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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