Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: We prefaced this evaluation by noting that we've seen SSDs with higher performance ratings than Crucial's MX200 drives, but that those option are also on the higher end of the price spectrum for 2.5-inch SATA drives. That notion held true during our benchmarks -- both MX200 drives consistently outperformed Crucial's M550 and often came out a little ahead of OCZ's Vector drive, though on most occasions, Samsung's EVO and Pro SSDs stayed on top. This was best exemplified in PCMark 7 in which the MX200 drives took the middle spot, the 1TB drive performing slightly faster than the 500GB model.
It wasn't all that long ago when SSDs rated at 500MB/s for sequential write performance and 555MB/s for sequential read performance would have been considered top of the line. However, it's a crowded field in 2.5-inch SATA territory, and topping the 500MB/s mark isn't as special as it used to be, at least not on its own.
That's not to say Crucial's MX200 drives aren't noteworthy. From a raw performance standpoint, we're not jumping up and down with excitement at the results. It's more of a golf clap over a solid showing in our benchmarks, followed by more rigorous slapping of the hands when taking into account street pricing. Have a look:
- Crucial MX200 250GB: $97 (~$0.39 per gigabyte)
- Crucial MX200 500GB: $180 (~$0.36 per gigabyte)
- Crucial MX200 1TB: $361 (~$0.36 per gigabyte)
Of the two drives we evaluated (500GB and 1TB), compare those prices to the going rate for Samsung's 850 Pro, which is $280 for 512GB (~$0.55 per gigabyte) and $455 for 1TB (~$0.46 per gigabyte). You'll pay $100 more for Samsung's 512GB model and nearly as much for the 1TB drive. That's a hefty up-charge for what amounts to anywhere from a few megabytes-per-second to 20MB/s, depending on the benchmark. And in terms of real-world performance, you'd have a hard time telling the difference.
Straight to the point, Crucial's proposition (intended or not) is that you give up a little bit of performance compared to the fastest 2.5-inch SATA SSDs out there in exchange for a much friendlier price tag -- it's bragging rights versus breathing room for your budget. We suspect many buyers will be okay with that, especially those who are interested in running a 1TB SSD for their OS and programs.