We have come a long way from the "Crucial SSD" that offered a peak sequential read of 100 MB/s. In the last decade, Crucial, operating as the consumer arm of Micron, has brought years of innovation to the market with their C300, m4, BX, and MX series of solid state drives
The BX500 is the third generation in its series and aims to increase capacity for budget-minded consumers. The BX500 features a no-frills DRAMless design that takes advantage of the Silicon Motion 2258XT and in house 64Layer TLC flash for capacities up to 480GB, and a Silicon Motion 2259XT and 96Layer for 960GB up to 2TB, which we are looking at here.
Performance echoes the peaks of SATA 6Gbps connectivity, offering 540 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write with an endurance rating of 720TB TBW or 390GB per day for five years. MTBF has been set at 1.5 million hours, while advanced features include SLC write acceleration, TRIM, and SMART support.
The MSRP of the Crucial BX500 in the 2TB capacity comes in at $199.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging for the BX500 series offers branding and capacity on the left with model identification to the right.
The back goes into more detail with support software and warranty information.
Unboxing, we have the drive and reading materials.
The drive is offered in a black colorway with BX embossed into the chassis.
On the backside, we have the capacity listed to the right with identification on the left side.
I started our testing with 552 MB/s read and 464 MB/s write in sequentials. 4KQ1 runs at 28 MB/s read and 32 MB/s write.
ATTO shows off the nature of a DRAMless solution with excellent read performance from 128K through 64M and write performance that without cache is at best unstable.
Rounding up the SATA drives tested, the BX500 comes in at the bottom of the list based on its 4KQ1 performance and cost per GB.
PCMark10 has quickly become a staple of performance testing for drives intended for daily OS use. At this point, we have only had two drives in house that have undergone this testing seen above. The BX500 grabs a score of 643 in the quick test with bandwidth of 81 MB/s
Moving to the full system drive test, the BX500 carries a score of 588 with bandwidth at 98 MB/s.
On paper, the BX series has made all the right moves to be a solid budget drive, and it's not that it isn't, competition in the market has almost spoiled Crucial plans to have a two-tiered approach in its SATA lineup. The build quality of the BX500 is on par with any other SATA solution I have used, and the TBW at 720TB for the 2TB is higher than both the 850 EVO, WD Blue, and its MX500 counterpart.
Performance of the BX500 certainly lacks in any scenario that requires heavy write activity. Read activity, on the other hand, is handled without issue and in our testing was able to reach the intended 550 MB/s. ATTO showed just how one-sided this drive's performance can be with intermittent dropouts during writes and steady read performance start to finish.
The pricing of this solution is both good and bad. It is the lowest priced 2TB SATA SSD on the market at $199.99. But, as mentioned in the opening remarks, the market has pushed the cost for all SATA drives down regardless of performance. The highest-performing drives like the MX500, WD Blue, and Seagate Barracuda are all within an extra $20. That said, the BX500 is a useful data drive for scenarios that don't require heavy write workloads, like a game drive or console drive replacement.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula X570 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
It's not all bad for the Crucial BX500 2TB SATA SSD, just don't set it up to fail with heavy write workloads. As a game drive or console drive replacement, it's fairly decent for the price.