Crucial MX200 250GB SSD Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
courtesy of 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|
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.
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…
|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|
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.
- 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
|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. 🙂
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.
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Many thanks to Crucial for providing this sample for review