It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
I noted recently on another thread that Crucial and Mushkin are the two SSD vendors that have done the most to push prices down on quality drives. Most SSD launches aren't terribly scintillating; the performance numbers basically don't matter past verification that the drive isn't terrible, and Crucial easily met that threshold three generations ago.
But I think this one is notable for several reasons:
1) It's the first SSD with 16 nm NAND flash. As compared to previous generation 20 nm chips, a back-of-the-envelope computation is that this takes only 64% of the die space for the same capacity--meaning that if wafer cost is the same, they can pack 56% more capacity into a given cost. There are a lot of process node reasons why the 64% figure could be off, and wafer cost on a new node probably isn't the same. Regardless, die shrinks are what drive prices down, and this is the first SSD on the new generation of process nodes.
2) The pricing is notably aggressive. New products often charge a premium price at first, and then the price settles down a ways. Here, Crucial is starting at an MSRP of $110 for 256 GB and $225 for 512 GB. That's competitive with the cheapest 240 and 480 GB drives on the market, respectively, and while offering the latest features.
3) The catch is--well, there isn't one, really. The drive fares well in AnandTech's performance consistency measurements that were the last benchmark to find performance problems with a lot of SSDs. Crucial claims idle power consumption of a mere 0.1 W. For a while, brand new SSD launches tended to have problems, but it's been a while since there was a major flop there.
It's worth noting that Crucial is the consumer brand name for Micron, which owns half of IMFT, one of the major NAND flash producers. That naturally gets them early access to NAND flash, which can help in writing firmware to use the new flash sooner. I sometimes think that Crucial pushes SSDs as a way to sell more NAND, and that the latter is what they're really interested in. Regardless of whether that is the case, the new MX100 is priced to sell an awful lot of NAND.
A lot of people seem to tout the Samsung 840 EVO as a budget SSD. The TLC NAND certainly puts it in that market, but the price tag really doesn't. For example, New Egg has a shell shocker deal on the 250 GB drive right now--at $135, or $25 more than the 256 GB Crucial MX100.