Flash prices have been plummeting like a rock of late, and that's a problem for budget SSDs trying to compete with higher-end options on sale. For its part, Crucial is staying in the game with its BX500 series of drives. These SSDs come in 120-GB, 240-GB, and 480-GB capacities, and they promise typical-for-SATA 540 MB/s sequential reads and 500 MB/s sequential writes across the board.
Crucial says the BX500 series uses its 3D NAND inside, but details are scanty past that, including a lack of random performance data, no specs for the organization of the flash cells inside, and no info as to whether the drive includes DRAM caching. The company does rate the 120-GB drive for just 40 terabytes written (TBW), the 240-GB drive for 80 TBW, and the 480-GB drive for 120 TBW.
Those endurance figures suggest that Micron might be using QLC NAND with these drives, given that the 3D TLC MX500 can withstand a specified 180 TBW in its 500-GB form. Intel's QLC SSD 660P offers a 100-TBW endurance for its 500-GB model, by way of contrast. Crucial backs up all capacities of the BX500 with three-year warranties, too, down from five years for the MX500.
Budget SSD buyers can't be troubled by the prices these drives will command, though. At $90 for 480 GB (18.8¢/gig), $50 for 240 GB (20.8¢/gig), and just $30 for 120 GB (25¢/gig), the BX500 series should serve the buyer who just wants to move off spinning rust just fine. The discount winds could drive those prices down even further, too. Crucial says the BX500 series will start shipping tomorrow.