Crucial BX500 SSD Review: The DRAMless Invasion Continues

Conclusion

Crucial’s BX500 has a cost-reducing DRAMless architecture, but that has a big impact on performance. Even without DRAM, the SSD can achieve the typical sequential throughput we expect from a SATA SSD, but the BX500's all-important 4K random performance, a key measurement of drive snappiness, is lower than most SSDs.

We have seen this type of performance before from drives like Toshiba's TR200, which also doesn’t have a DRAM cache. Like the BX500, that drive exhibits low performance in random workloads. Write performance also suffers during extended write workloads.

As we saw in the PCMark 8 and SYSmark 2014 benchmarks, the Crucial BX500 is unimpressive in tests that measure real-world application performance. The BX500 surpasses an HDD, without question, but there is a clear divide between it and other SSDs. While it comes with an SSD toolbox and Acronis True Image HD for migrating your data, the BX500's value proposition still leaves a lot to be desired.

ProductCapacityTBW Price WarrantyPrice Per GBPrice Per TBW
Crucial BX50012040$26.99 3$0.22 $0.67

24080$42.95 3$0.18 $0.54

480120$69.99 3$0.15 $0.58
Crucial MX500250100$52.99 5$0.21 $0.53

500180$72.99 5$0.15 $0.41
Kingston A40012040$24.99 3$0.21 $0.62

24080$37.28 3$0.16 $0.47

480160$76.99 3$0.16 $0.48
Samsung 860 EVO250150$52.99 5$0.21 $0.35

500300$72.99 5$0.15 $0.24
WD Blue 3D250100$50.10 3$0.20 $0.50

500200$77.99 3$0.16 $0.39
Intel SSD 545s12872$26.99 5$0.21 $0.37

256144$54.99 5$0.21 $0.38

512288$89.99 5$0.18 $0.31

The BX500 family is priced competitively at $0.15- to $0.22-per-GB, but there are better options for only a few dollars more. It appears the viability of lower-tier products has nearly vanished at these low capacities. The BX500 would need to have a significantly smaller price tag for us to recommend it. Even if you are pinching pennies, we would recommend the WD Blue 3D, MX500, or Samsung 860 EVO. All those drives boast longer warranties, greater performance, and endurance at competitive price points.

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