Crucial BX500 SSDs give budget builders more choice

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.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    Newegg has 7 drives for under $90 and all of them are 20-32GB larger than the 480GB of this BX500.

    [i<]Edit: In fact, the $78 [url=https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820301381<]SP A55[/url<] is a TLC drive rather than a QLC drive, has SLC cache [b<]and[/b<] a DRAM cache, whilst being 32GB larger than the BX500. I could easily be wrong but I'm going to assume that the BX500 is a QLC DRAM-less drive - So the linked example as just one of several alternatives is both a better drive and also much cheaper at just 15.2¢/gig compared to the 18.8¢/gig of the BX500 lemon-in-waiting.[/i<]

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    Even at this budget price, you must DEMAND to get your money’s worth, no more, no less!!

    In other words, demand QLC!! 😀

    • NovusBogus
    • 1 year ago

    QLC? Meh. This might have been interesting a couple of years ago, but when WD, Samsung, HP, Mushkin, and even Crucial itself all have mainstream MLC or 3D-NAND based drives at $100 it’s not a terribly compelling deal given QLC’s known longevity issues. But as you say they might knock it down to $75 or so, and it would be considerably more appealing.

    • Hsldn
    • 1 year ago

    Samsung 860 500GB is 99 usd at the moment. So this makes no sense.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 1 year ago

    [url<]https://www.techpowerup.com/247191/intel-micron-qlc-nand-yields-less-than-50-a-prelude-to-global-ssd-price-hikes[/url<] Intel is showing the world how to consistently fail on yields across multiple product lines. Intel 10nm and qlc both DoA.

    • The Egg
    • 1 year ago

    If anything, they should be trying to position QLC drives for low-mid capacity mass storage (in the 1-4TB range). For instance, I wouldn’t want to use one for a system/OS drive, but I’d be perfectly fine buying a 2TB model for games storage if the price was right (current models are still too expensive in that capacity to get me off the mechanical drive).

      • davidbowser
      • 1 year ago

      Exactly. That was what I expected for the QLC tech when it was announced. Pushing spinning disks out of the middle capacities (2-4TB data drives for desktops and workstations) is a great target.

    • Freon
    • 1 year ago

    Crucial has released a few lemons in the BX line, think I’d wait for reviews.

    Such great deals on SSDs these days that the lessened warranty isn’t something I’m racing to trade away for better pricing yet.

    40TBW is sorta weak, but given TR’s testing of other drives quoted in the 70-140TBW territory maybe its not a big deal?

      • Shobai
      • 1 year ago

      None of the drives under TR’s testing were QLC, of course.

      • limitedaccess
      • 1 year ago

      It seems like they have a pattern of good – bad.

      BX100 – Good (Planar MLC)
      BX200 – Bad (Planar TLC)
      BX300 – Good (3D MLC)
      BX500 – ? (3D QLC?)

      Drive write endurance is misleading. The bigger concern with QLC is hot it actually handles data retention. Even without outright data loss we saw what happened with Samsung drives which were early TLC adopters, significant loss of performance for older data due to voltage drift and ECC needing to compensate. Not to mention that NAND deteriorates with writes and so out of the box characteristics are not going to what people experience after a usage. Sadly due to complexity the above isn’t actually tested just out of the box performance with fresh data.

      I don’t see the appeal of QLC for consumers but only for manufacturer margins. Optimally you are looking at 75% the cost per bit. However there are fixed costs of other components and things like R&D and etc which won’t be affected. QLC also isn’t a “free” upgrade in terms of manufacturing, the tolerances will be tighter and so just in terms of pure NAND cost it won’t reach 75%. As such I wouldn’t expect actual consumer price savings to approach that 25% particularly for smaller capacities.

        • MileageMayVary
        • 1 year ago

        I agree. Wait for the next round of QLC drives before biting.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      All of the BX line have been lemons, apart from the original BX100.

      Not only that, the MX500 is the cheapest drive on the market already. Why ruin it for just a few cents? Like you said – wait for reviews and if it’s not total junk for a significant cost saving, then I guess it’ll be worth the hassle.

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