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Crucial MX200 review:

An excellent balance of features, performance and cost

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The Good The Crucial MX200 includes helpful enterprise-class features rarely available in consumer-grade SSDs. It should last a long time, and it delivers fast performance.

The Bad The three-year warranty is short, and the drive is a bit more expensive than its competitors.

The Bottom Line For heavy storage users who also need a high level of data safety, the Crucial MX200 is an excellent buy.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.2 Overall
  • Setup 8.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Support 7.0

The Crucial MX200 is a midtier solid-state drive, rivaling the recently reviewed Samsung SSD 850 Evo as an excellent storage upgrade.

The new SSD has significantly higher durability, especially the 1TB capacity, and includes enterprise-grade data security features. In testing, it was also faster than the Samsung in certain categories.

But at the suggested price of $140 (£107.51), $250 (£192) and $470 (£361) for 250GB, 500GB and 1TB, respectively, the Crucial MX200 is more more expensive than the 850 Evo while carrying a shorter warranty of just 3 years. (Crucial says pricing for Australia is the same as for the US.)

Still, I feel comfortable recommending the drive to anyone. The MX200 has enough power to make any hard drive-based computer perform much faster. And the ultra-high endurance means you can regularly use it for heavy tasks, such as HD video editing, without having to worry about quickly rendering it useless.

If you're still looking for more options, however, check out out other models on this list of top SSDs.

The Crucial MX200 is a standard 2.5-inch 7mm internal drive that includes a spacer to match its thickness to that of a 9.5mm laptop hard drive. Josh Miller/CNET

A consumer drive with enterprise features

The MX200 is a 2.5-inch standard internal drive, with a design similar to most other SSDs and laptop hard drives. It supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and works with earlier revisions of the SATA standard.

On the inside, however, it's the first such drive I've seen with a number of high-end features, normally found only in enterprise-class SSDs, that keep its stored data safe. These features include Exclusive Data Defense hardware encryption, and RAIN.

RAIN is a technology that allows a portion of the SSD's flash memory to be dedicated as parity. This means when data is saved on the drive, it's dispersed to multiple different storage components. As the result, if one storage component fails, you can still retrieve data from other components. And to reduce the chance of data corruption, each storage component has four layers of Exclusive Data Defense.

The MX200 supports AES 256-bit hardware encryption that is TCG Opal 2.0- and IEEE1667-compliant. This makes it fit in business environment where data security in case of theft or loss is important. On top of that the drive also features power-loss protection, adaptive thermal monitoring, TRIM, SMART and DevSleep, which enables it to use very little power.

Crucial MX200 specs

250GB 500GB 1TB
Drive type 2.5-inch, 7mm thick 2.5-inch, 7mm thick 2.5-inch, 7mm thick
Controller Marvell 88SS9189 Marvell 88SS9189 Marvell 88SS9189
Flash memory 16nm 128GB NAND with Dynamic Write Acceleration 16nm 128GB NAND 16nm 128GB NAND
Interface SATA III (6Gbps) SATA III (6Gbps) SATA III (6Gbps)
Max sequential read 555 MBps 555 MBps 555 MBps
Max sequential write 500 MBps 500 MBps 500 MBps
Max random read 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS
Max random write 87,000 IOPS 87,000 IOPS 87,000 IOPS
Endurance (TB written) 80 TB 160 TB 320TB
Endurance (GB written per day for 10 years) > 40 GB > 80 GB > 160 GB
Warranty 3-year 3-year 3-year

Ultra-high endurance, helpful software

The Samsung SSD 850 Evo has impressive endurance, but the MX200 tops that by a large margin. Endurance, also known as program/erase (P/E) cycles, is the rating that quantifies the total amount of data that can be written to an SSD before the drive becomes unreliable. You can think of endurance as the drive's durability. (For more on the endurance of SSDs, check out this post.)

Generally endurance increases with capacity: the MX200 is available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities that have respective endurance ratings of 80TB, 160TB and 320TB. Particularly with the 1TB drive, you'd have to write 40GB of data to it per day, every day, continuously for 22 years before it became unreliable.

Note that an SSD's endurance relates only to writing, as reading doesn't affect its life span at all. Also, 40GB is quite a lot of data. On average, most days we don't write even a fraction of that to our computer's main drive, and many days we don't write anything at all.

Nonetheless, the high endurance allows pro users to use the drive for heavy tasks that involve lots of data writing, such as video editing or data swapping. If you get the 1TB capacity, it's safe to say that you can use it without having to worry about abusing its P/E cycles.

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The Storage Executive is helpful software used to manage the drive. Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

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