Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Crucial BX200 Solid State Drive (SSD)

Feature Summary

The Crucial BX200 is ...

  • Up to 13x faster than a typical hard drive

  • Up to 40x more energy efficient than a typical hard drive

  • More durable than a typical hard drive

  • Better value than a typical SSD



Reading closely - Crucial compares the BX200 repeatedly (viz. performance, power & durability) to mechanical hard drives and then only once to "a typical SSD" in terms of value (viz. price per gigabyte/bundle). All these seem to point to a budget oriented mainstream SSD rather than a top tier enthusiast device.

And that's plausibly one of the most transparent comparisons in the world of IT manufacturers which are wont to outdo each other with meaningless hyperbole eg. military grade... amazingly, nothing of that sort seen here.

And the current asking price by Crucial themselves is... ? Check it here (~130USD today 221215)

A quick check with Lazada SG shows that this BX200 model is not yet available locally - Check it again here, click!


In keeping with its budget oriented audience, the BX200 comes in a subdued white cardboard clamshell stating its contents, 3 year warranty and a Singapore Crucial office address (yes, it is now MIC).


Its no fuss nature continues inside - comprising the SSD itself, a plastic 7-9.5mm spacer and an activation key for Acronis TrueImage HD software - great value added stuff indeed, oh yes!

The BX200 SSD Outside

Understated attractive looks, no loud colours, screaming slogans nor flashy logos... neat! Eagle-eyed users may notice the lack of any screws or warranty voiding labels, ooh even neater!

The BX200 SSD Inside

Encouraged by the lack of labels/screws, here comes the exposé... (gently use a small flat head screwdriver).

It uses Micron (Crucial being a Micron Tech division) TLC NAND, Micron RAM cache and a Silicon Motion SM2256G controller. The magic words applicable now are "SLC Write Acceleration", the SLC mode cache is reportedly designated at 6GB for the 480GB sample here (apparently 3GB SLC mode cache allocated per 240GB TLC NAND).

Crucial SSD Resource Page

Crucial has a dedicated page for its SSD users, welcoming them with guides and software downloads eg. Storage Executive software, check it out here click!

A screenshot of the offered features.

Numbers & Benches

Test rig - i7-4970K@4.5GHz EIST on (per 24/7 setting), 2 x 4GB Crucial Tracers 1600@2133, Asus Z87-A, Windows 10 Pro x64, Crucial BX200 480GB SSD

The synthetic benches appear quite on track for a budget SSD model.


* Just remember that for this 480GB model, the SLC mode cache is 6GB in size - so IF you are intending to use this SSD not as boot drives, but more as storage devices (say what!) AND frequently handling sustained large > 6GB file transfers between them, perhaps consider a higher end (most likely more expensive) model instead. Till date, sadly there seems to be no web report which had tried the BX200 in a RAID0 configuration cos the functional SLC mode cache will then be doubled just like the striped capacity.

Initial Impressions

Currently, the Crucial BX200 at 480GB is a good functional capacity for those who not only want to load the OS quickly but also install a few massive popular recent games plus DLCs like the Battlefield, COD, Fallout, Witcher series etc (which are starting to reach up to 50GB per title).

Crucial has also done well to add true functional value, bundling the very popular Acronis TrueImage HD software, greatly easing the path from mechanical or smaller drives to its SSDs.
SSDs are trudging on the slow but inevitable march to becoming mainstream consumer boot devices, the budget oriented Crucial BX200 is yet another step in that direction.

Keep watch as prices drift downwards and grab them once you feel comfortable enough with the price performance. Time is already long overdue to make the boot SSD move so please do so if you are still on mechanicals - you will never ever look back once you do it. But for the majority reading now, this is surely akin to preaching the good news of Christmas to the church choir cos some may have already hyperspaced ahead... over to the new worlds of NVMe (much costlier,  faster but less compatible and lots more teething issues).

Here's wishing one and all a blessed Christmas season as well as a great year ahead.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A10-6800K - Fallout 4 Gaming

Yes, it's still possible to enjoy this hottest new game on a slightly dated AMD APU build, albeit at low resolution, medium setting on this compact totally air-cooled rig.

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Modern 64 Bit OS With A Most Beautiful Desktop... And All For $0?



Fancy Transparency


Zero DRM OS... it's very nice indeed.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Puppy Linux, Anyone?

Seem to be dwelling in a sudden minimalist mood of late, probably has to do with being annoyed by Win 10's abundant stealth spying and reporting ... yeah, I even gave the Tails OS a tryout recently too. lol

Meanwhile, check out one rabid fan raving on and on about the joys of this puppy
Puppy Linux – the best operating system...

Anyway, here are a few sample screenies in case anyone is curious enough.

AMD CCC under Slacko 5.7

Hmm, I do actually quite like this Puppy Linux variant...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Backup Kodi HTPC in A Shoebox

Running Isengard 15.1 this time round, DIY-ed this purely for a 1-1 quick swap (sans the ODD) just in case the main Openelec rig ever goes down... assembled in an actual repurposed blue Reebok shoebox. Can't get more cheapskate or greener than that. lol

Just check out my present messy HTPC AV setup, so many redundant boxes to throw out soon!

Ah, can find only a single spare 1GB stick of RAM for now but hey wow, it still seems good enough for video viewing/streaming even with doing double time as shared video RAM too.

So don't just throw out your old shoeboxes from now on. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My 1st Homebrewed Kodi x64 HTPC Box

Took a few days selecting the components, putting everything together and configuring it to take over the little bits and pieces of my home theatre setup and so far, it's perfect!

Even the AC3 Audio Config is working great with 5.1 sound through my creaky old Denon AVR, remember to enable the DD transcoding option to force CPU processed "on the fly" AAC 5.1 > AC3 to the AVR too.

And you might as well add on the Autosubs service and a couple of your personal fave subtitles  websites to grab any missing subtitles automatically when the movie starts. Now that makes for an incredibly smart DIY media player.

Yup, this rig is based on the under appreciated but really wonderful AMD APU and probably way over-specced for it does, for now.

Other Components

ASRock > FM2A88X-ITX+ - with onboard dual band wifi, picked up the 5GHz without issues
Super Talent USB3 SLC 8GB Boot Flashdrive - bought years ago during a HK Golden trip
2 x KVR DDR3-1333@1866 4GB RAM sticks

After even more reading up on the OS, I tried out the (much) lower end Athlon A4-4000 dual core and just 2 x 1 GB DDR3-1333 RAM and so far Openelec ran just as smooth too. Ah, the simple joy of happy swapping around hardware parts without being heckled by the OS DRM - overall, really nice!


  • Wall power meter reads 18-20W in both idle as well as streaming video which is of course most gratifying.
  • Storage is in EXT4 format so you will need some method reading such a format in Windows. I use the freeware utility, Paragon ExtFS for Windows, which is slightly clunky but hey, it works and it is free!
  • To backup/clone you working boot OS flashdrive, conside using this freeware ImageUSB

Kodi Remote Controller

All you need is a handy smart phone/device plus wifi, simply choose from several free apps. Wifi remote control can be so liberating, no more line of sight needed!

Kore, Official Remote for Kodi

Media Center Remote

Official Kodi Remote


Next change, perhaps Lakka* anyone?

Lakka Info

Monday, June 8, 2015

Corsair RM850i Fully Modular Gold Power Supply - 1st Looks

Seems everything is new again with this new RMi 80plus Gold series from Corsair, the latest power supplies from Corsair.

So What's New

  • New updated Corsair sails logo
  • New RMi series - sitting between the earlier RM and HX series
  • New Type 4 cables


  • 7 year warranty
  • 80 PLUS® Gold efficiency
  • 100% Japanese 105°C capacitors
  • Fully modular
  • Corsair Link Integration for monitoring,  adjustment of fan and multi-rail/single rail modes
  • 135mm thermally controlled fluid dynamic bearing fan
  • Fan self-test switch
  • ZeroRPM mode for fanless operation


Meanwhile, the RM850i is officially listed at $159.99 USD on Corsair's website.

* Do note that the 7 year warranty is a substantial 40% upgrade from the earlier RM non-i series.

Corsair famed PSU insider has this to say about the improvements...
jonnyGURU forum post

"The RMi is more like a Gold HXi than an updated RM.

The similarities:
  • 80 Plus Gold
  • Fully Modular
  • Zero RPM mode
  • SP135 fan
  • LLC Resonant Mode topology with DC to DC for the non-primary rails

The "upgrades":
  • 7 year warranty vs. 5 years
  • ALL Japanese  capacitors, including solids
  • Rated at 50°C vs. 40°C
  • FDB fan vs. Rifle bearing fan
  • Digital Link output allows for more monitoring and control than RM

If/when RM gets "updated" across the board, it's just going to get all Japanese caps and will probably lose Link to reduce cost."

My sample unit from Corsair USA...

Note the presence of the reinstated (and updated sharper) Corsair sail logo on the packing box, newly introduced on 1st June 2015.
Read more here

Safely packed inside....

New B & W colour combo! 

Again, the prominent angular Corsair logo to show that this is their newest PSU series.

Bundled goodies!

Note the Corsair Voyager flash stick comes only with press review units and contains a very long and detailed report for the tests this particular unit has undergone.

Click here to download the full report if you are interested

RM850i Proper

Note the digital Corsair Link label

Corsair Type 4 PSU Cables

Hmm, wait a minute... don't ever remember seeing Corsair Type 4 power cabling before, let's try to find out more about them...

A few comparison photos - the Type 3 main ATX cable is positioned above Type 4 and both are shown individually against the RM850i in the latter 2 photos to demonstrate the pin differences.

Custom Corsair PSU cable users for the new RMi series should take note and bear this disparity in mind whenever swapping PSUs.

Type 4 Cable Info

OK, here's the official word from Corsair veteran, Aaron Neal, Global Product Manager PSU. Also a shout out to Ms A.L for the info link up, a big thank you for your ever ready help.

  • Type 4 cables are new for the RMi series. 
  • The biggest change between Type 3 and Type 4 is on the ATX 24 pin where we have added more sense wires making the DC connection on the PSU is 28 pins instead of 24. 
  • The type 3 ATX cable will not directly plug into an RMi PSU without modification. 
  • The rest of the cables, although labeled Type 4, are the same pin out as Type 3.

So there you have it straight from the guys at the source!