The Crucial BX200 SSD is the latest drive from the company. It is the successor to the highly successful BX100 and is placed as a more value-oriented 2.5-inch SATA drive. With the BX200, it moves to the newer Silicon Motion SM2256 controller. It is also Crucial and Micron’s first TLC drive which uses Micron’s 128GB 16nm TLC NAND. The 16nm TLC, however, is a solution that is akin to a wall as it is able to cut further costs while staying temporarily stuck at the end of the road for planar NAND.
The Crucial BX200 SSD is the Successor to the BX100
With the Crucial BX200 SSD and its Silicon Motion’s SM2256 controller, it is able to deliver support for more advanced LDPC error corrections which are widely viewed as necessary to get good reliability from a TLC drive. For comparison’s sake, there are also other TLC drives on the market that also use the same Silicon Motion controller. They compete primary against each other, but some are more up the price and performance scale when it comes to mid-range drives.
For the specifications found on the BX200 SSD drive, the updates show only a moderate performance increase when compared over the BX100. This is except for the random read speed which has been significantly decreased. The most difficult caveat to mitigate is the drive’s higher program and erase times. SSDs have always been trying to compensate for their higher latency than the DRAM. When it comes to throughput, that can be increased with the use of multiple flash chips in parallel. Still, random read performance is still ultimately limited by the time it take for the drive to fetch any data from said flash chips. Therefore, some decrease is probably unavoidable.
The advancements in storage density does not come for free. When it comes to 3D NAND technology, major changes within the manufacturing process will make products more likely to have higher pricing schemes. On the off hand, cramming more bits into the same memory cell will have its consequences.
With the entrance of the Crucial BX200 SSD, the company is officially retiring from the 128GB capacity class. In today’s market, flash memory is becoming cheaper by the day. The fixed costs that are associated with the controller and other components come to dominate the budget realm. Furthermore, smaller capacity drives are now ending up costing more per GB than mid-range capacities.