Crucial BX200 SSD Review (480GB/960GB)

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

Crucial’s first TLC SSD, let alone the first SSD we have tested with Micron’s TLC NAND, is essentially just another one of the new low-end SSDs in the market paired with an SM2256 controller. It is available in capacities from 240GB to 960GB and comes in only a 2.5″ 7mm form factor. Unlike some of its competition, it comes bundled with Acronis True Image HD and a 7mm to 9.5mm spacer to help increase the purchase value to the customer, and with this release, they have updated Crucial Storage Executive to allow in app over provisioning control, similar to Samsung Magician. Finally, it does have decent endurance across all capacities, at 72TBW, but similarly categorized SSDs have better endurance numbers at the higher capacities.

Crucial BX200 Controller, NAND & DRAM

In terms of performance, the Crucial BX200 really doesn’t bring anything special to the table as we can see in our tests. It has good synthetic performance when you are working within the SLC NAND cache buffer and idle power consumption is very good. It reached a max of 559MB/s read and 500MB/s write in ATTO and 4K QD 1 speeds are good. Beyond the pseudo SLC buffer, write performance may drop down to under 100MB/s which can be disappointing when doing large file transfers. During PCMark tests it fared well. In PCMark Vantage it received a total of about 85K for both capacities tested, which is almost the same as the BX100 received when we reviewed it earlier this year. In the PCMark 8 consistency test it do not do well at all in the heavy workload portion, however, during the light workload phase, which is more in line with real world performance, it did much better, although second to last compared to the rest of the drives on the chart. Finally, looking at the real world file transfer test, it was disappointing to see such low speeds, especially since a HDD is able to surpass them. Write performance is not its strong suit, but luckily it has fast read performance.

FINAL THOUGHTS

With this product release we are seeing not only a reinforcement of an industry trend where companies are now focusing on lower cost SSDs to gain HDD market share, but also a clearer divergence between the mainstream and entry-level SSD contenders. Right now we are starting to see much greater performance differences in the lower priced SSD market and competition for the lowest cost per GB. This has effectively increased the trend for companies to offer these planar TLC SSDs that have small SLC-like buffers to help boost performance for just a few GB.

A lot of readers may think that because these drives have much slower native write performance (write speed after the buffer runs out) that they are not worth owning at all. As an enthusiast, I have a similar mindset myself. However, looking at these drives in a different light and considering what most consumers use their systems for on a day to day basis, these drives are not all that bad. Consumer workloads typically don’t involve multi-GB transfers and heavy write workloads. For the most part you are limited by your internet speed streaming rich content at just a few MB/s and installing programs that take up about 50-200MB at most. There are exceptions of course, say you are installing MS office for the one time that you do or a big game, then yes, this drive and others like it may possibly show themselves to be much slower than normal or higher-end SSDs, however, compared to HDDs for an OS drive, they still fit the bill perfectly for many. Much lower access times (latency) and 4K low QD performance is what makes SSDs so much better than HDDs. Just look at our PCMark Vantage and 8 performance scores. Those are proof enough that for a consumer workload, these SSDs will typically perform well for those who are budget minded.

Crucial BX200 Main

Again, these entry level SSDs aren’t the best and aren’t for the many enthusiasts out there, but they are helping to bring flash performance to those who have slow mechanical HDDs. All things considered, still, we feel the pricing of SSDs like this is just not low enough to warrant purchasing them when there are still so many better options out there in their price range, especially when considering sales. Unless these drives were $0.25/GB instead of over $0.30/GB, we would much rather suggest that you wait for something else to go on sale or buy a similarly priced alternative with MLC NAND. Right now you can even get the Crucial BX100 at a similar price still and it is very competitive option if you are looking for a new SSD, until they run out.

Hopefully, when NAND manufacturers other than Samsung start distributing their 3D TLC NAND we will start seeing SSDs that perform more competitively in this entry-level bracket. The Samsung 850 EVO, for example, with its 3D V-NAND sure does extremely well even though it has TLC. For those who really are on a tight budget, if these new planar TLC SSDs are the lowest cost, then sure, go ahead and get one. If you have a system with a HDD and want something faster, one of these newer entry-level SSDs will do the trick, just make sure there is nothing else of higher performance is in the market at the same price range. If you feel that the BX200 fits the bill for you, then be sure to…

Check it out on Amazon Today!

Review Overview

Build & Components
SSD Performance
Price & Availability
Features & Accessories
Warranty

More Planar TLC

The Crucial BX200 delivers read speeds of over 550MB/s and writes around 500MB/s and comes with Acronis True Image and a 7mm to 9.5mm spacer for those who need them. Overall, this SSD seems to be just another planar TLC drive in the entry-level market. While it will work fine for someone on a tight budget, delivering decent performance for most consumer workloads, current prices do not make it that competitive. Hopefully, in the coming weeks street prices will be much lower.

User Rating: 1.94 ( 20 votes)

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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!

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