware updates did not fix it, neither did a reinstall.

Actual Read and Write wasn't bad - in fact copying to and from wasn't really an issue. It was the performance of an OS on it.

Edit - yes, and it was price that attracted me to buy a Crucial SSD. I learnt my lesson, spent a little extra this time (Samsung Evo) and all is well again.

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Sold!

Bought one of these (the 256GB) for my home server last week, as the power-failure and thermal protection features (which I don't think the Samsungs have?) sounded appealing on top of the competitive price. I've had an M4 128GB in my desktop for some time with no problems, so I'm happy enough with brand.

For general purpose desktop and notebook use I'm not convinced of the need for larger SSDs (500GB+), other than perhaps bragging rights? Surely a majority of the data is going to be static and quite probably rarely read, a task for which any modern HD will be more than sufficient.

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Bronze badge
Linux

Re: Sold!

Waving around a Big Disk:

I'm a system admin. I have anywhere from 3 to 6 vms running on my work laptop. A 1TB SSD is a handy place to put the virtual disks. And improves the HELL out of the performance of said vms.

I test clustering and (now) hadoop instance changes on these. Before we go to dev or qa. SInce I have to write out the instructions for the guys that drive the prod environment. Who happen to live in a universe far, far away. And have trouble if the possibility of an error isn't documented. And have trouble if the possibility fo an error IS documented. And......

Awww heck, can you tell I'm cutting changes?

Looks cool as drives go, but too small for me.

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Silver badge

Re: Sold!

I'm a system admin. I have anywhere from 3 to 6 vms running on my work laptop. A 1TB SSD is a handy place to put the virtual disks. And improves the HELL out of the performance of said vms.

Similar situation here… although for me, speed isn't the issue, I need space. I've been known to fill up a 500GB HDD, so my last laptop got upgraded to a 1TB HDD pretty much from day one.

I'd have considered a SSD except most were hideously expensive once you went over 250GB at the time.

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NAS pricing

That's almost cheap enough to get a pile to run as a NAS.

After all, at home I want large amounts of data avaialble quickly, but low iops and sequential reads only need to saturate a 100Mb/s ethernet link (maybe 2).

Just give me my big, slow, power supping, ssd already?

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meanwhile...

Meanwhile we'll still hear apologists for Apple and Microsoft explain why we only need a pathetic amount of storage on our devices or if we really do need more we should be grateful to be allowed to buy at >4x cost markup.

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Re: meanwhile...

Not exactly a Microsoft fan here, but what does the cost of a fitted HD/SSD have to do with them? They sell software licences, not PCs.

Now the OEMs, that's a different matter (and that includes Apple of course).

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Re: meanwhile...

Have you seen the price of a 512Gb Surface Pro? Apple territory.

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Bronze badge

Speed and more speed.

The problem with a fast SSD is that you can only run it at the speed of the interface. If you have a SATA interface it runs at 1.5 Gb/s. This is true whether SSD or hard drive. A lot of laptops only run SATA not SATA II which runs a 3.0 Gb/s. So check your machine if you want more speed.

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Silver badge
Happy

Re: Speed and more speed.

Kind of a moot point really.

I've installed SSDs in all sorts of old SATA 1 based laptops and they work a treat. As I said before it doesnt really matter if they are only able to push 150-190MBps, the access times really make up the difference. So much so for general day to day use its not that easy to tell the difference between 190MBps and 350MBps.

Plus watching a 8 year old laptop boot up in 15 seconds is still pretty cool compared to that 120GB 4200rpm piece of junk it had previously. That was maybe pushing 45MBps on the outer rim with 15ms access times.

Plus chances are the dear old laptop will pack up in a year or two anyway so the SSD can find use somewhere else afterwards.

Buy with confidence.

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Re: Speed and more speed.

"Plus watching a 8 year old laptop boot up in 15 seconds is still pretty cool "

I second that. I purchased a laptop donated to Good Will Industries (which only has licenses for Vista or XP ). The fresh install of Vista was ghosted onto a 128Gb SSD, and has been the fastest and most stable OS of all any Windows machine I've owned.

At the time of purchase that SSD was about $1 (US) a Gb, so now I am thinking of re-Ghosting the original hard drive onto a larger SSD.

Please, no criticism of Vista . I am not a power user; my occasional web surf, Netflix, and Office-use work just fine.

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I put a Crucial M4 series SSD into my Slackware 14/Win7 laptop over a year ago and it's been running really well the whole time. No complaints and no drive related problems at all. This MX100 article has got me thinking it's time to upgrade my desktop's drive too.

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Installed several of these

I've installed several of these for clients recently. They've been very happy with the combination of price and performance. Unfortunately, I justify the cost upgrading one of my own laptops yet. They feel so painfully slow now but I just don't use them often enough to allocate the funds.

The strange thing is that all of my clients wanting new PCs of course want them to have SSDs for boot and app drives but pretty ever brand I've checked either doesn't offer it or only offers SSD as an option on high end expensive systems that my client have no interest in buying. They aren't gamers. They want their tax and accounting software to load fast.

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Anonymous Coward

Write life of 16nm MLC?

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