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Crucial BX100 250 and 500GB SATA SSD Review - Silicon Motion Returns

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Crucial

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

Micron's Crucial brand has been cranking out some great low cost SSDs for the past several years now. While their early drives pushed into the SATA 6Gb/sec interface before most of the competition, their performance was inconsistent and lagged behind some of the other more nimble solutions available at that time. This pattern was broken around the time of the M550 and MX100 launches. Those two drives were heavily competitive in performance and even moreso in pricing. Actually the pricing is probably the bigger story - when they launched, one of our readers caught a 512GB MX100 on sale for $125 ($0.24/GB)! We are coming up on a year since the MX100, and at CES 2015 Micron launched a pair of SSD models - the BX100 and MX200. Today we are going to look at the BX100 series:

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Crucial aims to make the BX100 as their lowest cost/GB SSD ever - even cheaper than the MX100. Since Micron makes the flash, the best way to drive costs down is to use a lower cost controller. The Silicon Motion SM2246EN is cheaper to procure than the equivalent Marvell part, yet still performs rather well.

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The Silicon Motion SM2246EN SSD controller

This is a great controller, as we have seen in our prior review of the ADATA SP610, Corsair Neutron LX, and Angelbird SSD WRK. From the specs, we can see that Micron has somehow infused their variant with increased write speeds even though it appears to use the same flash as those competing models listed above. We'll see how this plays out as the review progresses.

Read on for the full review!

Specifications (from this page):

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The point of interest here is the improved write speed ratings at the lower capacities. The MX100 was limited to 300 MB/sec at 256GB and 150 MB/sec at 128GB. The BX100 shows a 70 MB/sec improvement at 250GB and a 35 MB/sec improvement at 120GB.

Packaging:

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Very simple packaging here. Adhesive backed 2.5mm spacer included for installing the 7mm drive into a 9.5mm bay.


February 16, 2015 | 02:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's a sad day when $0.36/GB (on a budget drive, even) is considered "impressively low". Six years ago, those prices were already completely unacceptable. HDD manufacturers really need to step it up, because SSD manufacturers certainly aren't doing it.

February 16, 2015 | 03:37 PM - Posted by godrilla (not verified)

Fact the C300 launch price was $800 for 256 gig ssd 5 years ago that's more than $3.7 per gig it quickly fell to $650 around this time 5 years ago via sales though the price drop is more than 10 times lower per gig for the bx100, and just like the conclusion states this will likely cause a ssd price war. But I believe we will start seeing even more dense ssd for them to make up for the revenue loss.

February 16, 2015 | 04:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's a sad day when $0.36/GB (on a budget drive, even) is considered "impressively low".

$0.36/GB _is_ impressively low for an SSD. NAND flash is just a more expensive technology than magnetic spinning disks right now. If you don't like it, too bad.

HDD manufacturers really need to step it up, because SSD manufacturers certainly aren't doing it.

They're trying their best, and doing a good job I might add. I don't see you helping. Anyone can be a critic...

February 16, 2015 | 07:13 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

Allyn, I am always curious to know if tools like the Crucial Storage Executive function the same when multiple SSDs are members of a RAID array wired to a third-party controller.

Popular websites like www.pcper.com could help end users by urging third-party RAID controller vendors to support TRIM at a minimum. Intel's RST has supported TRIM for some time now.

Perhaps the industry in general should confront what needs to happen to standardize SSD maintenance tasks, so as to inter-operate across platforms, motherboards, chipsets and add-on controllers.

Plug-and-Play for SSDs!

Thanks again for another good review.

MRFS (not just dreamin' this time :)

February 24, 2015 | 08:58 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

TRIM through a RAID is still a tricky thing. It took Intel some time even despite my repeated urging to do so. It's also does not work on parity arrays (RAID-5/6).

Accessing SMART and other management through third party RAID is tricky. Areca actually does it, but you must use their API to request SMART data from their cards.

February 16, 2015 | 10:40 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

Wake me up when a "512GB of quality SSD-space for ~92$" would become a mainstream thing. That's how much I've paid for my 512GB MX100 when it just came out, so...

February 18, 2015 | 07:04 PM - Posted by dtearth

Isn't the MX100 a better SSD? Reason I ask because there is only a $10 to $20 difference depending on where you purchase.

February 24, 2015 | 09:05 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

BX100 gets faster write speeds at smaller capcities when compared to the MX100. Once you hit 500+GB everything evens out. The SM controller in the BX100 is also a bit faster than the MX100 in the seqential reads.

Long story short, it's a newer generation controller driving faster flash than the MX100, so the BX100 is better, which is why Micron is replacing the MX100 with the BX100 and introducing an MX200 (which works differently).

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