Crucial's MX100 has been one the most successful SSDs on the market. Its very aggressive pricing along with decent performance and great feature set has made it an excellent buy for mainstream users. Here at CES Crucial just introduced the MX200, the successor of MX100, and a new budget-oriented model called the BX100.

The MX200 is essentially the branded version of Micron's M600 that we reviewed earlier. The notable change compared to the MX100 is that the MX200 features Dynamic Write Acceleration (DWA), which is Micron's/Crucial's SLC cache implementation. I covered the feature in detail in our M600 review, but in short the SLC cache size is adaptive and changes depending on how much data the user is storing in the drive (unlike e.g. Samsung's and SanDisk's implementations where the SLC cache size is fixed). I wasn't very impressed by the performance of the M600 and DWA, but what DWA does provide is higher endurance since SLC is significantly more durable. Crucial is rating the 250GB version at 80TB, 500GB at 160TB and 1TB at 320TB, which is a notable increase over the 72TB that the MX100 had.

Otherwise the MX200 is very similar to the MX100. It's a Marvell 88SS9189 based design with Micron's 16nm 128Gbit NAND and as usual the MX200 features DevSleep, TCG Opal 2.0 and eDrive encryption. MSRPs are $140 for 250GB, $250 for 500GB and $470 for 1TB, which is certainly a bit more compared to the MX100. M.2 and mSATA models are also available, though the capacities only go to up to 500GB. Availability will be later in this quarter and we are expected to get samples in the next couple of weeks.

The other SSD that Crucial is launching is more interesting. The BX100 will be Crucial's entry-level drive (the B stands for budget) and the intriguing part is that Crucial is using Silicon Motion's 2246EN controller with 16nm 128Gbit NAND, which is change from Crucial's usual Marvell designs. Actually, the BX100 is the first drive from a NAND OEM to ship with a Silicon Motion controller, so that is certainly a big design win for the company. I've been pretty pleased with the 2246EN and it has done well in our tests, so I can see why Crucial chose to go with that one.

Feature wise the BX100 drops all the M-class features, so there is no hardware-accelerated encryption or SLC caching. Pricing is $70 for 120GB, $110 for 250GB, $200 for 500GB and $400 for 1TB, so it's very competitively priced like the MX100, although given the lack of features I would have like to see a bit lower pricing since the MX100 currently retails for about the same prices. Availability is also Q1'15 and we will be getting samples soon.

Finally, after a long period of waiting, Crucial is launching its own toolbox for SSDs, called the Crucial Storage Executive. The 1.0 version is a fairly basic toolbox with support for firmware updates, drive monitoring, secure erase and PSID revert, although Crucial has plans to add more features in the future. Supported drives are currently the M500, M550, MX100, MX200 and BX100 and the software is already available for download from Crucial's website. 

Crucial MX200 Product Page

Crucial BX100 Product Page

Crucial Storage Executive

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  • TheWrongChristian - Monday, January 12, 2015 - link

    True. But others seem to have been able to make a reasonable drive out of the Phison controller. MyDigitalSSD and Corsair both make Phison based SSD that on paper at least, blow the V4 out of the water. Reply
  • hojnikb - Monday, January 12, 2015 - link

    Yeah, but they used newer versions of phison s series controller. Crucial used phison s5, which was utter garbage even at the time. And it was no different with other OEMs that used that controller either; torq2 and mydigitalssd had the same issues with stuttering and very poor performance. Reply
  • Araemo - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    SSD Toolbox? Finally. The amount of hassle I had to go through to update the SSD on an M400 when the bios was set to UEFI secure boot only. Their bios updater tosses a real-mode boot sector into BCD as a 'one time boot option' - which fails horribly in UEFI boot mode. Luckily, Windows 7 BCD was smart enough to failback to booting windows, instead of leaving the computer unbootable. I ended up extracting their mess to a USB key and setting up the boot options myself, since the 'bootable disk' download was hardcoded to look on the CD for the floppy image, and we didn't have a blank CD/DVD in the house (I considered it lucky I had even put a CD/DVD drive in that PC, but it wasn't useful without the disks). Reply
  • shadarlo - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    As long as prices drop as much under MSRP as they have for the MX100 and similar drives these will be very good deals in a few months as supply ramps. Reply
  • RU482 - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    wonder why the MX200 is 250GB/500GB/1TB when M600 is 256GB/512GB/1TB Reply
  • Hairs_ - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    Neither of these looks like a good replacement for the mx100. The bx loses too many features and to consumers is on an "unproven" controller so it would have to be considerably cheaper, and the 200 is too much of a jump in price for what doesn't look like much more than we're already getting.

    The mx100 has been too good to be true for a long while I suppose, maxing out sata performance at budget prices with features like TGC Opal support, matched with the cheapest pricing around.

    Maybe crucial got sick off making the rest of their lineup redundant!

    They should still have announced a proper pcie drive though. No point upgrading on SATA 3 connections.
    Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    "consumers is on an "unproven" controller "

    But most consumers don't give a ratz azz about a controller or even what one is.
    Reply
  • Frangelina - Sunday, January 11, 2015 - link

    There is no more M550 2.5 on Crucial site. The X200 took the helm keeping the color but anonymous. However, new firmware for the M550. Reply
  • ace1ndahole - Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - link

    Finally they got the connector and sticker on the correct side....jeezes I love crucial and owns 3 of their SSDs, m500 and mx100s, but I could never understood why in the world they decided to flip the front and back of the casing. Reply
  • dddnc - Friday, February 6, 2015 - link

    What is this DWA technology really about? Crucial states on their website that for the 500GB and 1TB MX200 drives, the DWA is "not required".

    Does this mean that the larger drives will never enter ghe SLC mode? I'm probably cancelling my new MX200 order because of this!
    Reply

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