The niche of SSD with SATA interface in 2021 remained one: accumulation and long-term storage of data. They are still used as the only drive-in budget workstations and laptops, but this is not often found. By modern standards, the maximum throughput of SATA is small because SSDs with PCI Express buses can deliver more than three thousand MB / s. Nevertheless, SATA SSDs for the user sector continue to come out. The BX500 terabyte drive from Crucial arrived for the test. Let’s see what he is capable of.
- Model: Crucial CT1000BX500SSD1.
- Form factor: 2.5“.
- Interface: SATA III.
- Volume: 1 TB.
- Controller: Silicon Motion SM2259XT.
- Memory type: 3D QLC.
- Read / write speed: up to 540/500 MB / sec.
- TBW: 360 TB.
- Power consumption: up to 8.5 watts.
- Working temperature: 0 to 70 ° C.
- Dimensions: 100 × 70 × 7 mm.
- Weight: 19 g.
- Warranty: 3 years.
The price at the time of this writing is 8,000 rubles.
Appearance, Design features
The drive package is double: outer shell made of thin cardboard, a plastic blister for shaping and protecting the SSD from mechanical damage.
The word “kit” has long been inapplicable to budget drives. All additional screws and adapters for 3.5 “are a thing of the past. The BX500 looks solid: a 7 mm thick aluminum case with the manufacturer’s logo and stamped “BX” (series name) letters.
On the back – a sticker with a barcode, model name, and brief characteristics: SATA 6 GB/s interface, 2.5 ” form factor, maximum 5 V line consumption up to 1.7 A (wow!), 1000 GB volume (or 931.5 gigabytes of honest). The weight is tiny – 19 grams.
The internals reveals the reason for this low weight: the PCB takes up about a third of the inside area of the case. Why, then, would the body be made so large? There are cases cut in half along the length, and in some cases, they greatly simplify installation (in mobile devices). Maybe such a large case is a heat sink? Aluminum conducts heat well, and the appetites, judging by the specifications, are rather big.
The printed circuit board is half-empty for all its modest area: the memory chips on the back are not unsoldered. This is a reserve for the 2 TB version, while the test sample is half the size. On the front side, you can see the controller and two memory chips. The thermal interface used for contact with the case is installed only on NAND memory. The controller is usually the hottest.
Silicon Motion’s SM2259XT is used as a controller. This is a budget controller, a small alteration of the SM2258 to adapt to the new memory. It has a single-core processor and no buffer memory (it uses RAM instead). There are four channels for connecting NAND-memory, not eight, as indicated by the “XT” postscript to the model number. The read/write speeds declared by the manufacturer are 560/520 MB/s, respectively.
Memory 64-layer 3D QLC manufactured by Micron, several crystals with a capacity of 1 Tbit are collected in the case.
In general, the solution turned out to be a bit strange (in terms of the controller-memory-volume combination). Let’s see how it performs in tests.
The CrystalDiskMark benchmark “exceeded” the norm declared by the SSD manufacturer: 557 instead of 550 and 516 instead of 500 megabytes per second for streaming read and write, respectively. It also copes well with small blocks of data lined up in a queue…
… But it is worth considering with understanding the optimism of this largely synthetic (in terms of test profiles) benchmark and looking at a more realistic AS SSD.
The numbers are lower by a good 50 MB / s for streaming reading and writing, and the speed of work with four-kilobyte blocks also noticeably dropped. The ISO, Program, and Game profiles finish the picture: if you are not downloading a huge file, but writing a bunch of medium and large ones, then you should count on a speed of 120-250 MB / s. This is a controller limitation.
It can be seen very well on the graphs produced by the AIDA64 program:
Linear reading is an almost perfectly straight line. For streaming recording, the SLC area stretched for a good 130 gigabytes. Data was written quickly, 450 MB / sec. After the possibility of uncontrolled uploading of data dried up, we got a drop to 90 MB / s with frequent ups and downs to 270. The random write graph is all in the form of a continuous “saw” from 7 to 300 MB / s, and the reading is an almost flat line at 340 MB / sec.
And here, it is worth mentioning such a moment as the influence of filling with data on speed indicators. All of the above figures and graphs were shot on a completely blank SSD, and therefore can be considered (with some amendments) a demonstration of the best that the BX500 has to offer to the buyer. The write speed can drop significantly as soon as the SSD fills up to 500-600 gigabytes. But not reading speed! Therefore, it is worthwhile to determine the positioning of this model for yourself clearly. This is a terabyte SSD for 8 thousand rubles, which can hold 931 honest gigabytes of data. But, because of its obvious cheapness, one should not expect high write speeds from it. Readings – yes. It is compact, does not make noise, does not get warm at all (which surprised me pretty much), lightweight compared to a similar 2.5 ” hard drive. But it would be best if you didn’t consider it as a “budget 980 PRO”. These are devices of completely different classes. If you plan to use the BX500 for a system, then, to maintain a “nimble” response, it is advisable not to hammer it more than half in volume.
Crucial is releasing a Storage Executive program for its (and not only “its”) drives. The software is “able” quite a lot compared to a similar product from many other manufacturers. In addition to the banal viewing of temperatures, SMART parameters, firmware version, and occupied space, here you can completely clear the disk of data, perform Crypto Erase, change the drive’s volume, and manage the backup area. A pleasant product aimed at the common user, with clear warnings and understandable explanations.
Crucial has released an interesting product. The BX500 is a quality, niche drive. It is preferable to use it in those tasks when the speed of data reading is important, but the write speed is not important due to its rarity and/or small volumes. In fact, it is a good replacement for small local file storage, which are usually equipped with former system hard drives. The BX500 is small and does not get warm at all. It has a high-quality Micron memory with a good resource. They give it for 8,000 rubles in Moscow retail, which is adequate for volume and high-speed performance.
- Price/volume ratio.
- Low heat in operation.
- Compact board, lightweight 2.5 ” drive.
- Good proprietary software.
May not like
- The speed of writing large amounts of data at 50+% filling the volume.