Crucial MX200 250GB SSD Review
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Crucial MX200 250GB SSD Review

April 22nd, 2015 Mike Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

Late last year pcG James took a look at the last budget entry from Crucial into the SSD arena. As it turned out by the end of his review the Crucial MX100 presented itself to not only be one of the cheapest SATA III based SSD on the market, but it also gave us some of the fastest results we’ve seen and proved you do not need to break the bank to gain great performance when it comes to storage (although if you want a huge capacity for your Steam collection you will). Well this year Crucial have released a newer model in the form of the Crucial MX200 250GB (CT250MX200SSD1), but what’s different?

As it turns out, not a whole lot. The MX200 still uses the same Marvell 88SS9189 controller as well as the exclusive 16nm Micron-made NAND, both of which debuted with its predecessor. Both are similarly priced, but this time round we’ve lost a little storage capacity with 250GB instead of the formers 256GB. What the MX200 does give us is SLC (Single-Level Cell) caching which essentially gives the drive a little extra performance at the cost of a small amount of storage. We also find the new Crucial Dynamic Write Acceleration system that relies on a flexible cache and will adapt its size depending on the amount of free drive space available, giving the MX200 a very healthy boost with its write speed.

So what does this really boil down to? The Crucial MX100 256GB gave us a quoted Read speed of 550MB/s, with a Write speed of 330MB/s, where as we gain a little speed boost in the Read speed boost with 555MB/s, then a massive Write speed boost with 500MB/s on the Crucial MX200 250GB. So a better SSD for more or less the same price right?!

Let’s take a closer look.

 

Crucial logo large When the Crucial MX100 was released, it set a new standard for SSDs that the Crucial MX200 pushes even further. Leveraging leading specs on all fronts, along with new Dynamic Write Acceleration technology, the Crucial MX200 is loaded with innovative features and immediately increases your system’s performance.

 

Crucial MX200 250GB - box front Crucial MX200 250GB - box back

 

The Crucial MX200 250GB arrived at pcG in a rather nice little box. Predominatley black with dark blue rays of light arcing from one side of the box to the other. The top of the box features a matte silver band, with the Crucial branding to the left and the model name and form type in the right. In the lower left we are told the drive capacity, then of course no box front would be complete without the obligatory angled image to finish it off.

Flipping over the box and we see an incredibly busy image. It doesn’t really show us a lot of interesting information. We get a list of box contents, warranty information and that’s more or less it really.

 

Crucial MX200 250GB - unboxing Crucial MX200 250GB - unpacking

 

The box lid simply flips up to reveal the Crucial MX200 to be safely stowed within a metallic anti-static bag and held within a simple thin plastic tray. This is perfectly adequate as SSD’s contain no moving parts and are very sturdy indeed.

 

Crucial MX200 250GB - contents

 

The box has a fairly limited list of contents, we have the Crucial MX200 250GB SSD, a 7mm to 9.5mm spacer and a certificate for Acronis True Image HD. The software is certainly a welcome addition, allowing some rather handy migration and partition tools.

 

At the time of writing the Crucial MX200 250GB is retailing for £86.96 on Amazon or £99.98 at OverclockersUK and offers a 3 year limited warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of Crucial

Product Specifications
Brand

Crucial
Form Factor

2.5-inch internal SSD
Capacity

250GB
Warranty

Limited 3-year
Specs

250GB 2.5-inch internal SSD • SATA 6.0Gb/s • 555 MB/s Read, 500 MB/s Write
Series

MX200
Product Line

Client SSD
Interface

SATA 6.0Gb/s
Device Type

Internal Solid State Drive
Unit Height

7mm
Form Factor

2.5-inch (7mm)
Package Content

Crucial Box, 2.5-inch (7mm) SSD, 9.5mm adapter bracket

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

Crucial MX200 250GB - front Crucial MX200 250GB - back

 

If I’m entirely honest, there isn’t a huge amount to set one SSD apart from another in terms of aesthetics. In fact almost all of the Crucial SSD’s are pretty difficult to tell apart at first glance. The front of the MX200 housing is almost titanium grey in colour, with a textured matte finish. The center of which has a brushed aluminium styled sticker in black, with blue rays of light arcing from the right and a large MX branding over the top. It looks simple, but rather nice and elegant.

Flipping the SSD over to its back, reveals a simple specifications sticker with the model, serial and part number. We typically have a screw hole mount in each of the four corners and to the left both the SATA power and data headers.

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

Our Test Rig for this review (shown below) was treated to a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional N 64Bit (Service Pack 1) with all associated Drivers installed. I also ensured that AHCI was set in the UEFI (although this is now the default settings for most modern MBs). The drive was connected to the Intel SATA 3 (6GBs) port (SATA3_1) of the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer motherboard. No special or other BIOS/UEFI options are required…

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case Cooler Master HAF XB Power Supply Corsair Professional Series AX 760i
    Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer CPU Intel Core i5-4690K
    CPU Cooler Raijintek Themis RAM HyperX Savage 2400MHz 8GB Kit
    Graphics Card XFX AMD Radeon R9 290X DD Black Edition SSD Crucial MX200 250GB

     

    Hardware Performance

     

    We use PCMark 8 to help ascertain Gaming performance. The test used measures the performance of the drive while loading real game data for both World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3. In addition to this we will also use ATTO Disk Benchmark to confirm the drives claimed performance levels.

     

    • BENCHMARKS
    ATTO - Crucial MX200 - 250GB

    Crucial MX200 – 250GB

    Crucial Mx100 256GB - ATTO

    Crucial MX100 – 256GB

    ATTO - SanDisk Extreme 480GB

    SanDisk Extreme Pro – 480GB

     

    • ATTO Disk Benchmark

     

    Rather Surprisingly, the ATTO benchmarks show us that this Crucial MX200 250GB sample is not only faster than it is quoted to be with a Read speed of 564MB/s (vs 555MB/s) and Read speed of 504MB/s write (vs 500MB/s), but it also features the fastest Read speeds we’ve seen so far at pcG! Not bad for a budget SSD eh? 😉

     

    • PCMark 8 Storage Test

     

    PCMark08 - Crucial MX200 - 250GB

    PCMARK 8 – Results

     

    Drive Type World of Warcraft (Load Time) Battlefield 3 (Load Time)
    Crucial MX200 250GB SSD 57.8 s 132.8 s
    Crucial MX100 256GB SSD 57.8 s 132.9 s
    Toshiba HG6 512GB SSD 57.8 s 132.9 s
    SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD 58.3 s 133.4 s
    SanDisk Ultra II 240GB SSD 58.4 s 133.8 s
    Kingston M.2 120GB M.2 58.5 s 134.0 s
    Kingston Now 60GB mSATA 58.9 s 136.2 s
    HyperX Fury 120GB SSD 58.8 s 136.4 s
    ADATA SX300 64GB mSATA 59.0 s 136.7 s
    Kingston HyperX Na’Vi Limited Edition 240GB SSD 59.2 s 137.6 s
    Kingston 200V+ 60GB SSD 59.8 s 138.2 s
    Seagate 2TB SSHD SSHD 99.2 s 260.5 s
    Toshiba 1TB Hybrid SSHD 91.6 s 285.0 s
    Western Digital Black 1TB HDD 123.6 s 303.9 s

     

    We use the PCMARK08 benchmark to test real world loading times for both World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3. With a load time of 57.8s for World of Warcraft. the Crucial MX200 joins the likes of its predecessor the MX100 and the Toshiba HG6 at the top of the chart. The goes on to stand at the top on it’s very own with 132.8s for the Battlefield 3 test. Admittedly only 0.1s above the other two and you wouldn’t really notice the 6s separating it from the Kingston 200V+ 60GB, but still its faster. 🙂

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    So here we have the Crucial MX200 250GB. An SSD with a rather nice low budget price, but does it offer a low and slow budget performance to match?!

    The Crucial MX200 arrived at pcG in a rather stylish and predominately black box, with blue rays of light arcing across its surface (not literally, it’s just a pic 😉 ). The contents of which were suitably packaged. Not that there was a lot of them, just the MX200 250GB itself, one 7mm to 9.5mm spacer and a certificate for Acronis True Image HD. Of course what else would you really need?

    Aesthetically the Crucial MX200 might not be for everyone. The matte and almost titanium grey coloured housing with black and dark blue sticker isn’t quite as neutral as that of an all black SSD for many Gaming rigs, but it certainly looks good and is neutral enough for most.

    In the area of performance this well priced SSD certainly surprises. If the MX200 matched the quoted Read speed of 555MB/s and Write speed of 500MB/s, I’d have been quite happy. Our test sample however gave us higher results for both in ATTO, with a 564MB/s Read speed and Write speed of 504MB/s. Combined with chart topping performance in the PCMARK 8 storage tests make the Crucial MX200 250GB the fastest SSD we’ve tested to date!

    One of the very first things you should be considering when building a new Gaming rig (or even when just refreshing your old) is an SSD. There are however a huge amount available and choosing your new drive can prove rather dizzying. What Crucial have done with the MX200 is make your choice a damn site easier, by offering you a budget priced SSD, without the budget performance. The fact it tops both our PCMARK 8 (even if only by a small amount) and gives us our fastest recorded Read speeds on ATTO with 564MB/s stands testament to this. Ok, so the 504MB/s Read speed recorded in ATTO might not be the greatest, but how often are you actually writing to your drives in-Game? The Crucial MX200 ticks the right performances boxes and looks good, whilst not breaking the bank. Throw in the addition of the Acronis True Image HD software suite and for approximately £85 your picking up a bargain.

     

    Verdict

    Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…



    Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
      Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Crucial MX200 a Gold
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to Crucial for providing this sample for review

     


    1. Paul
      March 10th, 2016 at 18:07 | #1

      I was rather disapointed to find that crucial is no longer packaging this drive in a anti-static bag. I recently was building a computer for a customer and the drive was in same box with no anti-static bag. I thought at first maybe I received a drive that was return or a goof up on Crucial’s end. The drive was defective. (really don’t want to get into as not point of my comment. ) I called up Crucial and talked to their tech support apparently it was a decision from the higher ups not to package the drives in a anti-static bag anymore. First time ive ever gotten a defective Crucial SSD and I am sure the decision of not adding the extra protection is to blame. Really sad and I dont understand why they are trying to go so cheap on the packaging. anti-static bags are cheap.

      • James
        March 10th, 2016 at 21:08 | #2

        I’ll see if I can get this conformed on our side also. Thanks for letting us know your findings… 😉

        ATB pcG James (Editor)

      • James
        March 15th, 2016 at 11:29 | #3

        Crucial has provided us with the following update:

        We can confirm that Crucial no longer ships our 2.5” SSDs in the anti-static bag; instead they are securely placed inside a molded plastic tray and then inserted into our SSD box packaging. If a customer has a defective drive that’s still under warranty, they can call our Crucial Tech Support number in the UK for assistance:

        Freephone: 0800 013 0330
        International: +44 (0)1355 586 100
        Monday-Friday: 8:00am-6:00pm (GMT)

    2. Paul
      April 4th, 2016 at 03:26 | #4

      James :
      Crucial has provided us with the following update:
      We can confirm that Crucial no longer ships our 2.5” SSDs in the anti-static bag; instead they are securely placed inside a molded plastic tray and then inserted into our SSD box packaging. If a customer has a defective drive that’s still under warranty, they can call our Crucial Tech Support number in the UK for assistance:
      Freephone: 0800 013 0330
      International: +44 (0)1355 586 100
      Monday-Friday: 8:00am-6:00pm (GMT)

      Yep, and sadly I believe this why my SSD was defective. Basically what you have in the pictures is exactly how their shipping them now but with no anti static bag. Sad were goign to be choosing alternative manufacturers untill crucial figures it out .