9. Final words
Our expectations for the Crucial MX300 Special Edition have been high, as it is the first consumer SSD based on Intel/Micron 3D TLC, which triples the density of existing planar TLC, leaving much space for price reductions.
Having already received a firmware upgrade due to problematic performance, the MX300 750GB left us with an overall impression that something still goes wrong, and that the drive is actually targeting target entry-level buyers. SInce it would be not wise to blame the NAND, what's left to see is the performance of the Marvell controller.
According to our benchmarks, the MX300's sequential read speeds are decent, close to the MX200's QD1 speeds and coming close to matching its QD4 speeds. However, generally the MX300 750GB falls behind other mainstream SSDs in random reads. We expected to see the quad-plane flash perform better than the planar flash on Crucial's older BX100 and MX200, but that wasn't the case.
In addition, the drive does not perform quite as well on the sequential write side - both the BX100 and MX200 write faster. It was fast in 4K random writes, with good write response times, although it posted read response times slower than most. Generally, the performance of the MX300 750GB lands in line with the MX200 500GB, although some tests exposed noticeable differences between the two drives' performance characteristics. At first glance, the MX300 appears to trail most of its competition, but it actually matches the completion time of several other drives in tasks that simulate real-world usage scenarios.In terms of features, there are a lot of them packed into the MX300 to increase its value. It has full hardware encryption that is compatible with Microsoft eDrive and many data integrity technologies with power-loss protection. The inclusion of the 7mm to 9.5mm spacer and Acronis True Image HD for those who will be cloning also helps to increase value to the prospective buyer. We also appreciate Crucial's Storage Executive features Momentum Cache, a DRAM cache algorithm that increases the performance and endurance of Crucial SSDs. The MX300 also has an endurance advantage over many of its low-cost competitors.
Micron's suggested price tag of $199.99 works out to $0.27 per gigabyte. That's almost the same with the $0.28 per gigabyte that the MX200 500GB is currently going for. However, some low-cost 1TB products already ship in this price range as well. You'll have to decide whether a performance trade-off for more capacity makes sense.
We look forward to seeing what other products with Micron’s 3D NAND will bring to the table in the near future. 3D NAND is the future and the Crucial MX 300 SSD is just a glimpse of what is yet to come. For now, the Limited Edition 750GB Crucial MX300 offers up a decent value for those in the market for a new high capacity SSD.