Crucial BX300 SSD Review

Conclusion

It's rare to see good performance in a modern SATA SSD, but two in one month's span is an aberration. Praise the SSD gods, or in this case, the real heroes; the controller designers that figured out how to turn water into wine. It looks like companies have finally learned how to squeeze real performance out of the shiny new 3D NAND.

There is more to the Crucial BX300 story just beneath the surface. The series has an abysmal endurance rating that could be due to very aggressive background activities. Companies have to trade endurance for performance because each cleanup cycle, which is critical to ensure high performance, consumes write cycles. We recently tested the Drevo Ares 256GB that has the same Micron first generation 3D MLC as the Crucial BX300 240GB. The Ares's endurance rating is 350 TBW, but the BX300 256GB is only 80 TBW even with the benefit of more overprovisioning. Crucial could be sacrificing endurance for performance, or the company could just be saving money on warranty claims down the line.

The BX300 has many odd aspects. Infusing MLC NAND into a historically entry-level series says that the company wants to bring something competitive to the market. Crucial went to great lengths to create a competitive drive, but we don't expect this series to be on the market for long because Micron's Gen 2 3D NAND is already in production.

There's a wide gap between the 512GB and 256GB SSD markets. The 512GB-class is thriving with new products coming to market every month, but the 256GB-class has died down somewhat. In the last year, we tested 25% fewer 256GB-class drives than 512GB drives. Most often the price difference between the two is much smaller than the delta between 512GB and 1TB models. Between the two, the BX300 240GB is a better product in its class than the 480GB model. Overall, the BX300 480GB is a better value with a lower cost per gigabyte.

We're disappointed to see the BX300 come to market without a 1TB option. The two drives we tested are the same price as the equivalent Samsung 850 EVO models ($89.99 for the 240GB and $149.99 for the 480GB). The BX300 is a step above the typical entry-level SSDs we've tested over the last two years. The drives deliver exceptional performance in some cases but still trail the EVOs slightly in basic applications. You wouldn't notice the difference in daily use, but that's not the real issue.

The Crucial BX300 delivers on performance but still trails the EVOs five-year warranty. We're not sure why any company would price a drive at the same level as the 850 EVO with that hole in the package. Crucial managed to get close but fell just a little short.

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14 comments
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  • Rdslw
    Why they won't make HALF 2.5 drive ? A lot of SSD don't use this space at all and in laptops this means a lot of wasted space.
  • Snipergod87
    2520876 said:
    Why they won't make HALF 2.5 drive ? A lot of SSD don't use this space at all and in laptops this means a lot of wasted space.


    There isn't an official standard as far as i know and anything with size constraints would get M.2 SSD's. That being said some OEM solutions use short length SATA SSD's but in a full length slot.
  • mitch074
    I'd love being able to directly compare these newer SSDs with older ones - I own a Crucial M500 480Gb, and I'd like to know how much better a replacement would be - not only in performance (enventhough mine is pretty much bottlenecked by the SATA port) but also in lifetime.
  • daglesj
    Dear Crucial, Just for Pete's sake bring back the BX100. It's really that simple. It was a great value and performing SATA SSD. Most people didn't need anything else. It just worked well.
  • garry.masters
    this report seems a bit out of alignment w other info regarding TLC MLC SLC I have read- it was my understanding that MLC offers more endurance and thus 'enterprise ssd' is usually MLC and that Samsung Pro is both faster and higher endurance due to MLC vs TLC NAND- so why is the endurance rating on this drive lower?. Also you seem to say this drive 'is taking a different path' from Samsung, but then say the Adata SU900 and XPG SX950 are essentially similar (is the 'different path' from THEM purely price?) Regardless- looks like a good product at a good price so will consider on my next purchase.
  • Nintendork
    MLC, Crucial

    MLC, Crucial, 3D?


    http://imgur.com/XXrIHJN
  • Nintendork
    GARRY.MASTERS

    We can guess that with the example of the 850 pro, endurance ratings are just cosmetically reduced to not clash with enterprise class SSD's and affect sales.

    And endurance test should not only be about filling/unfilling the SSD with 0-1's tools but tons of different archives with some of them remaining on the drive (40%) to test not only endurance but data retention for 1PB+ race.
  • Rdslw
    248497 said:
    2520876 said:
    Why they won't make HALF 2.5 drive ? A lot of SSD don't use this space at all and in laptops this means a lot of wasted space.
    There isn't an official standard as far as i know and anything with size constraints would get M.2 SSD's. That being said some OEM solutions use short length SATA SSD's but in a full length slot.


    My laptop have m2 OR sata due to limited space. When I noticed those SSD's are smaller, I stripped the case and Guess what, there was space for both! :) sad that It took me ~6 months from buying to get to this idea.
  • dark_lord69
    1 said:
    Crucial rethinks the transition to 3D TLC for all consumer SSDs and releases a brilliant entry-level product that takes aim at the dominant Samsung. Crucial BX300 SSD Review : Read more


    2.5" drives are standard for laptops.
    M.2 drives are smaller

    There are some smaller drives that SOME laptops used to use but today they are Obsolete.
    1.8" 1.3" and 0.85" were smaller drives that are no longer used.
  • HERETIC-1
    Nice one Chris.

    Pity you don't have a 275GB-MX300 for comparison.

    On desktops I still think it's advantageous to have a small separate boot/program drive,and large spinning rust or cheaper SSD for the rest.......................
    The penalty of reading and writing at same time can be huge on a SSD.............
  • the nerd 389
    Considering that this drive uses MLC, those endurance specs are terrible. While they're better than the EVO, there are several TLC drives that have better endurance at this capacity.

    It's an order of magnitude lower than the MyDigitalSSD BPX.

    UPDATE: I'm aware the BPX is MLC. One TLC that offers better endurance is the SATA version of the WD Blue / Sandisk Ultra. Even the Intel 600p offers better endurance.
  • cat1092
    THE NERD 389, I have two of the MyDigitalSSD 240GB M.2 SSD's, both running in the 2nd GPU slot in an Addonics brand adapter w/fan to get away from the MB for added cooling. While not quite the performance of my 512GB Samsung PRO M.2, the price was almost two-thirds less, so I can't complain.

    It does perform as promised, roughly in the 1.3Gb/sec on writes & close to the 2.5Gb/sec on reads. On a few benches, actually outperformed the advertised specs, so for a $119 240GB M.2 SSD, the only gripe I have is that the User Benchmark site doesn't recognize the drive, although am positive that I'm not the only one with these fantastic SSD's, and have a 3rd in my safe for a new build.

    Now back to the issue at hand, considering the price, $89.99 for 240GB with MLC technology (which the MyDigitalSSD also has) is an outright steal. I've been purchasing SSD's since 2012, not long after the HDD shortage that never was, only jacked up pricing, SSD OEM bonded together & seized the moment, and it's been downhill for HDD's since. A shortage is when there's no drives to sell, the retailers took advantage of many purchased at low pricing in bulk for a 3x markup that would ease over time, yet damaged their reputation (& outlook) together. Many purchased their first SSD's during this time & hasn't looked back.

    Good to see Crucial add the BX300 series to their lineup, will grab one when on promo next month, was going to get a 256GB Samsung Pro for $139, while these has a 10 year warranty, ask the few who has needed that coverage what a hassle to go through for replacement. Crucial handles everything by email & phone, so one can have a replacement fairly fast.

    Plus many upgrades/changes SSD's & other computer components every couple of years anyway, all of my older models are now in SATA-2 computers, giving these a massive performance boost, beginning with the first one purchased, a 128GB Crucial m4 with 99% estimated lifespan left. That's amazing, considering has been in use for over 5 years, although have several computers, so doesn't see action daily.

    Like I stated, will purchase a 240GB BX300 just for the trophy case, although will soon be placed into duty, not all of my computers has M.2 slots, and on one that does, performance is limited due to being PCIe 2.0, so that would be a good PC to install in.

    Good Work on the end of Tom's Hardware for getting out this news, otherwise would had passed me buy.;-)

    Cat
  • kultraleader
    Why only 80TBW on 240GB model ??? Samsung 850 PRO has 9000 TBW on 256GB model !!! Even Samsung 850 EVO has 800TBW on 256GB model !!! Do not scam customers !!! Crucial sucks !!! also only 3 years warranty !!! and almost same price as 850 EVO !!! Crucial you are not even close Samsung endurance and performance !!!