Specs

  • Brand: Crucial
  • Series: MX200, 500GB SATA
  • Read/Write speed: 555 MB/s Read, 500 MB/s Write
  • Unit Size: 2.5″ (7mm)
  • Package Contents: SSD, 9.5mm adapter bracket, Acronis True Image HD software certificate for free data transfer
  • Release Date: January 2015*
  • Price: $149.99

Disclaimer: A hardware sample was provided by Crucial for review purposes.


 

Intro and Design

In a world where gamers are constantly bombarded with new releases, and required installation size climbing, both speed and capacity become more than a necessity. To stand as a testament to this mantra, I have an external 2TB SATA drive that I had to attach as I already have over 1TB of games on my main SSD. Yes, it’s painfully slow. And yes, it’s extremely archaic. But hey, I’ve got a lot of games to review, suckas! #FirstWorldProblems

But, I digress. To showcase some of the variety on the PC gaming market, particularly in terms of speed and value, we prep to dissect the MX200 500GB SSD drive from the folks at Crucial. While there is a plethora of SSD drive options on the market (Samsung, SanDisk, Kingston), there is no shortage of options. And, given that we as humans like our options, it leads to the most important part of your civil duty as a spender of money–we the consumer win. alone

At first glance, the Crucial MX200 is a standard SSD offering as there aren’t much in the way of extras or frills in the package. It’s a beautifully designed drive with some silver and blue reflective coating and I had zero issues installing, formatting, and rocking away. We are focusing on the SATA model, though as demonstrated in the detailed stats below, you can also get the drive in mSATA and M.2 interfaces. With a stated spec of over 500 MB read/write sequential, we were stoked to put this puppy through the gauntlet.

Performance

This is where the action really is, folks. Whether you are just using the drive for your Operating System, so that you can gain some speed in boot time, or in my case game load time reduction, you will be pleased with this bad boy.

To kick things off, I looked at a few basic bits of info and benchmarks to compare some SATA offerings, and more importantly, what the MX200 can really do. Then, I’ll run through some real world examples, focusing on game load times, etc. First off, some detailed stats on the drive using CrystalDiskinfo that is an extremely handy utility to check every nerd-knob on any drive of your choosing.

 

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Secondly, as you’ll see below, are the general performance of a SATA spinning disk. The table will indicate such important items–at least what I would find important–such as load times and access blows for loading games and any large apps.

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For example, to get to the login screen of Black Desert Online, it takes over 30-seconds with my SATA drive. Above you will see performance stats using CrystalDiskMark. Clocking my SATA using the utility shows off the basic performance. It’s quite sad to say that the outcome is just that – basic. Even though the read and write speeds aren’t horrible, they are about to get blown out of the water.

Now, here are the same tests with the Crucial MX200 500GB version. As you can very well see, the standard SATA HDD gets absolutely pulverized. For anyone who is running exclusively on a solid state drive, you know that this isn’t surprising. But for those of you are still loading your games or booting off of a SATA, SHAME ON YOU! Of course, I’m only joking as not everyone can afford the price for performance AND capacity. Anyone who has built their own PC will know the wins and woes of shopping for the best bang for your buck.

Now, after putting Black Desert Online on the MX200, my time to the main menu was less than 10-seconds! Even though we didn’t hit the spec’d 500MB read/write (most drives usually don’t hit their max in benchmarks), the drive is extremely speedy.

 

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The notes above are even more important with anyone who is aiming for the least amount of hang up possible. This is important not only for quicker load times, but who knows how performance will be affected for anyone who has or will be venturing down the path of VR. We all know that games will continue to grow in size with the rise of 4K, which is myself included. Adding VR to the mix only creates more of a need for those looking for their rig to be as optimized as it can be.

boxValue

It’s no secret that I absolutely loved my experience with the Crucial MX200. Although not the fastest drive I’ve ever tested, I knew it wouldn’t be straight out of the gate. Regardless, the drive is impressively fast, especially when loading big games, such as the heavily demanding Black Desert Online. Even though the benchmarking numbers would say different, the MX200 had faster loading times in gaming than almost any drive to date.

This SSD can be found in most places, like the official Crucial site, for around $149.99. This makes it neither the least nor most expensive 500 GB SSD out there. Either way, there’s a ton of value for anyone looking to utilize its swiftness for your gaming rig. There’s no doubt that you will be pleased, having both its size and performance captured in a 2.5″ SSD.

The Bottom Line

Crucial has produced a stellar drive. The stats above already show its strengths when put to the test against other drives. It’s a sign of the times where a 500GB, higher tiered storage device can clock in at around $150. You can check the full product page and specs here. And, with that being said, I honestly can’t wait to see what crucial does next.

Extended Specs

Form Factors
• 2.5”
• mSATA
• M.2 (2260)
• M.2 (2280)

Endurance
• 250GB drive: 80TB total bytes
written (TBW), equal to 43GB per
day for 5 years
• 500GB drive: 160TB total bytes
written (TBW), equal to 87GB per
day for 5 years
• 1TB drive: 320TB total bytes
written (TBW), equal to 175GB
per day for 5 years

Advanced Features
• Dynamic Write Acceleration
• Redundant Array of Independent

NAND (RAIN)
• Exclusive Data Defense
• Adaptive Thermal Protection
• Power Loss Protection4
• Data Path Protection
• Active Garbage Collection
• TRIM Support
• Self Monitoring and Reporting

Technology (SMART)
• Error Correction Code (ECC)

Written by Dustin Orgill


Pros:

  • Can be found at a great value
  • Regardless of benchmarks results, game loading times were FAST!
  • Solid support and warranty

Cons:

  • Not the fastest SSD we've tested in our labs

Final Score:  9 / 10