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.

46 comments

  1. 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

  2. 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..

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

  4. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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 does and it only writes at ~90MB/s completely. For the most part the seq. write speed did not matter, it wasn’t until I had multiple faster SSDs that I appreciated the higher write speed, but it really wasn’t and still isn’t really needed for day to day use. For the OS, something like this is fine, especially for the many who are on HDDs. And remember, seq read speeds are still over 500MB/s, random 4K speeds are very respectable, and access times are good as well…it is still a flash storage device after all. Again, at the current prices, however, it is best to look elsewhere. IMO, these SSDs really need to be more price competitive and if you are an enthusiast such as us, these aren’t even an option to consider. That is why there is competition and multiple options on the market… So, we can just ignore these entry-level SSDs and look to better performing mainstream and high-end SSDs for us.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

      • 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 matter much more. If you need faster sequential performance, then go get a faster writing drive. If you need higher capacity, get a cheap HDD. For plain storage they still work great. If you need both, find better SSD options than this type…there are plenty out there. It is simple as that.

        I agree 100% on your mention of buying something like an ARC 100 instead for cheaper. It is a much better performing drive, especially if you need faster seq write speeds for your usage. These lower performance SSDs need to be priced much lower in order to be competitive options. There is no point in buying these entry-level TLC SSDs when there are better performing options for similar or even cheaper prices.

      • 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.

      • 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!

      • 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.

      • 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…

      • 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 about it, its the enthusiasts that count.

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

  6. This SSD is an insult for SSD-Fans like me..

    After the SLC-Cache is full the 480GB-BX200 have a write speed of 75MB/s which is absolute awful. I´m not a fan of TLC all the time but this is crap. My good old 128GB M4 reaches ca. 190MB/s from start til end. I Have also a M500 and used some Crucials for PCs and Notebooks of colleagues and friends, but this could be over now.

    I don´t see any ense to offer bigger capacities all the time and decrease the speed to the bottom.

    • I agree with you there, making sata ssds slower and calling them budget, entry level, just to save a few pennies or to have different tier products makes no sense to me. That’s why Samsung seems like there winning because even though they use TLC there drives get faster and faster not slower. It seems like the Phison controller ssds are the only ssds trying to compete with Samsung but they don’t seem to get the recognition that they should. There benchmarks are at the top, but why are they not recommended that much? And maybe barefoot 3.

      • There are many SSDs available with different controllers like Marvell, SMI, Phison, Indilinx with using MLC. But Samsung have many fanboys, using “marketing strategies” with many dollars to win reviews. And they can do it like Aplle: Pay less for produciing, getting much from consumers.

        The first TLC-drives from Samsung were slower than the 830, but actually it maybe depends on the 3D-NAND, the 850 Evo have a similar level like MLC-drives

      • Just to clarify…the mighty dollar has nothing to do with review outcome regardless. The SSD Review community, in fact, is very tight and there are very few SSD reviewers; we all know one another. As much as we are friends, business is also competition and none would be too shy on calling the other out publicly if they floated a review based on anything but their own results and opinion. Reviews must be independent and impartial.

      • I don´t meant this page, you understand it wrong.

        But I know some big magazines who aren´t afraid of the dollars some brands pay for big commercials in the magazine…and they say “Thank you” with good testresults

    • I disagree. Have a 480gb BX200 in this HP Pavilion g7 laptop for weeks, its 4 years old and was slow like molasses in winter. Now, its like a new machine faster than light compared to newer models without SSD. Windows 10 installed so fast from USB that I was not sure if it worked, and it did. Put the old spindle drive in a cheap enclosure for backup storage.

      Excellent upgrade for older PCs and Laptops, as we might even have a SATA II interface and no need to pay more for what the system cannot use. Going to upgrade the other laptop with the same as its the best upgrade for them.

      • Is it your 1st SSD?

        I think you don´t get my point. For sure, every SSD, even the old Intel X-25 beats every fast HDD in everyday-use.

        But if I buy a SSD with capacity of 480GB and more I don´t use it only for Windows and some litte programs, I use it for videocut with large files, I copy recordings from external SSDs from my 3 STBs, 60GB and more in a row,

        And that means after copied some GB the BX200 is slower than my 5400rpm-HDDs in my Desktop. 75MB/s ist extremly slow, Sandisk cheap Ultra II stays at over 200MB/s

      • I am not getting your issue, but I setup the system to trim, cache and storage executive including the longevity option. I put a 480gb in one, put 240gb on another last night. Speed is great. These laptops are older, running Window 10. No need to spend a lot more. Getting 95% of the benefit for 60% of the price. No need to buy Pratt and whittney for a VW. While I am new to SSD, I was doing solid state storage on embedded systems when 16mb was considered large. A 70s electronics electronics graduate. I used to use VMware, now use VirtualBox for other OSes to avoid partition nonsense. Sandisk is not cheap here. Run Windows optimize to trim your drive. Speed issues are from a bad config.

      • Ähm, how can a speed of 75MB/s great for a SSD?

        I dunno the prices where you live but the 480GB BX200 costs ca. 130€ here. You can get for almost the same price a Sandisk Ultra II, Sandisk Plus, a 512GB Mushkin Reactor, a Toshiba Q300. All but the Toshiba hold the write speed over 200MB/s which is over 2,5x faster than the BX200

        TRIM won´t help if you write lots of large files to the drive, tgis is not a config issue but a problem of the BX200.

        Maybe nobody can feel it if he only run windows and copy less than 10GB in a row, but I repeat: I use SSDs for videocut and copy 60-80GB in a row from USB3-SSDs which allow speed over 200MB/s, the BX200 will it slow down to 75MB/s

      • 60-80gb of video a day is far from a typical user. Again, these are older laptops, not top end. No need to buy a Samsung Pro 2T at $2000 for a $500 5+ year old laptop. But agree, if I was moving 60-80gb of video a day, and very few users do, I would be using a workstation and not a consumer or business PC.

        BX200 is quite suitable in price and performance for consumer laptops. One is a 4gb i3 sata II. Could not even use the speed of drives costing more. But was impressed, was getting a lot better than 75gb same disk copy with the i5 that has sata III. I used a mix of 50gb of ISO and video files.

        Sort of like one size shoe does not fit all. Same goes for ssd. And reviews I read, cannot say Q300 is worth the premium, I would choose Samsung 2Tb if money was no object.

      • Well, I wrote about the prices here in my country and I would prefer still all other SSDs because the slowest, OCZ TRion, is ca. twice as fast as the BX200, the cheaper Sandisk have the triple write speed of BX200.

        I don´t move everyday 60-80GB, but every 2 weeks I move about 200-300GB (3 external SSDs with recordings from 3 DVBs) in a row. I fon´t need a Pro-SSD that have a stable write speed of 450MB/s because my external SSDs with ext3-filesystem and USB3.0 only deliver a speed of 160MB/s – 220MB/s, but it´s nice to use a SSD that don´t slow my external (cheap Sandisk SSDs) drives 🙂

        Maybe the BX200 is OK for using in Notebooks those only used for internet and some streaming, but in all other profiles I still don´t know why I should spend more money for the BX200 as for faster SSDs from some competitors

        That´s all I can say atm, except the BX200 gets cheaper in near future.

        BTW, Mushkin offered a new SSD with 512GB and MLC for only 5€ more than a 480GB BX200

  7. Hi,
    I would like to know how I can open this SSD (BX200) in order to let it fit inside my laptop. I would remove the metal chassis.

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