In the introduction, we said we would talk about Crucial's marketing of the BX500 to gamers and also detail some advanced info on DRAMless SSDs.
Let's look at two scenarios first that everyone will be able to pick up easily. Let's say you have 99 white ping pong balls and 1 yellow ball. You put them all in a box and have to reach in and pull out the yellow ball. The DRAM makes the box really wide, so there is very little overlap of balls. You can visually see the yellow ball most of the time.
With a DRAMless SSD, the box is smaller, so only a limited number of balls are visible on the top layer. The top layer being the small amount of SRAM in the controller. It takes you longer to find the yellow ball if it's not right on top. Let's take this out further. Large capacity SSDs increase the number of white balls. So, for this example, let's say a 1TB SSD means you now have 999 white balls instead of 99. The number increases with the amount of data you have on the drive, so the number of balls is always dynamic, but you can see how the amount of data you have on the drive increases the amount of time it takes to pull the yellow ball. This is not limited to just DRAMless SSDs, the more data you have on any SSD increases the number of white balls.
To be fair, the controller companies have done quite a bit with the limited SRAM space. It's a cache so frequently accessed areas stay in the high-speed SRAM, but the rest of the map is only on the slower flash. With more data on a drive directly linked to performance, at some point, it becomes better to divide your data between two SSDs. Even if you have a large capacity, high-speed NVMe SSD, you can benefit from storing games on a second SSD.
The 960GB BX500 didn't outright win our Final Fantasy: Stormblood game load time test, but it outperformed every other drive except for the Crucial MX500. If your goal is to maximize game loading performance per dollar, the BX500 is hard to beat. If you just want a single SSD to handle all your data, spend a little more and buy an MX500 or 860 EVO.
The Bottom Line
The 960GB Crucial BX500 is a strong SSD for loading games, but doesn't deliver similar results as a general purpose drive.
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