Top positive review
Speed is Good, Silence is Golden
April 4, 2018
EDIT/UPDATE -- in browsing other reviews for this Crucial MX500, I noticed one that mentioned not getting an "activation code" for Acronis-- this was Crucial's prior system (download from Acronis directly, then use Crucial's code) -- CURRENTLY (April 2018) need to go to crucial(dotcom)/support/ssd and launch their Online SSD install guide -- at the second Stage (if I remember) there's a link to the Acronis Cloning software (you DO need to have your new Crucial SSD already plugged to USB) -- it will Install & Activate directly w/o a code, once it recognizes the Crucial SSD
ALSO -- another reviewer mentioned Acronis auto-rebooting to clone -- this (maybe) depends on your current partition scheme or particular hardware, or maybe on your OS & version. In my case (Windows 10 ver 1709), once I selected "Automatic" mode & set "Source" & "Target" then "Proceed" -- a toast popped up about "Locking Source disk . . " & next the Cloning progress bar opened right over the Windows Desktop (I was, of course, Locked Out from doing anything else -- but mine did Clone directly from Windows 10)
IMPORTANT (probably?) -- Crucial's guides do say to LEAVE YOUR NEWLY-CLONED SSD PLUGGED TO USB, UNTIL THE COMPUTER IS FULLY SHUTDOWN. When my Cloning completed & gave prompt to "Shutdown now," I wondered if Windows "Fast Start" would write another "hiber.fil" to disk -- so I opened Command Prompt (as Admin) & entered "shutdown.exe /s /f /t 0" -- then worried if that was a mistake (not in Crucial's instructions). I can report it did work though -- once I got the MX500 SSD installed & laptop back together, it booted fine first time, and no issues since. So the "shutdown.exe /s /f /t 0" command will work (though probably not necessary)
Just wanted to clarify some points ( & hopefully help) after seeing some who struggled finding/ Activating the Acronis software, or who described a different cloning process (maybe due to hardware/OS involved ?) As described below, I found the process fairly simple -- so long as you launch from Crucial's Online SSD Install guide (crucial(dotcom)/support/ssd -- then scroll down & find it)
This was my 3rd HDD to SSD upgrade for various family laptops (all Crucial brand, did two "MX300" about a year ago, this newer model "MX500" just now), & have to say -- Crucial, with the current Acronis download they provide SSD customers, have made disk-cloning absolutely simple. The last Acronis I had used still required creating a "USB Tools" stick, booting from that to clone, so Windows drive could be unmounted for the process -- This Current Acronis can successfully "lock" the internal drive, so you can clone right from the Windows Environment, to your new SSD plugged into USB (via SATA3/USB adapter cable or HDD-to-USB enclosure -- if you don't have one, will need to order w/ your SSD).
Actually, Crucial has made the entire "Drive Swap" aspect of the upgrade easy-peasy, between their Acronis partner software & detailed online guides. Big problem I have is the trend toward Fully-Internal batteries in today's slimmer-lighter notebooks -- prying one open without bumping the Power Button into an accidental half-open boot can be a sphincter-clenching experience. Once that battery is unplugged, swapping the fresh -cloned SSD into the caddy or bracketry & connecting SATA3 is simple -- then the issue of snapping the laptop all back together without pinching LCD/Touchscreen/WiFi Antenna cables is again tense (YouTube >> search your Model "disassembly" -- stiff plastic guitar-pick to pry -- PATIENCE & deep breaths).
The Upside -- speed/ less power/ less heat/ less weight/ Silence -- of SSD over HDD are true of all, or at least "known-brands" like Samsung/ SanDisk/ PNY/ Kingston, etc, as well as this "Crucial" (Micron) brand. May not want to trust your Data/ OS/ & entire boot-process to an "off-brand" for the sake of a few dollars (I wouldn't) -- but for the big names, your choice probably rests as much on your comfort-level with the Cloning Tools/ Guides/ Support offered by a particular brand as on price. Shop & compare similar tech (ie, 3D NAND) of similar generations, & be sure you are comparing "consumer grade" with "consumer grade" and "Pro" with "Pro" -- you'll likely find prices of similar size-class are within a few dollars, brand to brand. For myself, I'm 3 for 3 now with Crucial "MX-" series SSD's -- given my skill-level, I'm thrilled with Crucial !!
Couple of things, post-install . . . .
1. Windows 10 has "Drive Optimaztion" (de-frag) turned ON by default -- most sources say this is pointless on an SSD (no platter to spin or Read/Write head to move -- Solid State drives can access any cell, any time, at pretty much same speed), and *may* even be detrimental to an SSD. The firmware may scatter files & data for cell "wear-leveling," and we Don't want Windows clumping that back up. So tap "Start" begin typing "optimize" & click the top result "Defragment and Optimize Drives" -- when it opens, click to Highlight your "C:\\" drive in top box, click the "Advanced" button below, and UN-check "Run on a Schedule. . ."
2. For "typical" users, you should go back to Crucial's support/ssd website, download & install "Crucial Storage Executive." Once you have it open, click "Momentum Cache" & then "Enable." Pro-users have pointed out in other reviews (see "MX300 series" reviews) there are lighter, more efficient tools for managing an SSD -- if you're a Pro, you know what they are. For the rest of us, Crucial makes things simple with Storage Executive
3. My "MX500" SSD went in a Dell Inspiron 3169 (Core m3 - 6th gen) & this laptop has 4 GB DDR3L soldered on -- no SODIMM slots at all. I've noticed Q&A on some other laptops with a single SODIMM (factory 4 GB) ask about upgrading to 8GB -- if you have a laptop/notebook with only 4 GB and an HDD, I'd recommend the SSD upgrade FIRST. Extra RAM shows on Heavy-Multi-tasking or intensive video editing -- the SSD improves Performance on EVERYTHING, every day. Besides, the much faster Read/Write of an SSD vastly improves paging file access (Windows "Virtual Memory" or Linux "swap space") -- many "typical" users *might* find 4 GB RAM is enough, with SSD paging . . .