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Crucial MX300 SSD review: Affordable, efficient and fast

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The Good The Crucial MX300 SSD is competitively priced and delivers fast performance. The solid-state drive uses efficient 3D flash memory and provides strong security with hardware encryption.

The Bad The drive has a short three-year warranty and trails behind its main competitor, the more expensive Samsung 850 Evo, in performance and features.

The Bottom Line If you're looking to upgrade your computer's hard drive, the new Crucial MX300 is a speedy and affordable choice.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

If my review of the first solid-state drive with 3D flash memory, the well-balanced Samsung SSD 850 Evo, piqued your interest, you'll be happy to know there's a new player in town: the all-new MX300 drive from Crucial.

The MX300 is the second solid-state drive to use 3D flash memory, as opposed to the traditional, planar 2D flash memory. If you think of each memory cell as a person, then 3D is to 2D flash memory as high rises are to single-family homes. You can house a lot more people with the former, on the same patch of land.

CNET Labs SSD copy tests

Samsung SSD 850 Evo
182.78
214.45
205.63
Samsung SSD 750 Evo
180
246.45
203.67
Crucial MX300
178.34
245.67
199.32
Toshiba Q300
165.67
355.6
202.7
OCZ ACR 100
163.53
289.39
385.71
OCZ Trion 100
124.19
185.35
352.32

Legend:

As OS drive (read and write)
As secondary drive (write only)
As secondary drive (read only)

Note:

Measured in megabytes per second. Longer bars mean better performance.

The Crucial drive is quite different from Samsung's, however. For one thing, the MX300 is available in fewer capacities -- 275GB, 525GB, 750GB, 1TB and 2TB -- whereas the 850 Evo can be had from 120GB all the way up to 4TB. (Originally, when first released, the MX300 was available in a single capacity of 750GB.)

Ironically, the Crucial drive is also missing a few crucial features, most notably the ability to customize overprovisioning (a predetermined amount of storage space that's put aside to better the drive's efficiency) and to boost speed by using a host computer's system memory as cache. Both perks are available on the Samsung. For this reason, in testing, the MX300, though faster than many budget SSDs and significantly faster than any hard drive, was clearly slower than the SSD 850 Evo.

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