Cru­cial BX300 SSD: One of the fastest MLC SATA solid‑state drives we’ve tested

That’s all you need to know.

PCWorld (USA) - - Reviews - BY JON L. JACOBI

You may color us sur­prised any time we re­ceive an SSD such as Cru­cial’s new BX300 that’s not based on 3D TLC NAND. Ac­tu­ally, you may color us de­lighted. MLC NAND, even 3D (aka stacked, lay­ered, tiered, etc) like that used in the BX300, can con­sis­tently per­form near the limit of SATA 6Gbps, where TLC gen­er­ally can’t. Once you ex­ceed the cache in a TLC drive, per­for­mance dips, some­times dras­ti­cally. With MLC, you get consistent straight-line per­for­mance, gen­er­ally 450Mbps or bet­ter.


The BX300 is avail­able in 120GB ( go.

pc­, 240GB ( go.pc­world. com/240g), and 480GB fla­vors that we found on Amazon for $60 (50 cents per GB), $90 (37 cents per GB), and $150 (31 cents per GB) re­spec­tively. Com­pet­i­tive, though we’ve seen cheaper TLC drives. The 120GB and 240GB models have 256MB of DRAM cache, while the 480GB (the one we tested) has 512MB. There’s also 4GB of SLC NAND cache per 120GB of MLC.

All three models carry a three-year war­ranty, and the 120GB version is rated for 55 TBW (Ter­abytes Writ­ten), the

240GB model for 80 TBW, and the 480GB version, 160 TBW. That’s not the high­est TBW we’ve seen, but still well over the ex­pected us­age for a pe­riod of 5 years. Ac­tu­ally, for most users, 10 or 15 years.

De­sign... re­ally? Come on, it’s a 2.5-inch SATA 6Gbs SSD. The BX300 is the same size as all of its ilk, though we should tell you that it is 7mm, not 9mm, thick, and con­se­quently a nice fit for up­grad­ing a laptop. It’s sil­ver and has a blue Cru­cial logo. Oh, and it has rounded cor­ners.


Hav­ing al­ready sung the praises of MLC, the only thing to do is to show you the dif­fer­ence. We’ve in­cluded Kingston’s Hyperx Savage (MLC, of course), which is the fastest SATA SSD we’ve ever tested, as well as some TLC

drives to show you the dif­fer­ence.

We tested the BX300 us­ing AS SSD and Crys­tald­iskmark 5 (not shown), and we per­formed 20GB copy tests. As the lat­ter might not ex­ceed the cache of our 480GB model by much, and to dis­pel any doubts of mon­key busi­ness, we also tried writ­ing larger 40GB and 49GB data sets to the drive. It main­tained the same sus­tained speeds shown in the charts.

PCIE/NVME? That’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent class. We didn’t in­clude one on the charts be­cause 2Tbps read­ing and 1.2Tbps writ­ing tends to make SATA look bad.

Note: While we tested the 480GB version of the BX300, the lower-ca­pac­ity models, es­pe­cially the 120GB version, might test a bit slower; most no­tice­ably when writ­ing lots of small files. This is not be­cause of the type of NAND or amount of cache, but sim­ply be­cause there are fewer chips and fewer pipes to spread data across.


The BX300, all things be­ing equal, and by that we mean avail­able at or near the same price as TLC NAND SSDS, is the bet­ter drive. You might not no­tice the per­for­mance dif­fer­ence in ev­ery­day use, but the first time you write a large batch of files to it you’ll be happy you opted for it. Thanks to Cru­cial for putting an af­ford­able, non-com­pro­mised SSD out there for con­sumers.

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