The Crucial MX200 is yet another in the many steps that Crucial has taken on over the past few generations, their SSD lines building slowly upon the last since their first release so long ago. Replacing their M4, the M500 introduced a plethora of new features such as hardware encryption, data path protection, and power loss protection. The higher performing M550 built upon the M500 by introducing a newer controller and had faster performance. And when released just last summer, the MX100 built upon the M500 series design and introduced 128Gbit 16nm NAND to take our Top Value award with ease.
Considering this, the MX100 isn’t really a successor to the M500 family, but rather, it is a lower tiered product directed towards the value oriented buyer. This is evident when simply looking at the capacities it is offered in, 128GB-512GB. Doing away with the 120GB capacity range and expanding it from 250GB up to 1TB, the MX200 fills the void the MX100 left. Not only have they changed the capacity range, this time around they are doing something a bit different by introducing Dynamic Write Acceleration, to which this also comes with a slightly higher price tag.
If you are an avid reader of our site, this feature will sound familiar. We first examined DWA in our review of the Micron M600 SSD last year. Taking a quick look at our M600 M.2 SSD Report, you can see that DWA enabled the SSD to reach 500MB/s write with only two NAND packages! That is quite a feat and a great example of why it can be useful for smaller form factors. Not only does it speed up write performance significantly for smaller capacity SSDs, but it also helps to extend endurance dramatically. Gone are the days of 72TBW; Crucial is now rating their SSDs for up to 320TBW, or 175GB per day for 5-years!
CRUCIAL MX200 SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
The Crucial MX200 SSD comes in a 7mm 2.5″ form factor, as well as mSATA, M.2 2260 and M.2 2280 form factors, and are available in 250GB ($133.99), 500GB ($249.99), and 1TB ($445.99) capacities. Performance for all the capacities and form factors is the same: 555MB/s read, 500MB/s write, 100K IOPS read, and 87K IOPS write. In terms of endurance, the 250GB model is rated for 80TB, the 500GB mode is rated for 160TB, and the 1TB model is rated for 320TB. Also, the MTTF rating is for 1.5 million hours. With all of this, Crucial continues their tradition of including a 3 year limited warranty, something we would liked to have seen increase.
Dynamic Write Acceleration is the latest addition to the features list. What it does is dynamically change the NAND’s operation from MLC mode to SLC mode on the fly. Rather than running out of a fixed 6-12GB cache, it adjusts to use up to half of the free space on the SSD. Dynamic Write Acceleration, however, is not needed for the 500GB and 1TB 2.5″ SSDs we are testing today as they have enough NAND packages to achieve max parallelism. It is a feature on all other form factors and capacities where max NAND parallelism is not achievable.
When it comes to the rest of the MX200′ feature list, it is similar to that seen in our review of the MX100 previously. This includes RAIN (some NAND is dedicated as parity), Exclusive Data Defense (multi-step integrity algorithm to guard against corruption), adaptive thermal monitoring, TRIM, S.M.A.R.T., and DevSleep. They also feature power-loss protection for data-at-rest and have AES 256-bit hardware encryption that is TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE1667 compliant to support the Windows eDrive.
Crucial has also included Acronis True Image HD for free data transfer from your old drive to your new MX200 SSD. Another software you can download from their website is Crucial Storage Executive, which allows you to update the firmware, monitor and secure erase as well as reset the SSD’s encryption password.
PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS
The overall design of the MX200 SSDs exterior packaging is a dark blue and silver. On the front of the box we can see the name, capacity, and a picture of the SSD, while the reverse desc ribes the contents and another visual of the SSD.
Once inside we can see the static wrapped MX200, 7mm to 9.5mm spacer, and the Acronis True Image HD software key sheet.
One thing that has changed from the MX100 to the new MX200 is the case. The MX100 had a matte metal finish and was a screwed close design. The MX200’s case is a brushed metal finish and is a clamp close type design. Also, the weight of the 500GB model is lighter by 15g, instead of 65g it is 50g. The 1TB model weighs in at 53g.
On the backside you can see that they have moved the mounting holes from on the front to the back. The typical information sticker lists the product name, capacity, serial number, firmware revision, as well as that it is a product of Singapore.