Crucial’s Momentum Cache: The True Performance Results

On my gaming machine I have a 512GB Crucial MX100 as my boot drive (great drive by the way, great price/quality/performance ratio). The other day I launched the Crucial Storage Executive software to check the health information of the drive (all good by the way) and I noticed that I had not enabled an option called Momentum Cache.

If you look at the download page for the Storage Executive software, you see that this feature could allow you to increase the drive boost performance up to 10 times. Can Momentun Cache really improve your drive performance by this much? Let’s find out.

If you read the whitepaper titled Enhancing Burst Performance on Micron and Crucial SSDs With Momentum Cache, you’ll see that this performance improvement becomes possible by using your system’s available RAM to cache drive writes. From the whitepaper linked above:

SSDs typically have higher read performance than write performance. This is especially apparent in lower-density drives containing smaller amounts of NAND die accessed in parallel. Momentum Cache addresses this inefficiency by caching nearly all writes being transferred to the SSD. The writes are transferred from the cache to the SSD during periods of lower drive activity, providing a buffer to spread intense workloads over time and enabling improved burst performance.

This feature uses 25% of your system RAM but cannot use more than 4 GBs in total. Also, RAM usage by this technology is increased or decreased based on your system memory usage, so you don’t have to be afraid to run out of available RAM when this feature is enabled.

So I decided to run a test with CrystalDiskMark before and after enabling Momentum Cache.

Crucial MX100 512 GB SSD performance before enabling Momentum Cache.

Crucial MX100 512 GB SSD performance before enabling Momentum Cache.

This is the default performance of the drive. As expected, very good read performance, good write performance even though not on par with more expensive SSDs like the ones in the Samsung Pro line.

At this point, I enabled Momentum Cache through Storage Executive and rebooted the system. After the reboot, I opened the Crucial software once again to check whether the feature had been enabled correctly.

Momentum Cache enabled in Crucial Storage Executive.

Momentum Cache enabled in Crucial Storage Executive.

So everything looked good. Only thing left to do was to run CrystalDiskMark again and check the new results.

cial MX100 512 GB SSD performance after enabling Momentum Cache.

Crucial MX100 512 GB SSD performance after enabling Momentum Cache.

Well, I must say that I am impressed: sequential read and write performance increased by about 4x to 5x, and 4K read performance increased almost 10x.

Update 04/02/2017: user Justin in the comments kindly shared another set of results and I asked him if I could add his screenshot to the post for comparison. The results are impressive:

These results come from a machine with a “5820k @ 4.625ghz and 16gb of ddr4 3000 ram”. Looking at how important RAM is for the Momentum Cache feature, you can see that having high-speed RAM can massively improve the performance of your drive.

So is it worth enabling Momentum Cache on your Crucial drive? I would say that the answer is definitely yes. Seeing how easy and painless it is to enable it, and looking at the performance improvements, I think this is a no brainer.


  1. Thanks for this informative, short and concise review of Momentum Cache. I just got 2 MX300 525GB SSDs and I’m going to run the same tests you did on your MX100. Thanks again!

    • Hey Doug, thanks for stopping by! I have been eyeing the MX300 for a while now, if you have some time it would be great if you could share some results ;)


    I did the same thing you did with my mx100. I have a 5820k @ 4.625ghz and 16gb of ddr4 3000 ram.

    • Hey Justin, thank you so much for sharing this! The results are definitely impressive, although probably not that surprising looking at how reliant Momentum Cache is on RAM.

      Do you mind if I updated the article adding your screenshot for comparison?

  3. Scientific experiment: Mac Sierra OS vs. Linux Ubuntu OS in VmPlayer

    Gear: Acer laptop, Windows 10 Creators 1703, MX300 750 gig Crucial SSD, 2 video cards (Intel & Nvidia Geforce), 12 gig memory, CPU Intel core i7. Both Vm’s were set to 4 gig memory & 4 processors.

    Did some Crystal Disk Mark tests. Average reads are 510 MB/s & write 480 MB/s. Enabled Crucial SSD momentum cache feature. New read is 3231 MB/s & write 2577 MB/s. Either way, Ubuntu VM boot up, beats Sierra VM boot up. But it’s still fast for both. Blink & it’s done.

    • Thanks for sharing Mark! Yep, those are pretty impressive results. Do you see similar speeds if you benchmark directly inside the Windows host?

  4. Yes. And while doing the read/write tests, I had another utility open “HWINFO64”. Clicked on sensors to monitor the host Acer’s CPU, memory, & SSD drive for: temperatures, voltage, clocking, memory payload, & SSD read/write payload. HWINFO64 readings were in agreement with Crystal Disk Mark results.

    • Addendum

      Prior to testing the Acer laptop, I had 8 gigs of ram. Windows 10 takes about 23% & crucial momentum cache was taking 25% of ram. NG. So I added a 4 gig module of Crucial DDRL memory for 12 gig total. It’s voltage is switchable @ 1.5v – 1.35V. So 2 legacy memory modules are operating at 1.5V & Crucial memory is operating at 1.35V. Any problems? NO! 12 gig, slot 0, 1 & 3. About 6 gig are free average all the time while Windows & Crucial Momentum do their thing.

  5. A bit late to the party, but would you use this without a UPS?

    • No, I wouldn’t. Crucial themselves don’t recommend it either:

      “An abrupt loss of power using Momentum Cache carries some risk of data loss and file corruption. To try to prevent this, in a laptop Momentum Cache will automatically disable itself when the battery level on a laptop has gone down to 25%. In a desktop, no comparable feature is present, so it is recommended you use an Uninterruptible Power Supply while you are using the Momentum Cache feature.”

      Found here:

  6. Oscar Aabech Jung

    December 20, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    Honestly and respectful – you are all wrong. Momentum cache is fine but you only have 4gb so if you have 400 GB on your ssd only 1% is cached! Obviously Momentum Cache is trying to guess smart and predict but saying you will feel your pc much faster is nonsense. I have yet to see opening word or excel or a game or launching windows is faster.
    That said I like the program and it also helps you update your firmware etc.

    • Hey Oscar!

      The point of caching is not to have a huge amount of additional memory available (mostly because, in the case of caching, this would be pretty expensive) but rather to have some storage with much higher performance than regular storage, and to use this additional storage space smartly, which is exactly what Momentum Cache does.

      Also, re-reading the post and all the comments, I don’t see it mentioned anywhere that you can feel the improvement in day-to-day usage. We are looking at synthetic benchmarks here, and from that point of view at least, Momentum Cache clearly delivers.

  7. Have tried Momentum Cache on a Crucial SSD and yes it works but question is for what cost? I have Windows 10 with “no” swap or pagefile because 16gb is more than enough to do so unless you’re working with unoptimized memory hungry applications and that’s far more faster having any swap at all. Coupled with a memory watcher (so you won’t hit Windows BlueScreen) it was working like a dream.

    Then installed and enable Momentum Cache and yes it’s usage of memory got disk operations faster but at the cost of half of 16gb, 8gb being used by Momentum alone. Its advertised at most 25% percent of your memory and frees up memory when other applications needs are just “Commercial Lies”. Even relogging didn’t solve the memory occupied.

    Only when I turned of Momentum Cache within Java app of Crucial then memory dropped to previous values even without relog or reboot. In short this is a compromise between usage of Pure Memory versus relying on SSD swap and speeding it up with Momentum Cache.

    I always use and advise Pure Memory (if can) because it is “once” load, fast always approach. Considering without Momentum read/write speeds of SSDs, this isn’t a problem. But if you use Windows handled Swap or Pagefile on SSD then you’re both shortening the SSD life despite Microsoft wants you to believe otherwise and had to rely on tools like Momentum Cache to find a in between speed of: Pure Memory > Momentum Cached SSD > Plain SSD speeds.

    So yes it works but no it can’t even touch application execution speeds reached by disabling both Momentum and PageFile all together. This is from a regular Windows user yet if you are running a server or run applications that rely on SSD a lot with constant reads and writes, then Momentum Cache can become feasible.

    • Then installed and enable Momentum Cache and yes it’s usage of memory got disk operations faster but at the cost of half of 16gb, 8gb being used by Momentum alone. Its advertised at most 25% percent of your memory and frees up memory when other applications needs are just “Commercial Lies”. Even relogging didn’t solve the memory occupied.

      Have you reported this to Crucial already? It sounds like it might be a bug, or if it isn’t, at least they could then update their online documentation.

    • This is what crucial documents say, “During intense application memory usage, Momentum Cache reduces its memory allocation to a minimum value of 256MB. If additional memory resources are required, Momentum Cache relinquishes all memory to the system. In this scenario, all data passes between the system and the SSD untouched by Momentum Cache.”

  8. Ok but only on boot drive, that`s all.

  9. Can you test momentum cache not on a bot drive, and publish a results?

    • Yep, I can do that. I don’t think I will be able to do it soon, but I can definitely do that when I get a chance.

  10. I had a Lenovo laptop which came with 1TB HDD as boot drive and 24GB SSD as Lenovo Express Cache:

    Today I bought a crucial SSD. If I wonder should I keep the express cache if I activate momentum cache?

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