Crucial BX200 SSD Review (480GB/960GB)

Crucial has always been quite aggressive with their value driven strategy in the SSD market and it has resulted in success for many of their products. This has led to their most recent product launches of the MX200 and the introduction of a new entry-level product line earlier this year with the BX100. The BX100 was set out to be a revised step into this market. After initial failure with the Crucial V4 line, they knew they had to improve big time if they were going to try again. This time around, it was a success. By contracting with Silicon Motion, Crucial was able to release a reliable and great performing entry-level product.

Nearly a year later, things are getting tougher and there is still much more market potential. Even though SSDs are getting much cheaper, many still haven’t switched over to even entry-level SSDs due to their cost/GB ratio compared to HDDs. As you may have noticed, companies seeing this issue are working hard on entry-level products in order to get everyone up to speed as soon as possible, including Crucial. So, through the use of Silicon Motion’s latest controller, the SM2256, and 16nm Micron TLC NAND, today we see their latest response to the market, the Crucial BX200.

Crucial BX200 Main

The BX200 sounds strikingly similar to that of the 240GB ADATA SP550 we recently reviewed, which utilizes the same controller, but instead of Micron’s TLC, SK Hynix’s TLC. To an avid reader here, this may come to you as a disappointment however. To others, we will explain why. In the SP550’s case, continuous write performance was not impressive past a few GBs. Beyond the small SLC buffer, speeds have dropped down to below 100MB/s in sequential performance, even as far as just 48MB/s. Similarly, many other TLC based SSDs face the same issue. Once a workload runs past a few GB we start to see TLC’s major flaws in the result of much lower performance. Therefore, today’s analysis of the BX200 is going to be interesting, especially once we throw some real world file transfers at it. Will the Crucial’s first TLC SSD have what it takes to stand out from the entry-level competition like the BX100 once did or will it just be another cheap, low performance option among the rising many in this TLC SSD category? Continue on and let’s find out!

SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY

The BX200 is a SATA 6Gb/s 2.5″ 7mm form factor SSD. If you need anything in a M.2 or MSATA form factor, look elsewhere. Also, Crucial has decided to drop the 120GB capacity option, the BX200 is only available in capacities of 240GB ($84.99), 480GB ($149.99), and 960GB ($299.99). The BX200’s read performance is rated for up to 540MB/s while write performance is rated for up to 490MB/s thanks to SLC Write Acceleration. Random IOPS are rated for up to 66K/78K read/write. In terms of endurance it is rated for up to 72TBW with a 3 year warranty. There is also power loss protection for data-at-rest, thermal monitoring, and DevSleep support.

Crucial Storage Executive 3.24

Also included is access to Crucial’s SSD toolbox, Crucial Storage Executive. It gives you information about your drive, options to update the firmware, Secure erase, enable Momentum Cache, and newly added with this revision (3.24) you even manually adjust over provisioning within the software to help improve performance and endurance.

PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS

The BX200’s packaging is similar to their previous iterations. There is a picture of the drive on the front with the capacity located in the bottom right via a sticker and on the backside there is a list of what is included.

Crucial BX200 Packaging Crucial BX200 Front & Back

Looking at the drive itself, it looks identical to the BX100. It has a matte silver finish and the model information such as serial number, storage size, firmware revision, etc., are on the back.

Crucial BX200 Accessories Crucial BX200 Dissassembled

Inside we can see the drive is packaged in an anti-static bag and comes with two accessories. One being a 7mm to 9mm spacer and the other, a free copy of Acronis True Image HD for cloning over your existing OS drive if need be.

Disassembling the drives we can see that Crucial has used a clamp closed case in order to keep costs lower by not needing screws during assembly. Also, unlike some other SSDs we have tested, Crucial does include a thermal pad to help dissipate controller heat in to the drive casing.

A CLOSER LOOK INSIDE

Overall, the SSD’s design is fairly standard. There are a single SSD controller, places for up to 2 DRAM packages and up to 16 NAND packages on the full sized PCB. As you can see below, the 480GB model on the left utilizes a single DRAM package and 8 NAND packages while the 960GB model on the right doubles those.

Crucial BX200 PCB Front Crucial BX200 PCB Back

Again, the controller used in this drive is the Silicon Motion 2256. We did a dedicated engineering preview of the controller back in February, so if you are interested in learning more, please go take a look here. This controller is a bit more advanced as it has low-density parity checking (LDPC) error correction code, which is what you usually end up needing when using TLC.

Crucial BX200 Controller, NAND & DRAMAbove and to the right side of the image we can see the 16nm Micron TLC NAND packages. Each package is 64GiB in capacity. Once formatted the 480GB model 447GB usable space and the 960GB model has 894GB. Finally, along with the Micron NAND, Crucial is also utilizing Micron LPDDR3 DRAM. Each package is 512MB in capacity and thus the 480GB has a 512MB cache and the 960GB model has a 1GB cache.

46
Leave a Reply

avatar
7 Comment threads
39 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
Ettoredave777MikeScourLes@TheSSDReview Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
HERETIC
Guest
HERETIC

Definitely a race to the bottom as far as performance is concerned.

Would have been nice to have BX100 and perhaps Sandisk Ultra 2
in the charts for comparison…………

Any chance of a review on Sandisk Plus-Has been in the shops for
months as a budget drive-Can’t even find what flash or controller.
Thanks

Mike
Guest
Mike

How about Intel 535, Patriot Blast, Toshiba Q300. These all seem more interesting.

HERETIC
Guest
HERETIC

My comment on the Sandisk Ultra2 was a TLC comparison and BX100 was
to compare it’s replacement…………………..

As much as I like Intel’s reliability I could not for the life of me buy a Sandforce-2281 drive..The 535 probably much the same as 530………..
Patriot’s low end drives-Blaze and Blast-Much like the BX200 are best
forgotten……………
The Q300 I know absolutely nothing about.
But if this review is accurate it’s another contender for the bottom of the pile-
http://www.digitaltrends.com/hard-drive-reviews/toshiba-q300-hdts748xzsta-review/

Sean Webster
Guest

I agree, the only good option in that list would be the Intel 535, but you are really just paying a markup for the name imo. You can get a Samsung 850 EVO for much cheaper though.

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

The sad part is, that it’s not even an intel drive. It uses SKhynix flash, sandforce controller. SO really just an intel badge.

motix
Guest
motix

All other TLC drives behaves similar. OCZ Trion 480GB TLC based model drops to ~100MB/s sustained writes after cca 10 sec (see: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ocz-trion-100-series-ssd,4202.html ). Patriot Blast 120GB drops even lower (~50MB/s) and ADATA SP550 around 60MB/s after 5-10sec (see: http://www.overclockers.ru/lab/71280_3/obzor-i-testirovanie-ssd-120-gbajt-adata-premier-sp550-i-patriot-blast-blesk-i-nischeta-bjudzhetnyh-ssd-2015-goda.html – Russian site, but the pictures don’t need translation). For TLC drives CrystalDiskMark should use larger data pattern. Usually all tests use “only” 1GB, maybe with using 20GB we could get better feedback how drives behaves. I think the main problem with TLC drives is the price. For price difference less that 5$ you can get better MLC drive (BX100… Read more »

Sean Webster
Guest

I was looking for my Ultra II sample, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I will try to get the BX100 in there for comparison soon, it is just in another system at the moment and I didn’t have time to clone over to a different drive yet.

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

I got a chance to test Sandisk SSD plus; it performed quite nicely for a budget drive.
comment imagecomment image

I’m gonna guess this uses Marvell controller and some type of MLC flash.

HERETIC
Guest
HERETIC

THANKS
Looks respectable on those no’s.
Through I always hate to see the saw-tooth………………………

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Yeah, its pretty good performance for a drive, that retails for 74€ as of right now (was as low as 68€ at some point).

And it’s not crappy TLC flash, so there’s that also.

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Looks like we have another V4 on our hands. Unless this comes down to 50€/240GB, this makes no sense, as there are better options out there.

I wonder why crucial didn’t opt for adaptive SLC caching thingy like they did on the MX200…

This would surly help with performance. But i guess they just grab reference SM firmware and tweak it a bit for their flash.

Another thing i wonder… How is endurance on 16nm TLC..

Sean Webster
Guest

Well, it is rated for 72TB endurance. So we can at least bank on it lasting that long.

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

So roughly 300 p/e…

Mike
Guest
Mike

If bx200 480gb file transfer speed is 92mbs how slow is 240gb 46mbs?

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Maybe there is a reason, why reviewers didnt get the 240G version 🙂

Mike
Guest
Mike

Back To The Future. Maybe the top engineers at Crucial are just trying to teach the rest of the ssd industry how to make the next generation sata 3 ssds backwards compatible with sata 1? Its almost 2016, who needs sata 3 file transfer speeds anyway? Not the average Joe apparently.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Yet contrasted with the reviews from other sites the conclusion here, as usual, seems to be that the glass is half full and borders on comedic at this point.

Sean Webster
Guest

Like shown in our testing, this drive performs fine for light workloads. Light workloads are typical of consumer usage. This SSD is placed as an entry-level HDD replacement for HDDs for consumers who have HDDs. For those who need a HDD replacement, something like this would be fine, however, at the current prices for these entry-level SSDs it does not make them a competitive or worthwhile option compared to the many SSDs out there today. I remember back when the Crucial M4 was the big rage. I had a 64GB model and it suited me fine for years, it still… Read more »

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Or Crucial should just up the game and release a tweak firmware for the drive, that uses their dynamic SLC caching (found in mx200).

I bet this would help greatly with write speeds.

Sean Webster
Guest

I think that would be a good idea too. That could change things dramatically for this drive and differentiate it much more over other options.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Maybe Crucial/Micron, Toshiba, SK Hynix, should just stick with MLC and toggle, there the best at that and let Samsung and only Samsung make TLC drives. Why try to make Michael Jordan Tom Brady or Tom Brady Michael Jordan. There both the best but in different sports. Forget TLC Why make drives slower just to keep up with Samsung do your own thing stick with MLC.

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

They should atleast wait for 3D to be ready and then come out with TLC drives.

But 16nm and TLC was a mistake. There is reason why sammy didn’t want to go with TLC on their 16nm node.

Mike
Guest
Mike

And probably why Intel didn’t partner/venture with Micron on the 16nm. They stopped at 20nm and use SK Hynix for the 16nm.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Good points but. Why buy a 240gb entry level tlc ssd drive for $84.99, when you can buy a 1tb hdd for $49.99 and the sequential write speeds are higher. And after the startup and initial opening of programs windows caches everything anyways so the next time you click on programs it’s going to be fast. The Ocz ark 240gb with mlc is $64.99 on Newegg, way better deal. If tlc is bringing the prices down it should be lower than mlc right.

Sean Webster
Guest

I don’t agree with you on the HDD. Whenever I have to work on a system with a HDD it is such an annoyance for me. (I work as a part time PC tech in my area). I have been converting clients to SSDs for years now and every time I have to work on their systems it speeds up my work significantly and they love their now much faster system. Again, seq. write speed does not matter as much as you are giving it credit for. Most of what consumers use their drives for, random speeds and access times… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

You guys know more about ssds than I do. but here’s the thing I have 3 ssds in my laptop and I don’t like bottlenecks so if 1 ssds write speed is 90mbs it will slow down all my large file transfers and routine backups. I just can’t seem to accept these new >500mbs read and 90mbs write ssds, it’s such a mismatch. especially when my older ssds are able to get >500mbs read >300mbs write. And when I use cache software my benchmarks are off the charts >5000mbs read >5000mbs write.

Sean Webster
Guest

Yes, I understand that, but look at your usage. You are not the target consumer for these low performance SSDs! Therefore, you shouldn’t even be caring about how these perform. You are an enthusiast, not the average Joe!

Mike
Guest
Mike

I don’t want to irritate you guys but. I don’t think average Joes buy ssds it’s the enthusiast. Many people don’t even know what an ssd is, And enthusiasts don’t want something slower than 5 years ago.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Not irritating us at all but sales and statistics remain the same; enthusiast sales are only a fraction of the overall picture. Over the past few years, I have installed over a hundred SSDs in PCs of people in my community and very few were anything more than typical PC users that wanted a PC that would start faster and be quicker…

Mike
Guest
Mike

Mr Les You are the fore most enthusiast and if you installed hundreds of ssds they were on your recommendation. So basically it was an enthusiast sale. If I recommend an ssd being an enthusiast,its going to be what I think is the best if the price is right. I’m not going to recommend some tlc drive to a friend/familly/client. So when all the enthusiasts recommend drives to there friends/relatives average Joes its really an enthusiast sale. Every ssd you installed is a enthusiast sale. If I don’t Tell my friends/family the benefits of an ssd, they wont even think… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Regardless of throughput, SSDs and HDDs cannot be compared simply because of the disk access times that is so vastly different and makes SSDs what they are. Many people will never even feel out the read and write speeds as their typical activities are reliant on nothing more than the disk access times that give SSD empowered systems that massive boost. Think back for just a bit….starting a HDD computer…forever…starting a SSD computer…15 seconds.

Mike
Guest
Mike

This drive is the successor to the BX100 and it advertises faster read write speeds so one would think its a better drive wright. What’s not advertised is that its a tlc drive and it is actually slower than the BX100. if you look at Newegg and Crucial the site does not even mention tlc nand. Other manufacturers are up front with there tlc drives, Ocz trion, ADATA Premier SP550, Toshiba Q300. This doesn’t seem wright.

Cicero_68
Guest
Cicero_68

Screen shot with AS SSD copy-benchmark for 480 GB model shows results for “Samsung SSD 850″…

Sean Webster
Guest

Ooops, thanks for that catch. I updated it with the proper screenshot!