Micron; Crucial’s parent company, is the second to market with 3D NAND flash in a consumer SSD, which it developed with Intel. Samsung was the first, and uses its own implementation for the 850 Pro range. This Crucial product is shipping as a ‘Limited Edition’ SSD, because as Micron ramps up 3D NAND production it intends to diversify the range of products it’s used with to include M.2 SSDs along with SATA SSDs of different capacity. Indeed, the 750GB capacity we see here is an unusual size, and comes from the size of each memory chip multiplied by this desired sweet spot.
This is a mid-range performance and budget-priced drive, and the price is phenomenal. At around $300 on the street, it equates to a remarkable .39c per GB, which is a new low for PCTA-reviewed SSDs. Performance isn’t compromised, Crucial state a top throughput of 530MB/s sequential read, and 510MB/s sequential write. We didn’t quite get there in testing, recording a still respectable 481MB/s read and 451MB/s write, on a new i5 6600K Z170 system with a fresh Windows 10 install.
You will want to be careful not to fill this drive to capacity as performance can slow if there isn’t enough ‘spare’ space on the drive to be used as a cache. For similar reasons it’s not a drive to use in a server, but for home use the performance is fine. Interestingly, 3D NAND has impressively low power consumption, with the MX300 needing a mere 0.075w, making it a smart choice for laptop use.
With most budget SSDs now using (usually) slower TLC chips, having a competitively priced 3D NAND product available makes it a choice to consider. The large capacity makes it very appealing as an app or games drive added to existing systems that may have a smaller OS SSD.
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