Crucial BX100

Crucial, maker of SSDs and memory modules, recently announced the BX200 SSD for budget buyers. The drive is an update to the BX100 series and carries the same controller. The flash chips, however, have been replaced with cheaper TLC memory from Micron, using their 16-nanometer process optimised for density and low power. The switch from MLC memory will likely result in slower average performance compared to the BX100 family, with a resulting lower price. There will be storage options from 240GB all the way to 960GB in a 2.5-inch form factor, along with a three-year warranty.

If you’re looking for a decent system drive, these wouldn’t be a bad deal at all, but as the first TLC-based product from Crucial, I was hoping that there’d be more performance under the hood. Read speeds for the 480GB model top out at 540MB/s, with writes peaking at 490MB/s, but these are peak performance statistics, and those don’t tell the whole story about how the drive performs over time. TLC solutions by Samsung, for example, get around the higher latency and lower write speeds of the chips by partioning off a portion of the drive’s available space into a faster SLC cache to improve random write performance. Under sustained loads, there’s a good chance that the average write speeds will drop to somewhere around 240MB/s.

General availability of the BX200 family starts this week, according to local distributor Syntech, which is the sole importer of Crucial products for South Africa. I spoke to Syntech marketing manager Kimberly Blake, who told me that orders from Syntech could start soon for retailers. There are currently no plans announced by Crucial to drop the prices of the BX100 family to make way for the new models, so I’d recommend waiting on deals for those drives before considering these, just to see how things match up.

The only local pricing I’ve found so far for the BX200 family is on Wootware, with an introductory price of R1499 for the 250GB model and R2699 for the 480GB drive. These are only the starting points, so you can expect these to drive down even lower as Crucial puts the pressure on the budget market. With those prices, the 250GB drive has a ratio of R5.99 per GB, and the 480GB drive stands at R5.62 per GB.

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