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The great value Crucial MX500 SSD is going cheap in the UK today

1TB for £66 or 2TB for £138 sounds pretty good to us.

The Crucial MX500 SATA SSD is going cheap in the UK this week, as Amazon have discounted the 1TB model to £66 while CCL are selling the 2TB size for £138. Both are the cheapest we've ever seen the MX500, making it a great time to upgrade your desktop or laptop with a reliable SSD.

The MX500 doesn't appear on the RPS list of the best SSDs for gaming, with the sagely James preferring the faster but slightly more expensive Samsung 870 Evo, but over at Digital Foundry we've recommended it for some time due to its reliability, performance and value.

So why do we rate it? Well, the MX500 has a DRAM cache and uses TLC NAND, so it avoids the two most common cost-saving methods that tend to have a deleterious effect on sustained performance. That makes the MX500 suitable for use as an OS drive, as well as a cheaper option for game and media storage than an NVMe SSD. With sequential read and write speeds of 560MB/s and 510MB/s, respectively, the MX500 is right at the limits of the SATA interface.

Beyond the specs, Crucial has a long history of producing good, reliable drives, and the MX500 is no exception. I've had one running in my GPU test rig for some time as additional storage, and I've never had any issues - presumably, the 50 thousand people on Amazon that have left a review also had a good impression of the drive, given its 96% average review score.

For most uses, I'd say that SATA drives are excellent, but I do think it's worth having an NVMe drive in your system for two reasons: DirectStorage future-proofing and content creation workloads. For the first, DirectStorage is an upcoming standard that allows graphics cards to load data into memory directly, bypassing the CPU to cut down load times and improve CPU performance. It's compatible with NVMe drives only, so make sure you have at least one in your system for your OS - then you can use SATA drives like the MX500 here for any additional storage you want to add. For the second point, if you're moving around really big files, like Ultra HD video, then having NVMe can really help cut down transfer times. Beyond this though, SATA gives you the same low access times as NVMe SSDs and most of the random performance, so if you can save a bit by going SATA, it's not a terrible idea.

If you have any storage questions, leave them below; otherwise, I'll see you for another deal very soon!

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Will Judd avatar

Will Judd


Will Judd is a journeyman from the forges of Digital Foundry, here to spread the good word about hardware deals and StarCraft.

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