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.