Crucial BX500 SSD Review: The DRAMless Invasion Continues

Conclusion

Crucial’s BX500 has a cost-reducing DRAMless architecture, but that has a big impact on performance. Even without DRAM, the SSD can achieve the typical sequential throughput we expect from a SATA SSD, but the BX500's all-important 4K random performance, a key measurement of drive snappiness, is lower than most SSDs.

We have seen this type of performance before from drives like Toshiba's TR200, which also doesn’t have a DRAM cache. Like the BX500, that drive exhibits low performance in random workloads. Write performance also suffers during extended write workloads.

As we saw in the PCMark 8 and SYSmark 2014 benchmarks, the Crucial BX500 is unimpressive in tests that measure real-world application performance. The BX500 surpasses an HDD, without question, but there is a clear divide between it and other SSDs. While it comes with an SSD toolbox and Acronis True Image HD for migrating your data, the BX500's value proposition still leaves a lot to be desired.

ProductCapacityTBW Price WarrantyPrice Per GBPrice Per TBW
Crucial BX50012040$26.99 3$0.22 $0.67

24080$42.95 3$0.18 $0.54

480120$69.99 3$0.15 $0.58
Crucial MX500250100$52.99 5$0.21 $0.53

500180$72.99 5$0.15 $0.41
Kingston A40012040$24.99 3$0.21 $0.62

24080$37.28 3$0.16 $0.47

480160$76.99 3$0.16 $0.48
Samsung 860 EVO250150$52.99 5$0.21 $0.35

500300$72.99 5$0.15 $0.24
WD Blue 3D250100$50.10 3$0.20 $0.50

500200$77.99 3$0.16 $0.39
Intel SSD 545s12872$26.99 5$0.21 $0.37

256144$54.99 5$0.21 $0.38

512288$89.99 5$0.18 $0.31

The BX500 family is priced competitively at $0.15- to $0.22-per-GB, but there are better options for only a few dollars more. It appears the viability of lower-tier products has nearly vanished at these low capacities. The BX500 would need to have a significantly smaller price tag for us to recommend it. Even if you are pinching pennies, we would recommend the WD Blue 3D, MX500, or Samsung 860 EVO. All those drives boast longer warranties, greater performance, and endurance at competitive price points.

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  • clifftam
    The problem is the price point. It is 'cheap' but not so 'cheap'. Take a look at the 480 GB, for a few dollars more, i can get a 860 EVO. Unless they lower the price point a lot more, say by 10 or 20 dollars, I will choose the 860 EVO over this.
  • BulkZerker
    @clifftam $80 for an 860 on Amazon vs $60 for the BX500 which is also the same price as a Patriot Burst and $5 more than aTeamgroup L5.

    I'll have to look into the results of the burst and L5 of there are any... These kinds of drives are what I look at when making basic PCs.
  • hannibal
    The problem is that you can not make these even cheaper because of the production cost. In this they have shaved almost everything off. The only way of making these cheaper is by making them smaller. 64Gb or even smaller... and even that does not make them much cheaper.
    We can see these in market computers... Cheap, but slow. Everybody else goes a little bit higher and use those models that are not handicapped too much by making cost cutting procedures.
  • gasaraki
    They need to stop bring these crappy ass products out. The price is not even that cheap! You can buy way better for a few bucks more. Why would any get this over the MX500 when the MX500 is soooo much better.
  • elbert
    hard drive makers are going to have to drop their 1 and possible their 2TB drives from product lists. Start focusing on 3TB for $50, 4TB for $65, and 6TB's for $100. Otherwise they are out of the market in sub $100 range.
  • tim.gatton
    Not had good long term luck with Crucial
  • cryoburner
    The pricing of these drives might not be all that attractive to those building their own systems, due to the notable performance gains from spending just a little bit more, but they are likely aimed more at manufacturers of prebuilt systems, who are more willing to shave an extra few dollars off the cost of components wherever they can. They can still advertise the system as having a "480GB SSD", and their main target audience likely wouldn't know any better. And these drives don't actually seem "bad", they are just not as good as other drives that are currently available.
  • PapaCrazy
    Endurance is kind of scary. Reminds me of bad memories with early gen SSDs.
  • cryoburner
    641776 said:
    Endurance is kind of scary. Reminds me of bad memories with early gen SSDs.

    I kind of think endurance ratings are an overrated metric, and are probably not all that relevant for the vast majority of usage scenarios. How much does the typical user write to a drive each day? Probably well under 10GB. Even with the lowest-capacity 120GB drive in this series with just 40TBW endurance, at 10GB of writes per day you would be looking at the drive lasting around 10 years, assuming you are still making frequent use of a system with a 120GB boot drive a decade from now. And keep in mind, we're talking about a $27 drive here, not some huge investment. If someone is writing a large amount of data to a drive each day, they will probably go for something with a larger capacity, which results in the endurance rising substantially, since the drive has more blocks to work with.
  • Blytz
    I see no value in this drive, it's the same price for 1/2tb as the 860 evo, and it's all marginal for smaller sizes.
  • faustvonbarley
    Regular home user, who writes documents, surfs the internet and watches YT videos doesn't need an SSD with DRAM! I'm sick of SSD fanboys trashing on a budget oriented user products. The laptops in which I replace HDDs with these are 3 - 8 years old and will need to be changed anyway. Why not get an extra juice for 35$ 240GB BX500 SSD?
  • captaincharisma
    so if your coming from a samsung EVO this is not the SSD to get
  • skpark
    I think...
    The BX500's problem is file read speed drop.

    * File Copy Test : BX500 -> 950Pro
    [Link1] https://youtu.be/0OJMatp5ocQ
    [Link2] https://youtu.be/woKpBfJ1iRQ