Crucial is known for their competitive, and often cheaper, SSD solutions. Always seemingly a step behind Samsung, Crucial still remains a reliable, affordable alternative. 2015’s BX200 was recently replaced by the new BX300, and with a hefty performance upgrade. Read on for our review.
- MSRP: $144.99
- Memory Type: MLC (3D NAND)
- Sequential Read: 555 MB/s
- Sequential Write: 510 MB/s
- Random Read IOPS: 95K
- Random Write IOPS: 90K
- Endurance: 160TBW (est. 5 years at 88GB per day)
The experts at Anandtech can give you the full history of the Crucial BX and BX models, but suffice it to say, Crucial’s drives are reliable and perform admirably, just not quite as speedily as the Samsungs. Is the extra few seconds shaved off load times and transfer speeds worth an extra $50 or so on average? If, like me, you’re thinking not then Crucial should probably be the solution you’re looking for.
Now Anandtech can compare the speeds to the BX200, but for our review we’re comparing things to a standard (as in, everyone has one) Seagate 7200 RPM HDD and the roster of SSDs we’ve tested out over the last year. Obviously, the winner in our testing are the NVME SSDs, as the speeds on that tech just far outdo the now “old” SATA SSDs. But, if you’re not willing to sacrifice the PCIe slots, or spend the extra moolah, SATA SSDs are more and more affordable. The key will be when we compare these tests one day to one of Crucial’s own M.2 drives.
Real World Use Testing
For our testing this round, we decided to focus on real world use. Synthetic benchmarks have their place, but given the BX300’s place in the market and what we’re comparing against, we wanted to keep things practical and down to earth. What are you going to see in your own rig?
First, we did some basic transfer speed tests, using a 21GB install folder for The Elder Scrolls Skyrim. As you can see, the speeds of the BX300 far outpace the ol’ Seagate. The BX300 does a good job of staying competitive against even PCIe drives in large part because of its consistency. The PCIe drives each suffered slowdowns midway through the large file transfer that the BX300 and WD Blue 3D simply did not encounter. The BX300 wasn’t as “bursty” as the WD Blue, but it did maintain a higher average speed throughout. The results are close, with the WD Blue finishing its transfer just a few seconds before the BX300.
Boot and Load Times
Like all SSDs, the boot times and general loads are going to be where you notice an increase of speed over your archaic HDDs. As you can see here, while it won’t compare to an M.2 speeds, the performance upgrade over the Seagate is phenomenal.
Boot times are fairly close between all of the drives we tested; however, we do see the expected advantages of an M.2 drive. When we look closer at the two SATA drives here, the Blue and BX300, we see that Western Digital has a slight edge. Given the price difference between these drives, this level of performance is impressive.
Please pardon our dust with some missing data on the newest games. As we work on updating our backend, we weren’t able to test each drive on every single game. What we can see from the load times we were able to test is that the BX300 is, as expected, remarkably faster than our Seagate. Compared against the other SSDs in our roundup, though, we can see it pull ahead in cases like World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls Online, but fall behind in others, like Mass Effect: Andromeda. In most cases, the differences are close enough where you wouldn’t notice.
The Crucial BX300 is running at around $150 across a load of stores, and the 525GB variant is right in line with that pricing too. While it would be slower than an M.2 drive in most cases, the speeds and consistency of the BX300 make that price point incredibly appealing. You may not notice a second or two difference in a load screen, but you will notice the extra dollars you save in your bank account. Definitely recommended.
The product discussed in this review was provided by public relations for evaluation purposes.