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Crucial MX200 SSD Review (500GB/1TB)

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.

Crucial MX200 500GB and 1TBIf 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 Storage Executive 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.

Crucial MX200 Box Front Crucial MX200 Box Back

 

 

 

 

Once inside we can see the static wrapped MX200, 7mm to 9.5mm spacer, and the Acronis True Image HD software key sheet.

Crucial MX200 Assecories

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.

Crucial MX200 Front Crucial MX200 Back

 

 

 

 

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.

  • Jim

    It is obvious that you do not always need the 7mm to 9.5mm spacer. When is a spacer typically necessary? I just replaced two 9.5mm drives with 7mm drives; neither 7mm drive came with a spacer and neither needed a spacer. Micron kind of says the spacer is included so you will have it if you need it.

    Jim

    • Older notebooks require the spacer in order to secure th SSD properly.

      • Jim

        Thank you!

    • Mark

      The spacer is definitely needed with many laptops. Older Dells, for instance.

      • Jim

        Thanks!

        Jim

    • Jim

      Mark and Les-

      Do the older ones that need spacers not have screw mounts? My newer Acer netbook (screw mount) came with a 9.5mm but its maintenance guide said it would take either one. My older Acer notebook (screw mount) came with a 9.5mm but its maintenance guide specified 9.5mm; it predated the 7.5mm so I tried the 7mm and it worked fine. I wonder if the spacer is needed for things like external USB drive cases that do not actually have screws holding the drive.

      Jim

      • andrew

        My older toshiba was a screw-less 9.5mm. It actually used the bottom cover to hold in the drive. Without the spacer, the SSD would just flop up and down. Not good.

      • Jim

        Thanks!

  • Adam

    Hey Les, long time reader (love the site). Quick question-most of my reading is done to determine which SSDs can help us most in HD video capture & transfer (raw uncompressed). We typically use the Blackmagic Speed Test to determine where a SSD stands before buying. Which of the test that you guys typically run gives me the closest indication to the Blackmagic test? (i.e. which will let me know best how the SSD performs under the test of raw uncompressed data) Thanks 🙂

    • If you are looking for a benchmark, I would have to say AS SSD is the quick and easy way to test and it is free.

  • Dave

    So if you were deciding between the M550 and the MX200 (in 500gb form), which would be the better choice? Assume prices are either exactly the same or not a factor in the decision.

    • I am with the MX200. Either way, don’t hesitate to follow our links; every little bit helps.

    • Benjamin Hojnik

      If 850EVO happens to be around the same price as those two, its worth checking that out too.

      5 year warranty is great if things go south 🙂

  • Paul H.

    Finally, Crucial has released a firmware update to address the problems with the MX100 drives. I haven’t been successful yet in applying the update, as is noted by many on their forum, but I thought it would be good to post the info here (since I decided to get two MX100’s as a result of the review on this site):

    http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Crucial-SSDs/Feedback-Thread-Firmware-MU02-for-MX100/td-p/165974

  • HERETIC

    Sean why don’t the MX200 recover in the PCMark 8 test????
    Is this deferred GC or are we stuck with those low speeds????

    • Those are the speeds it produced going through the test. Due to the firmware it doesn’t seem that it is able to recover quick enough to perform better in the light workloads within the time frame. However, wasn’t developed to deal with constant writes such as are issued out in the PCMark 8 consistency test, thus it doesn’t do too well in it. Our run in PCMark Vantage shows that it does perform a lot better if it isn’t constantly strained. So real world you shouldn’t have much to worry about.

  • Tech Warn

    Nice review. Here is a comparison with Crucial M552! Which is the best ?

    http://www.techwarn.com/crucial-mx200-vs-m550-review/

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