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…

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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)

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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