[Review] Kingston A400 and Crucial MX500 – Benchmark Comparison


In 2019, PCs and laptop manufacturer brands like Dell, Lenovo, ThinkPad, Acer have made sure to include SSD (Solid-state drive) as an OS drive. Kingston A400 and Crucial MX500 are two SSDs that have good performance in sequential and random read/write speeds.

The type of Flash memory in both of them is different. Kingston was released in first quarter of 2017 and Crucial in laster quarter of 2017. The price of a 250GB SSD for both of them is between $28 and $39 respectively.

You could get a smaller 120GB SSD with Kingston. The maximum capacity is 960GB. You can get both M.2.2280 and SATA 3 variants. Using Crucial you can get a minimum of 250GB and a maximum of 2TB SSD.

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Kingston A400 – Benchmarks

The 120GB Kingston A400 performs 10x times better than a common hard-drive.

  • Battlefield 1 maps load quickly in less tha 10 secs using this SSD drive.

Though it performs the best using a SATA III (6Gb/s) cable, it is reverse compatible with SATA II (2Gb/s) and SATA 1.5 (1.5Gb/s) motherboard slots.

The below image are benchmarks taken with CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 on a 64 bit OS, using SATA 2 slot.

Ideal for desktops and notebooks. It has a 7mm form factor to wider array of systems.

As you can see the expected read/write speeds are less than using a SATA 3 interface. The maximum speed of the SSD will be reduced when using SATA 1 AND II ports, due to lower speed limitations of the port.

The difference between HDD and SSD can be seen in the image below. The read/write speeds almost doubled, even with a SATA 2 interface slot.

  • The boot times have reduced to below 30s after using 120GB Kingston A400 SSD in 2017.

Because most of our computers are at least three years old, the hardware only supports SATA II, so we’re not seeing the huge improvement in speed that we might if we were going from HDDs to upper-limit SATA III speeds, but regardless, speeds have more than doubled in the four computers I’ve swapped these into so far, and users are seeing improvements, particularly in startup speeds for the computer (from more than 3 minutes down to 30 seconds) and for individual programs.

Source : Amazon.com

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The Kingston 240GB A400 SSD 2.5” SATA 7MM 2.5-Inch SA400S37/240G was benchmarked with CrystalDiskMark 6.0.2 x64 in April 2019 using SATA 6 gbps, and another with SATA 3 gbps.

The speed benchmarks almost doubled using 6 gbps version. You can get the maximum performance using this interface cable, as it is optimized for this kind of specification.

Using an i3 processor PC, the difference in benchmarks using HDD and SSD can be seen. The read/write 4KiB benchmarks have improved 30 times. The sequential read/write speeds were 2 to 3 times that of a hard disk.

Frequent Q&A with Kingston A400

  • It will work with Toshiba Satellite and is compatible with legacy SATA interface 2, 1.5 and 1 Gb/s.
  • It will work with older MacBooks of mid-2009 computers. But this will prevent from taking full advantage of A400 higher performance.
  • It does not come with any cloning software. You can use software like CloneZilla to move your OS from a HDD to SSD.
  • It would fit Toshiba Satellite 2 in 1 laptop, but the speed and transfer of data depends on the configuration.
  • It does not come with any screws or SATA cables. You have to use your previous HDD SATA cables or buy new ones.
  • It will help boot faster, reduce applications loading time, improve system responsiveness running and switching between multiple tasks, and prolong laptop battery power.
  • It will work with any motherboad having SATA connection.
  • It will fit HP 8000 Elite, Sony VAIO, Dell Inspiron n5040, 14 3442, etc kind of laptops as long as they have SATA ports.
  • It will run with all the games and makes your chrome browsing run smooth.
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Crucial MX500 – Benchmarks

The sequential reads/writes up to 560/510 MB/s and random reads/writes up to 95k/90k on all file types. Accelerated by Micron 3D NAND technology.

3D TLC NAND Technology

Flash memory is the type of memory used in SD cards, SSDs, smartphone etc. These work by using series of floating gate transistors which can be changed to “0” or “1”. These memory blocks are arranged in a 2D layout.

As technology improved, more memory blocks could be fit onto a single die. This increased the capacity of flash memory.

3D NAND technology stacks up memory cells in vertical layers to increase storage density. There will be 32 layers. This increases the amount of data that can be stored in one die. Also the interference between the cells is reduced. It can use both SLC (single level cell) and MLC (multi level cell) technology.

But the con with 3D NAND technology compared to 2D NAND is that it requires incredible level of precision to produce this hardware.

Frequent Q&A with Crucial MX500

  • It comes with Acronis True Image for Crucial to transfer important data from HDD to SSD. It has 5 year limited warranty.
  • It has a free 7mm to 9.5mm adapter with every Crucial MX 500 SSD. Download link to free cloning software is also provided.
  • It works with mid-2012 MacBook pros.
The sequential read/write speeds were around 560Mb/s with CrystalDisk Mark 6 without “Momentum Cache” enabled. Download Crucial Storage Executive and enable a feature called “Momentum Cache”. The benchmark speeds were around 3 Gb/s when this feature is enabled.
  • Copying large files from Crucial MX500 250GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD – CT250MX500SSD1(Z) to an NVME was giving blazing speeds of 2Gb/s in transfer speed.
  • The 2TB variant endurance rating was 700TB Total Bytes Written (TBW) equal to 383GB per day for 5 years. It will work with mid 2009 13 inch MacBook pro.
  • This disk being a 3D TLC, removes a hurdle to extended sequential write performance, by allowing more parallelization of the writes for large files once the buffer fills up.
  • The transfer rate from a RAID to this SSD was between 550Mb/s to 495Mb/s.
  • The random 4K performance is very good compared to HDD in the CrystalDiskMark benchmarks.
  • It also beats the SSD RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) array on the motherboard and and the SSD RAID Array on the LSI Megaraid server card.
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Conclusion

Both Kingston A400 and Crucial MX500 are released in the year 2017. So it has been only 2 years and both are available for below $50 for 250GB SSD. The speed benchmarks favor Crucial MX500 due to its new technology and cache features.

The sequential and random write speeds are much faster using Crucial MX500 compared to Kingston A400. The 4K Random Mixed IO and Sustained speed are 100% better than Kingston A400. Based on user rating, Crucial MX500 is more popular.

But the amount of market share Kingston A400 commends almost 4 times that of Crucial MX500. You can always buy a smaller SSD if you are on a budget. In the 240GB version also, it costs $10 less than Crucial MX500.

But it provides free cloning software and caching abilities with more robust speeds. In this context, if you are looking for speed, fast boot time, quick program responsiveness than I recommend using Crucial MX500.

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