Crucial 750GB Limited Edition MX300 SSD review: At last, a TLC drive with sufficient cache
This TLC NAND drive won't regularly let you down when writing large files.
- 30GB MLC-style cache
- Relatively cheap
- 750GB SSD
- NVMe drives still much faster
If you’re looking for a large-capacity SSD at the lowest possible price — and one that won’t regularly let you down with sub-par large-file write performance — the Limited Edition 750GB MX300 is the drive for you. That is, unless you find a great deal on an MLC drive.
Price$ 305.00 (AUD)
Well, dye my hair red and call me Harpo. A triple-level-cell (TLC) NAND-based SSD that I can recommend to users without a lot of caveats finally exists. That is, only if they can’t find a like-priced multi-level-cell (MLC) drive. (And only then.)
The drive in question? Crucial’s 750GB Limited Edition MX300, which retails for a mere $305. “Mere” in the SSD-world, at least. What’s different? This version of the MX300 actually has enough fast NAND cache to provide maximum performance during all the write operations a user will perform, not just the everyday ones. Almost all, anyway.
The 15nm Micron 3D (stacked) TLC NAND used in the Limited Edition 750GB MX300 performs roughly on par with Samsung’s and Toshiba’s. But in the case of this drive, Crucial decided to treat more of it (30GB!) as MLC: That is, writing only two bits instead of the three that TLC is capable of. Not writing that third bit both reduces the amount of data being written by a third and requires less voltage, making all the difference speed-wise: 30GB was more than enough to cover our 20GB copy tests, copying a 30GB Blu-ray rip, and a whole lot of other everyday tasks. Pretty much anything you’ll do will be covered by that 30GB, with the exception of the initial cloning operation that you’ll perform when replacing a hard drive or a similar large-scale operation.
Speaking of cloning, Crucial includes a voucher for Acronis’ True Image HD software to facilitate that operation. Given the low price of the drive, that’s a pretty generous perk.
Crucial sent us the 2.5-inch, 7mm version of the MX300, but an M.2 version will be available later in the year. Both will be SATA 6Gbps. The MX300’s controller is a Marvell 88SS1074, with some tweaking to the firmware by Crucial. I’m taking the vendor’s word for that—SSD vendors, including Crucial, are making it quite a bit more difficult to open up the case these days.
The drive comes with a five-year warranty that covers 120GB of writes per day, or about 220TBW (terabytes written). It features encryption, and is also said to write data in multiple locations for redundancy (a safeguard against failing cells or NAND chips).
As the 750GB version contains 30GB of cache, no drop-off happened between the AS SSD benchmark software’s 1GB test and 10GB test. That’s not a complaint. Using slower TLC with faster cache isn’t an unusable design; it’s just that other SSDs designed this way had cache sizes that were inadequate for large write operations. As I said up front, other than the original cloning of the drive, 30GB should generally cover everything you do.
In our 20GB copy tests shown below, the MX300 performed like MLC NAND-based drives, which sport faster flash memory that doesn’t need caching and doesn’t exhibit performance drop-offs—albeit a slightly slower one.
As seen above, it took a 50GB copy to finally show what happens when a write operation falls outside the 750GB Limited Edition MX300’s 30MB cache. The speed drops to about 275MBps, or roughly 10MBps slower than with the Samsung EVO 850, but it’s still on par with OCZ’s Trion 150 and Toshiba’s Q300 (non-Pro version).
If you’re looking for a large-capacity SSD at the lowest possible price—and one that won’t regularly let you down with sub-par large-file write performance—the Limited Edition 750GB MX300 is the drive for you. That is, unless you find a great deal on an MLC drive. That caveat bears repeating.
Note: This review applies only to the Limited Edition 750GB MX300. Other versions and/or capacities of the MX300 may not be so amply endowed with cache.
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Xbox One X
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- QNAP Releases QTS 4.3.4. Beta for x86-Based NAS
- QNAP ships world’s first Ryzen NAS, promising boosted Virtual Machine performance
- QNAP Rolls out Quad-core 4-bay TS-453BT3 Thunderbolt 3 NAS Tailored for Creative Professionals
- Synology Introduces New Data Storage Solutions for Home and Small Offices
- Western Digital moves on Oz consumers with new storage offering
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCLevel 1 Helpdesk TechnicianNSW
- FTEnterprise Solution ArchitectOther
- FTDevOps EngineerOther
- FTITSM Senior Business AnalystOther
- FTWireless Network Engineer - CCNA/CCNPOther
- TPSAP Migration Module LeadNSW
- CCRecruitment AdvisorNSW
- FTService Desk/Technical Support - Windows OS & MS Office SuiteOther
- TPTechnical WriterACT
- FTTest ManagerOther
- FTPlatform Engineer (Teradata/Datastage) - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCSEPM Security EngineerWA
- FTMid-level Drupal DeveloperQLD
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness/Data AnalystQLD
- TPProject Manager - Gold CoastQLD
- FTCyber Security Threat Management SpecialistOther
- FTJ2EE/JAVA DeveloperOther
- FTApplication Support Analyst (.NET, SQL. ORACLE, ITIL)Other
- FTO365 ConsultantOther
- FTApplication Consultant - SWIFTOther
- FTMid Level .Net DeveloperOther
- FTSecurity AnalystOther
- CCSenior Analyst ProgrammerVIC
- CCBusiness Intelligence Analysts (SAS, SAP UI5, or SQL) - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW