How could I possibly recommend spending more money on a slower drive than Plextor's esteemed M5 Pro, with 8 GB less capacity and a two-year-shorter warranty?
But although the M5 Pro has its advantages (and the same Marvell controller), Crucial's generation-old M500 counters with a more modern feature set that includes power-loss protection and TCG Opal 2.0 support. If you're using Windows 8 Pro or newer, the M500 allows Microsoft's BitLocker to encrypt the drive in hardware, rather than burning CPU cycles. This is arguably the finest way to keep a storage device secure.
Capacity (GB) :
Micron 20 nm, 128 Gb Die
2.5" 7 mm
DRAM Cache (MB) :
Power consumption (Active Idle) :
Power-loss protection, TCG Opal 2.0
Average Data Rate (MB/s) :
Sequential Read/Write (MB/s) :
Random Read/Write (4 KB IOps) :
Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB
120 GB of Turbo-Charged TLC NAND
If your decision comes down to Crucial's 120 GB M500 or Samsung's 120 GB 840 EVO, you might want to flip a coin. You get eDrive and TCG Opal 2.0 support from both, and their overall performance is similar.
Otherwise, Crucial enables NAND redundancy and power-loss protection, while Samsung enjoys better write performance and a more compelling software package. With Samsung's RAPID host-caching feature turned on, the 120 GB 840 EVO can rival some of the fastest SSDs on the market, justifying its higher price.
Adata partnered with Micron to deliver a platform similar to the M550, but branded by Adata as the SP920. Both the 128 and 256 GB models are a little slower than their M550 equivalents due to higher-density NAND. However, the 512 and 1024 GB versions are more comparable.
The biggest difference is a lack of eDrive and TCG Opal 2.0 support, which may affect your value equation. But Adata does include a 2.5"-to-3.5" adapter mount, its SSD Toolbox app, and a copy of Acronis True Image HD for cloning and backup.
The baby SP920 weighs in at just 128 GB. Composed of eight Micron 128 Gb die, less parallelism does negatively affect performance. As a result, write speed suffers. Even still, it's hard to go wrong with mainstream speed and a matching price tag.
We've seen Samsung's 840 Pro priced like a premium product in the past. But under $120, where it sits right now, the drive is easier to recommend.
Simply, this is the fastest MLC-based 128 GB SSD there is, and it outclasses several high-profile 240/256 GB models as well. Samsung’s proprietary controller, flash, DRAM, and firmware combine to create a potent improvement over 2011’s 830. Not that the 830 wasn’t fast. In fact, it was brutally proficient. The 840 Pro takes storage to the next level, though.
Through a recent update, the EVO now supports TCG Opal 2.0 / eDrive security features as well, putting it on par with Crucial's M500.