If you’re currently looking to update the hard disk on your computer, the easiest way to do this is by purchasing an SSD, also known as a Solid State Drive.
Replacing your hard disk with an SSD will make a world of difference; depending on the specifics of the SSD, you’ll find you can run downloads and open documents at a far quicker speed, and you’ll notice a general improvement to the overall performance and responsiveness of your computer.
A quality SSD is essential for anybody who is into gaming or 4K video editing but is useful for everyday, general computing too.
Due to the pace the technology industry moves at, choosing an SSD can be difficult, especially when you consider how companies are continually trying to develop new and better models.
That said, there are a few trust-worthy frontrunners in the SSD game that continue to remain some of the most highly-rated. These SSDs usually combine quality and performance with affordability to provide the full package to a range of gamers and computer users.
Two of the most highly-rated and longest-running SSDs are Crucial’s MX500 and Samsung’s 860 Evo. Today we’re going to compare these two SSDs to identify their similarities and differences, as well as assess their performance, endurance, and of course their value for money.
Is it the MX500 or the 860 Evo which offers the most bang for your buck? Keep reading to find out.
Available in 250 GB, 500 GB and 1, 2, and 4 TB
SATA 6 GB/s
NAND Flash Memory
Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC (TLC)
DRAM Cache Memory
512 MB, 1, 2, and 4 GB LPDD4
Reliable brand name
Decent size for current price
SATA technology is getting old now
The Crucial MX500 is by far one of the most highly rated on the market, and it’s available in a range of capacities up to 2TB. It also comes in two form factors, the M.2 and 2.5-inch variety, meaning it can accommodate pretty much any PC or laptop.
The MX500 is also Crucial’s first drive based on Micron’s 64-layer 3D TLC NAND and is designed to combine quality and speed, with sequential reads/writes up to 560/510 MB/s and random reads/writes up to 95k/90k on all file types.
You can also have peace of mind when using the MX500 as your data is protected by AES 256 bit hardware.
Similar to the MX500, the Samsung 860 Evo is equally well-rated and renowned. It comes in a variety of form factors and is available in an extensive range of capacities, from 250 GB to 4 TB.
Powered by Samsung’s V-Nand technology, the 860 Evo is used by a variety of users who trust it for anything from everyday computing to rendering large 4K videos and 3D data.
The 860 Evo features Samsung’s intelligent TurboWrite technology, to achieve sequential read speeds up to 550 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 520 MB/s. Like the MX500, it guarantees to keep your data secure thanks to the Aes 256-bit hardware-based encryption.
In order to get a better picture of these two SSDs, we’ve lined them up alongside each other so you can take a good look at their specs:
Both the MX500 and 860 Evo come in the classic 2.5 form factor or the M.2 ‘gum stick’ variety, but the 860 Evo series also offers an mSATA design. Both of these SSDs are designed for versatility, so it’s highly unlikely they won’t fit your computer.
They also feature the same SATA 6.0 GB/s interface, also known as SATA III – SATA’s third-generation interface which runs at 6Gb/s and has a bandwidth throughput of 600MB/s.
So in terms of form factor and interface, the MX500 and 860 Evo are pretty similar, although the 860 offers three form factors rather than two, making it slightly more versatile.
Capacity is of course an important consideration when choosing an SSD, as this determines how much data you can store on the drive, and it also influences the endurance rating of the SSD – ie. how much data it can hold in its lifetime.
If you have a good look at the product specifications of each of these SSDs, you’ll notice that they both come in a range of capacities. The MX500 comes in a choice of 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2TB, but the 860 Evo just has the edge here, as it offers these capacities as well as a capacity option of 4TB, which has an impressive endurance rating of 2,400 TBW.
The capacity you opt for is entirely up to you, however, it’s worth also considering which will best facilitate your storage and computing needs.
For most users, 500 GB – 1TB will more than suffice. For general administration or web browsing a 250 GB capacity will likely facilitate your storage needs, however, high-end gamers or those processing 4K videos or 3D graphics may want to opt for 2TB or more.
This is where things get interesting; how do these SSDs compare in terms of performance? Well, the ratings on these two SSDs, and the fact that they’ve been frontrunners in the tech world for so long, indicates that both series offer excellent speed and responsiveness.
|Sequential Read/Write||560 MB/s / 510 MB/s||550 MB/s / 520 MB/s|
|Random Read/Write||95,000 IOPS/ 90,000 IOPS||97,000 IOPS/ 88,000 IOPS|
The MX500 offers a read and write speed of 560 MB/s and 510 MB/s respectively; while the 860 Evo comes pretty close with a slightly lower read of 550 MB/s and a slightly higher write of 520 MB/s.
The random read/write speeds of these two SSDs are equally close. The Crucial MX500 has a random read of 95,000 IOPS and a random write of 90,000 IOPS, compared to the 860 Evo’s random read of 97,000 IOPS and random write of 88,000 IOPS.
As you can see, the speed these two SSDs read and write data at are extremely close, and both can handle multiple operations simultaneously with ease. The reality is that the average user won’t notice too much difference between the two.
Crucial promises that the MX500 will provide you with a “faster, cooler, and quieter computer” thanks to its adaptable pool of high-speed flash memory to generate blistering speeds. We also love Crucial’s integrated power loss immunity, which preserves all your saved work if the power unexpectedly cuts out, giving you that added reassurance.
On the other hand, Samsung suggests that the 860 Evo’s V-Nand Technology will transform your computer’s performance, not only for everyday computing but for rendering large-sized 4K videos and 3D data – making it a popular choice among entry-level and high-end gamers alike.
The 860 also offers consistent speeds, even under heavy workloads, thanks to the TurobWrite technology, and it handles multiple applications with ease. It’s also worth noting that Samsung has upgraded its TurboWrite buffer size from 12GB to 78GB with the 860 series, so you’re guaranteed maximum efficiency.
It’s tough to narrow it down in terms of performance, and whether you select the 860 Evo or Crucial MX500, you’re guaranteed to enhance the response time of your computer.
How well an SSD works also largely depends on the software the manufacturer provides so that you can manage the drive.
Samsung’s Magician software is an easy, user-friendly interface designed to help you manage your SSD. It offers a range of features to help you keep track of your storage, such as updates to let you know when the latest firmware has been released to enhance your SSD’s performance, stability, and compatibility.
It also allows you to access your SSD’s sequential and random read and write speeds so that you can ensure your SSD is performing efficiently. Lastly, it offers AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption to keep your data secure from hackers and thieves.
Crucial’s MX500 is managed via Crucial’s Storage Executive, which is a free downloadable tool that allows you to speed up and monitor your SSD. Storage Executive allows you to see how much storage (GB) you’ve used, download the latest firmware updates, monitor your drive’s temperature, and activate the Momentum Cache feature, which makes many SSD operations up to 10x faster.
The general rule of thumb is that the larger your SSD capacity, the higher the endurance rating.
As you can see below, the Samsung 860 Evo has the advantage in terms of endurance, offering a minimal endurance rating of 150 TBW in the 250 GB version of the 860 Evo, and an amazing 2,400 TBW in the 4TB capacity.
|Samsung 860 Evo|
|100 TBW (250GB) – 700 TBW (2TB)|| |
150 TBW (250GB) – 2,400 TBW (4TB)
The Crucial MX500 still boasts good endurance, but it’s a little behind the 860 Evo, offering 100 TBW in the 250 GB capacity, and 700 TBW in the 2TB version.
Both the MX500 and 860 Evo are covered by a 5-year limited warranty, so you can expect whichever SSD you go for to last for a significant amount of time.
This is one of the most important factors, as the cost of the SSD tells us how much bang you get for your buck.
The MX500 and 860 Evo are extremely close in terms of price, and obviously, prices decrease or increase depending on the capacity you select.
Crucial offers the most affordable option for the MX500 250 GB capacity, whereas the Evo 860 4TB model is the most expensive capacity, but then again, you are getting an extreme amount of storage with that price.
We have to admit, the competition is extremely close in the case of the MX500 and 860 Evo.
In terms of form factor and capacity, the 860 Evo offers slightly more choice, which makes it suitable for almost any PC or laptop.
Both SSDs perform extremely well and are close in terms of sequential and random reads and writes, and the average consumer will barely notice a difference between the two in terms of responsiveness or speed – either SSD will give your computer a significant boost.
The Samsung 860 Evo did prove to have a higher endurance rating, though this isn’t too surprising considering it also offers a higher maximum capacity. However, even on the 250 MB version, the 860 Evo trumps the MX500 boasting an endurance rating of 150 TBW.
Both the MX500 and 860 Evo are covered by a 5-year limited warranty, so you’re certainly covered for a good few years regardless of which model you choose. Both also come with a user-friendly firmware to keep your SSD performing optimally, monitor your capacity, and to keep your data safe with the AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption.
With this in mind, we’d say that either of these SSDs offers great bang for your buck. The MX500 is perfect for everyday computing or entry-level gamers, while the Samsung 860 Evo offers excellent endurance and a great range of capacities, with a larger capacity to cater to high-end gamers and 4K video editing.