Crucial’s newest BX100 SATA 3 SSD aims to be one of the cheapest SSD lines in the current entry-level marketplace. Entering the SSD business way back in 2009, Crucial has really started to hone in on the larger consumer base of SSD’s starting with the M550, the MX100, and now the BX100 series. The introduction of the new BX100 seems to be Crucial’s stab at making an even lower tiered value SSDs than the MX100. The trade-off, however, is that the BX100 is available in sizes up to 1TB.
The BX100 replaces the MX100 in the value market while accompanying the MX200 as a pseudo mid-range SSD with the 500GB and 1TB capacities. There may not be all the fancy enterprise features that come with the MX200, but the BX100 isn’t too far behind on read/write speeds. The two series are at different price points because there are differences that we will examine, however, that doesn’t diminish how much this entry-level SSD shines.
CRUCIAL BX100 SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
The Crucial BX100 comes in a 7mm 2.5″ form factor and is available in 120GB ($68.15), 250GB ($99.00), 500GB ($184.00), and 1TB ($374.99) capacities. Performance for all the capacities and form factors differs slightly for the sequential write speeds and IOPS read and write speeds. The sequential read speed for this series of SSDs is 535 MB/s, however, the 120GB drive has a write of 185 MB/s, the 250GB has a write of 370 MB/s, and the 500GB and 1TB SSDs have a write of 450 MB/s. The random read IOPS is 87k for the 120GB and 250GB and 90k for the 500GB and 1TB. The random write IOPS is 43k for the 120GB and 70k for the 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. The MTBF rating of the BX100 is 1.5 million hours and the endurance is rated for 72TB written.
There are a pretty standard list of features for this SSD which include thermal monitoring, data path protection, active garbage collection, TRIM support, Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), and Error Correction Code (ECC). The BX100’s feature list may seem short compared to the MX200 but remember that this is a value SSD series. In addition, the BX100 has a three-year warranty.
PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS
The packaging for the BX100 is very similar to its sister product the MX200. The front has a calm light blue background with a bright silver to bring your eyes to the product itself. The back lists what the package contains and shows a non-isometric view of the SSD.
Here we can see inside it comes with the BX100 covered by a static proof wrapper and a 7mm to 9.5mm spacer.
The BX100 has a light silver matte-finished metal case with a Crucial sticker one the front and is a clamp closed design. The clamp closed design is a newer locking mechanism of the case compared to the more traditional screw closure.
On the back there are the mounting holes and the information sticker which lists the product name, the model number, serial number, storage size, firmware revision, that it’s halogen free, and lastly that it was made in China.
In the above photo, we can see a thermal pad similar to the MX200 except that it rests on the controller instead of the PCB.
The PCB design is almost identical for both the 500GB and the 1TB SSDs. Both of the SSDs have eight Micron MLC NAND packages on the front, a Silicon Motion controller with custom firmware, and a Micron DRAM cache. Also, on the back of the board we see that for the 1TB SSD the PCB slots are filled and there is another DRAM chip.
Wait a minute!!!!! Crucial not using a Marvell controller in a SSD? I guess we know now how value is achieved through this design.
The BX100 has the ever popular Silicon Motion 4-channel SM2246EN SATA controller. This is the first time Crucial has used a different company’s controller since the V4 which they used a Phison PS3105 controller. The flash memory that is inside the BX100 is Micron’s along with a Micron DRAM cache chip on the front and a second on the backside of the 1TB SSD.
By using the Micron FBGA Decoder, we can identify the NAND flash as having the product number MT29F512G08CKCCBH7-10:C. It is 128G-bit 16nm synchronous MLC NAND flash memory with each module being 64GB in capacity. Although the total RAW capacities of these SSDs are 500GB and 1TB, usable storage space is 465GB and 931GB respectively.
Furthermore, we can identify the DRAM memory as having the product number MT41K256M16HA-125 M:E. The DRAM chips are 512MB of DDR3L-RS that’s rated at 800MHz.