Hands-on review: Crucial BX200 2.5-inch SSD 480GB
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With his current gaming solid state drive packed to the gills with the likes of The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4, in order to find somewhere to install Just Cause 3, NetGuide’s Darren Price takes a look at Crucial’s 480GB BX200 2.5-inch SDD.
If you are running a desktop PC without at least having a solid-state drive for your operating system, you real should be considering an upgrade. The addition of a lightning-fast SSD to accommodate your operating system speeds up both PC start-up and the loading of essential programs.
Gamers with high-spec rigs are increasingly finding that data access speeds are the cause of their performance issues. Fast graphics processing units and huge amounts of video RAM require speedy access to texture data in order to preserve the blistering frames per second demanded by hardcore gamers.
The only real way to achieve this is by installation of a SDD dedicated to games.
Crucial is a name long associated with producing solid gaming memory solutions. Owned by Micron, who also own memory stick giants, Lexar, you can’t really go wrong.
The Crucial BX200 2.5-inch SSD comes in three sizes: a modest 240GB, an accommodating 480GB and, for the more well-heeled, a gigantic 960GB. All three sport speeds of up to 540MB/s for read and 490MB/s write.
The review kit consisted of a 7mm thick 480GB BX200 with the 2.5mm adapter for 9.5mm installations and a Crucial SSD Install Kit. Both the SDD box and the install kit contained a code for the Acronis True Image HD software, very handing for imaging your existing OS HDD into a new SSD. The install kit also included a 2.5-inch adapter bracket form mounting in a standard 3.5-inch desktop hard drive bay, all the screws that you will need, a SATA cable and handy USB to SATA cable.
As I was using the SSD in addition to my OS SDD, all I needed from the kit was the 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch adapter and the SATA cable. The USB to SATA cable will, however, come in very useful in the future, I’m sure.
The Crucial BX200 is a SATA 6.0Gb/s device and need to be connected to a SATA 6.0Gb/s socket to get the best out of it. Whilst with normal hard drives, plugging it in a SATA 3.0Gb/s or SATA 6.0Gb/s socket didn’t make any difference as a regular mechanical drive wouldn’t even get anywhere near 3.0Gb/s transfer speeds. An SSD, especially one boasting a max speed of 540Gb/s is going to need all of the bandwidth you can give it.
Unfortunately, as the review machine is a working PC, it doesn't have much in the way of spare HDD real estate. The last available SATA 6.0Gb/s sockets are of the Marvell variety, and I’ve never got them to spin a drive up to the max with the new Windows 10 setup. Even so, testing with Crystal DiskMark 5 yielded read speeds of 372MB/s and write speeds of 267.3MB/s, which are still not bad.
Installing the 480Gb Crucial BX200 2.5-inch SSD was easy, made all the easier by having a decent 3.5-adapter and the SATA cable in the install kit. Whilst I didn’t get the performance I was expecting, a 480Gb SSD at around NZ$250 (if you shop about) is starting to make SSDs a viable solution for everyday data storage.
Whilst there are faster SSDs out there, you’ll be hard pushed to beat the Crucial BX200 on a gigabyte for dollar basis, and with the support of Micron behind it and a 3-year warranty to boot.