Crucial BX200 SSD Review (480GB/960GB)

PCMARK VANTAGE X64 HDD SUITE

The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as Xbox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

PCMARK VANTAGE RESULTS

480GB

Crucial BX200 480GB PCMark Vantage

960GB

Crucial BX200 960GB PCMark Vantage

In PCMark Vantage, both capacities performed very well. These results are about on par with the BX100 they supersede. The Crucial BX200 480GB achieved a Total Score of 86,054 points with a high transfer speed of 455MB/s during the Windows Media Center phase. The Crucial BX100 1TB achieved a Total Score of 85,549 points with a high transfer speed of 449MB/s during the Windows Media Center phase. The adding music to Windows Media Player benchmark results were the lowest with both SSDs reaching 342MB/s. So far, these drives don’t seem too bad. Let’s see how they fair with our PCMark 8 testing and real world file transfers next!

PCMARK 8 EXTENDED STORAGE

WORKLOAD CONSISTENCY TESTING

For our last benchmark, we have decided to use PCMark 8 Extended Storage Workload in order to determine steady state throughput of the SSD. This software is the longest in our battery of tests and takes just under 18 hours per SSD. As this is a specialized component of PCMark 8 Professional, its final result is void of any colorful graphs or charts typical of the normal online results and deciphering the resulting excel file into an easily understood result takes several more hours.

There are 18 phases of testing throughout the entire run, 8 runs of the Degradation Phase, 5 runs of the Steady State Phase and 5 runs of the Recovery Phase. In each phase, several performance tests are run of 10 different software programs; Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop Heavy and Photoshop Light, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word, as well as Battlefield 3 and World of Warcraft to cover the gaming element.

  • PRECONDITIONING -The entire SSD is filled twice sequentially with random data of a 128KB file size. The second run accounts for overprovisioning that would have escaped the first;
  • DEGRADATION PHASE – The SSD is hit with random writes of between 4KB and 1MB for 10 minutes and then a single pass performance test is done of each application. The cycle is repeated 8 times, and with each time, the duration of random writes increases by 5 minutes;
  • STEADY STATE PHASE – The drive is hit with random writes of between 4KB and 1MB for 45 minutes before each application is put through a performance test. This process is repeated 5 times;
  • RECOVERY PHASE – The SSD is allowed to idle for 5 minutes before and between performance tests of all applications. This is repeated 5 times which accounts for garbage collection; and
  • CLEANUP – The entire SSD is written with zero data at a write size of 128KB

In reading the results, the Degrade and Steady State phases represent heavy workload testing while the recovery phase represents typical consumer light workload testing.

PCMARK 8 RESULTS

As you can see, performance is recorded in terms of Bandwidth and Latency. Bandwidth (or throughput) represents the total throughput the drive is able to sustain during the tests during each phase. Latency, at least for the purposes of PCMark 8, takes on a different outlook and for this, we will term it ‘Total Storage Latency’. Typically, latency has been addressed as the time it takes for a command to be executed, or rather, the time from when the last command completed to the time that the next command started. This is shown below as ‘Average Latency’.

PCMark 8 provides a slightly different measurement, however, that we are terming as ‘Total Storage Latency’. This is represented as being the period from the time the last command was completed, until the time it took to complete the next task; the difference of course being that the execution of that task is included in ‘Total Storage Latency’. For both latency graphs, the same still exists where the lower the latency, the faster the responsiveness of the system will be. While both latency charts look very similar, the scale puts into perspective how just a few milliseconds can increase the length of time to complete multiple workloads.

For a more in-depth look into Latency, Bandwidth, and IOPS check out our primer article on them here.

AVERAGE BANDWIDTH (OR THROUGHPUT)

These results show the total average bandwidth across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the higher the result the better.

Crucial BX200 PCMark 8 Av Bandwidth

AVERAGE LATENCY (OR ACCESS TIME)

These results show the average access time during the workloads across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the lower the result the better.

Crucial BX200 PCMark 8 Av Lat

TOTAL STORAGE LATENCY

These results show the total access time across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the lower the result the better.

Crucial BX200 PCMark 8 Total LatStraight off the bat we can see that the BX200 could not handle the PCMark 8 heavy workload phases well at all! Latency is higher than anything we have tested before, reaching almost 1.2ms average! However, we can see that even though it did not do well in the heavy workload phase, we can see that it does snap back quickly once it reached the light workload/recovery phase. Here the BX200 begins to blend in with the rest of the competition and performs well for the type of workload that it was designed for, but it is still almost dead last compared to all the rest. Let’s continue on and see how it does in our real world file transfer test.

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HERETIC
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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!