PCMark 8 Real-World Software Performance
For details on our real-world software performance testing, please click here.
It's taken Crucial several years, but it looks like the MX300 is hot on the heels of the Samsung 850 EVO. The EVO's random read advantage keeps it at the top of the charts in many of the tests, but the MX300 is very close, and even matches the EVO, in several key applications.
Application Storage Bandwidth
In this chart, we average the results for each drive and present them as throughput. Both MX300 products move right behind the 850 EVO while outperforming the planar TLC-based products. Overall, 3D NAND dominates in real world applications.
PCMark 8 Advanced Workload Performance
To learn how we test advanced workload performance, please click here.
I expected a larger gap between the MX300 SSDs in these tests. The steady-state sequential test with mixed workloads showed more separation between SSDs, but during the PCMark 8 test, the two drives perform in lockstep most of the way. We focus mainly on the light workloads (the recovery phase) for consumer use. The heavy workload is only applicable to heavy-write environments.
Total Service Time
Again, we are only worried about the light workload portion of the test because consumer SSDs are built for general computing. In this test, the drives have a lot of data on the flash, so Crucial's Dynamic Write Acceleration allocation (the SLC cache) is fairly small. The service times are very low with the MX300, and it almost matches the Sk Hynix SL308 and Samsung 850 EVO.
Disk Busy Time
Crucial SSDs with 16nm planar NAND, either in MLC or TLC form, suffered from high disk busy time. The Crucial BX200 is a good example of the issue. The first MX300 we tested also had a similar response before Crucial tuned the firmware. The new MX300 SSDs ship with an even newer firmware than what we tested the Limited Edition 750GB with. The MX300 series gets a little better with each update, and it will get even better as capacity increases.
Notebook Battery Life
The new Micron 3D NAND consumes less power (at the die level) than Micron's planar 2D NAND. In our notebook battery life test, where power actually matters, both MX300 SSDs perform very well. This series outperforms the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB and comes very close to leading the high-capacity class in on-battery time measurements.
MobileMark 2014 places a greater emphasis on system performance under battery power. The scale of the test has stretched, so we see more distinction between products. The notebook restricts the CPU, system memory and bus speeds when it is on battery power. Some SSDs respond to the reduced speeds and various power states differently. Technologies like DEVSLP can ease power consumption, but the deeper the sleep, the longer it takes to resume from a low-power state. The MX300 SSDs hit their marks and resume from sleep gracefully on Windows 10 (pre-anniversary update).