Crucial MX200 M.2 500GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Crucial launched their MX200 series quite a while ago and you might remember our reviews of the 2.5-inch SATA3 models in the series. Crucial has now supplied us with this M.2 version of the drive and today I am giving it a good spin on our test bench to see if it can perform as good as the 2.5-inch versions did. The Crucial MX200 M.2 SSD that I’m taking a closer look at today is the 500GB version (CT500MX200SSD4), an impressive capacity considering the size and even more so considering the amount of chips used, but that is something you’ll see further into the review.

The MX100 series originally set new standards for SATA SSDs and Crucial continued that with the MX200. It boasts great features and a great performance, and it does all that are a very reasonable price. One of the features that help the MX200 push ahead of many competitors is the Dynamic Write Acceleration technology. It uses an adaptable pool of high-speed, single-level cell flash memory for a consistent and fast performance rather than a fixed cache of multi-level cell flash.

The Crucial MX200 M.2 500GB drive is rated with a sequential speed of up to 550MB/s when reading and 500MB/s when writing. The random read performance is rated at 100K IOPS while the write performance has an impressive 87K IOPS. That is pretty sweet considering that we have a drive that’s only 22mm wide and 80mm long.

Crucial also made sure that the MX200 will survive for a very long time and it comes with a total bytes written (TBW) rating of 160TB. That equals to 87GB per day for a 5 year period, which should be more than sufficient and at that time you’ll want to upgrade with a more modern drive anyway. Sounds like a safe bet and a purchase where you can’t do much wrong.

Once we peel off the sticker, we see that this 500GB SSD only uses two NAND chips, one controller, and one RAM chip. Removing the sticker also removed most of the print on the NAND chips and it was almost impossible to take a photo where it was properly readable. The rear of the module isn’t used at all, which is what I referred to in the beginning. It’s all done with just two NAND chips.

This is the best I could do on the Micron NAND chips used on this drive. It isn’t the world’s best photo, but it appears to read 51C22 NW659 and the Micron logo is clearly visible.

The controller used is the Marvell 88SS9189-BLD2, a great choice for its features. You get AES 256-bit hardware encryption, it is TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 compliant, and compatible with Microsoft’s eDrive. Other features include Power Loss and Adaptive Thermal Protection, Active Garbage Collection and TRIM support, ECC error checking code and SMART monitoring technology as well as Exclusive Data Defense.

Crucial backs the MX200 series with a 3-year limited warranty and the drive has a life expectancy of 1.5 million hours mean time before failure. The drive also comes bundled with Acronis True Image HD backup and cloning software.

Features

  • Hardware Encryption
    • AES 256-bit encryption
    • TCG Opal 2.0-compliant
    • IEEE-1667-compliant
    • Compatible with Microsoft eDrive
  • Data Transfer Software – Includes Acronis True Image HD software for free data transfer
  • Redundant Array of Independent NAND (RAIN)
  • Exclusive Data Defense: Adaptive Thermal Protection, Power Loss Protection, and Data Path Protection
  • Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), Error Correction Code (ECC), TRIM Support, and Active Garbage Collection

Packaging

An M.2 2280 module doesn’t require much of a packaging at all and it comes in the same type blister package that we know from memory modules; and even that is large for this module. The front carries a sticker with the drive type and capacity while the rear displays the included Acronis True Image HD Software.

Inside the tiny box you’ll find the above-mentioned leaflet with the Acronis True Image HD Software Activation key, which can be downloaded from the internet, two screws in case you misplaced the ones from your motherboard or PCIe adapter card and naturally the M.2 Type 2280 500GB Crucial MX200 SSD.

Zotac CI321Nano Barebones System Review

 

Introduction


Today we are taking a look at one of Zotac’s latest ZBOX CI321 nano barebones system that is packing a dual-core 2961Y CPU. Something that makes this CI321 nano stand out of the crowd is that it carries dual Gigabit LAN and is completely silent with its passively cooled design. With the inclusion of an onboard IR receiver, this makes it an interesting option for a silent HTPC. With it being a barebones kit, you can use some memory or 2.5″ drives that you have on hand to keep the final build costs down. There has been a lot of growth in the mini PC market and Zotac has been in it for a long time with its ZBOX lineup.

Specifications
  • Name: ZBOX CI321 nano
  • CPU: Intel Celeron 2961Y (2C/2T, 1.10 GHz, 22nm, 6W)
  • RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v 
  • SSD: User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
  • GPU: Integrated – Intel HD Graphics
  • LAN: dual 10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, 2x 1Gb LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $149.99

Retail Packaging

Printed materials that the CI321 comes with

The hardware that you get with the CI321 allows you to mount the unit via the VESA mount of a monitor or TV. You also get an optical audio adapter for use with a Toslink connection, a dual band WiFi antenna, and screws to mount your 2.5″ SSD or HDD.

 

CPU-Z

 

GPU-Z

Crucial MX200 1TB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Crucial recently launched the MX200 series solid state drives and we’ve already had a look at the 250GB model here a little while ago. Today I’m taking a closer look at the big brother, the Crucial MX200 1TB solid state drive.

“We designed the MX200 and BX100 to meet the varied needs of the market, making it easier for anyone to move to an SSD, whether they are a seasoned computer enthusiast or an absolute beginner, all while keeping value top of mind,” said Jonathan Weech, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial. “These drives leverage Micron’s years of heritage in storage technology to deliver advanced features and performance, resulting in an unparalleled SSD experience for our consumers.”

The Crucial MX200 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-inch client SSD is the next generation and follow-up to the highly successful and recommended MX100 series.

The Crucial MX200 series can perform sequential reads on both compressible and incompressible data with up to 555 MB/s which in itself is very impressive. Crucial adds to that with an endurance rating of 320TB total bytes written (TBW), which equals to 175GB per day for 5 years.

While the little brother relied on the Dynamic Write Acceleration to keep up the speeds, both the 500GB and 1TB models don’t require this. The can still perform great with up to 100K random read IOPS and up to 87K write IOPS.

Crucial’s RAIN technology protects your data at the component level, similar to how RAID works. This technology increases the security and protection of your data to a level that’s rarely seen in consumer-class SSDs.

Hardware encryption is also supported via AES 256-bit encryption, so all those private files can stay safe from hackers and other bad people. The Adaptive Thermal Protection technology enables the Crucial MX200 to dynamically adjust storage component activity based on how you’re using the drive, thereby allowing your storage to stay cooler.

The Crucial MX200 also features four layers of Exclusive Data Defense to prevent data corruption as well as being backed by a 3-year warranty.

Where the 250GB model only required the use of one side of the PCB, this 1TB model needs both sides and we find eight Micron NAND chips on each side. The cache has also been doubled while the controller stays the Marvel 88SS9189.

Features

  • Hardware Encryption
    • AES 256-bit encryption
    • TCG Opal 2.0-compliant
    • IEEE-1667-compliant
    • Compatible with Microsoft eDrive
  • Data Transfer Software – Includes Acronis True Image HD software for free data transfer
  • Redundant Array of Independent
  • NAND (RAIN)
  • Exclusive Data Defense
  • Adaptive Thermal Protection
  • Power Loss Protection
  • Data Path Protection
  • Active Garbage Collection
  • TRIM Support
  • Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART)
  • Error Correction Code (ECC)

Crucial MX200 250GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Crucial recently launched the MX200 and BX100 series solid state drives and today I’m taking the first of those for a spin on the test bench, the Crucial MX200 250GB.

“We designed the MX200 and BX100 to meet the varied needs of the market, making it easier for anyone to move to an SSD, whether they are a seasoned computer enthusiast or an absolute beginner, all while keeping value top of mind,” said Jonathan Weech, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial. “These drives leverage Micron’s years of heritage in storage technology to deliver advanced features and performance, resulting in an unparalleled SSD experience for our consumers.”

The Crucial MX200 250GB SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-inch client SSD (CT250MX200SSD1) is the next generation of the highly successful and recommended MX100 series with improvements on all fronts, such as the new Dynamic Write Acceleration technology.

The Crucial MX200 can perform sequential reads on both compressible and incompressible data with up to 555 MB/s which in itself is very impressive. Crucial adds to that with an endurance rating that is up to 5 times greater than a typical client SSD. This 250GB model is rated for 80TB total bytes written (TBW), which equals to 43GB per day for 5 years.

Most SSDs rely on a fixed cache of multi-level cell flash memory that in return allows you to write sequential data at the rated speeds, but only for so long. The Dynamic Write Acceleration technology solves this problem by using an adaptable pool of high-speed single-level cell flash memory for consistently fast performance.

Crucial’s RAIN technology protects your data at the component level, similar to how RAID works. This technology increases the security and protection of your data to a level that’s rarely seen in consumer-class SSDs.

Hardware encryption is also supported via AES 256-bit encryption, so all those private files can stay safe from hackers and other bad people. The Adaptive Thermal Protection technology enables the Crucial MX200 to dynamically adjust storage component activity based on how you’re using the drive, thereby allowing your storage to stay cooler.

The Crucial MX200 also features four layers of Exclusive Data Defense to prevent data corruption as well as being backed by a 3-year warranty.

Inside the drive, we find eight Micron NAND chips and a Marvell 88SS9189 Controller paired with Micron Cache chip all on a single side of the PCB.

Features

  • Hardware Encryption
    • AES 256-bit encryption
    • TCG Opal 2.0-compliant
    • IEEE-1667-compliant
    • Compatible with Microsoft eDrive
  • Data Transfer Software – Includes Acronis True Image HD software for free data transfer
  • Dynamic Write Acceleration
  • Redundant Array of Independent
  • NAND (RAIN)
  • Exclusive Data Defense
  • Adaptive Thermal Protection
  • Power Loss Protection
  • Data Path Protection
  • Active Garbage Collection
  • TRIM Support
  • Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART)
  • Error Correction Code (ECC)

Crucial Introduces Next Generation Solid State Drives

Crucial announced two new solid state drives, the Crucial MX200 for speed and performance and the Crucial BX100 budget drive.

“We designed the MX200 and BX100 to meet the varied needs of the market, making it easier for anyone to move to an SSD, whether they are a seasoned computer enthusiast or an absolute beginner, all while keeping value top of mind,” said Jonathan Weech, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial. “These drives leverage Micron’s years of heritage in storage technology to deliver advanced features and performance, resulting in an unparalleled SSD experience for our consumers.”

The new Crucial MX200 delivers sequential reads and write up to 555MB/s and 500MB/s, along with random reads and writes up to 100k and 87k IOPS on all file types. It will be available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities with respective MSRPs of $139.99, $249.99, and $469.99. The 1TB model also features an impressive endurance rating that is up to 5 times higher than typical SSDs.

The MX200 also features the new Dynamic Write Acceleration, a unique technology that enables faster saves and file transfers. Other features include AES 256-bit encryption, data defence against file corruption, added thermal protection and power-loss protection that safely flushes the data to the flash.

The new budget BX100 SSD can still deliver sequential reads and writes up to 535MB/s and 450MB/s on all file types and is the first Crucial drive to use the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller. It will be available in 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities with respective MSRPs of $69.99, $109.99, $199.99, and $399.99.

All models of both drives, the Crucial MX200 and the BX100, will be available in Q1 2015 and are backed by a three-year warranty.

Thanks to Crucial for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Crucial