Wrap Up: The New Price/Performance King
Crucial intended for the MX100 to be today's most affordable SSD and given its pricing the company has certainly achieved that -- no testing required. The 256GB model is a phenomenal buy at just $110, while the 512GB model will no doubt tempt many at $225.
The 128GB drive is well positioned at $80, though I find that model less appealing, in part because I no longer find 128GB to be enough for my boot drive. Between that and the huge hit in write performance, the 128GB model seems like it's worth skipping.
The attractive pricing wouldn't matter much if the drives were slow, and while the MX100 won't set any new speed records, it proved very fast across tests -- particularly in application performance, one of several similarities we saw with Plextor's M6 SSDs. The MX100's file copy results were mostly average despite stellar application performance, just like the M6s, and both ranges seem to retain their original performance well after they are full. Both the Plextor M6 and Crucial MX100 use Marvell controllers.
Our favorite SSDs currently include the Samsung SSD 840 Pro and SanDisk Extreme II. Both cost around $400 for 512GB. This means the Samsung and SanDisk models are 80% more expensive and they surely aren't 80% faster -- try around 20% in our copy tests for the 840 Pro 512GB, which was actually slower than the MX100 512GB by 3% in our application tests. At the end of the day, the MX100's performance was excellent, especially for a budget SSD.
As of writing, you can purchase a 256GB Crucial MX100 for the same price of many ~128GB SSDs including the OCZ Vertex 460, Plextor M6S, Intel SSD 530, Samsung SSD 840 Evo, SanDisk Extreme II and the list just goes on.
The MX100 seems unstoppable as nothing comes close to matching its value. If you've been meaning to see what SSDs are all about, we can't think of a better way to do it.
Pros: Enthusiast SSDs by Samsung and others cost around 80% more, yet the MX100 delivers similar performance.
Cons: Well, it's still not as cheap as an HDD but you may have chosen the wrong hobby if $110 is too much to ask for a 256GB SSD.