Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review – An affordable SSD

 

I/O Performance

There is little point of having an SSD drive that has blazing sustained reading and writing speeds, if the drive can’t handle reading and writing of small random files. If you intend to use your new SSD drive to store and run your operating system, then the drive must be able to cope with the many small random files that Windows will write to the drive continually. So I feel it is very important to test how many of these random files that a drive can handle in one second. I believe that anything over 1,000 I/O’s per second would be enough for most users running a consumer grade mainstream PC, and should provide a smooth running system. But obviously, the more I/O’s that a drive can handle, the faster the drive will feel and leave more headroom for those huge multitasking sessions that users sometimes engage in.

The things that I will look at are the total I/O per second and total MB/s.

Partition alignment and sector boundaries

Windows 7 and Vista will automatically align a partition to 4k boundaries during partition creation, Windows XP won’t. It is imperative that an SSDs partition is aligned. Windows XP is also restricted to sector boundaries, while Windows 7 will use 4k boundaries if it can. The Crucial BX200 960GBSSD is 4k boundary aware, and will use these boundaries if possible. Of course it will also remap LBAs for compatibility with the sector boundaries so that the drive can be used with Windows XP.

IOMeter allows us to set the sector boundaries for conducting the tests, and I have therefore set the sector boundaries at 4K, which means the IOMeter tests are valid for Windows 7 and Windows Vista users. XP users will not be able to obtain such results.

I will provide a screenshot of the tests on the review drive for those of you who like to see the actual test result. All the comparison drive results are represented in the form of graphs.

If any of you would like to see a screenshot from any IOMeter test on a particular drive, please feel free to request one, and I’ll post the screenshot in the forum thread.

All the IOMeter tests create a 10GB data set on the target drive, and each test is run for a duration of 3 minutes.

 


 

IOMeter 4K random write test with repeating data.

The first test involves creating continual 4KB random files on the target drive with IOMeter. I use a 4KB file size, as it is believed that Windows will create and modify many of this size of file constantly in the background during a typical Windows session. It is said that most 4K random writes take place at a queue depth of only one.

Queue depth 1

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD (Queue depth 1)

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

Queue depth 4

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD (Queue depth 4)

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

Queue depth 32

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD (Queue depth 32)

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

4K random write queue depth profile

For this test I used various queue depths from 1 – 32 to give you an idea how this SSD performs at different queue depths. For a normal desktop user, with lightweight multitasking, the queue depth will rarely rise above 2. For heavy multitasking, the queue depth is unlikely to rise above a value of 8.

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

Clearly write speed isn’t the strongest point for the Crucial BX200, as it barely reaches a maximum speed of more than 150MB/Sec.

 


 

IOMeter 4K random read test.

If there are many 4k files created, then that must also mean that many 4k files need to be read. This test measures 4k reading performance.

Queue depth 1

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD (Queue depth 1)

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

Queue depth 4

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD (Queue depth 4)

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

Queue depth 32

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD (Queue depth 32)

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

4K random read queue depth profile.    

This test shows how the review drive scales with increasing queue depths.

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

Again, the read speed isn’t where I would have expected it to be, as you can see for yourself from the graph above.

 


 

IOMeter 512KB write test with repeating data.

Sequential writing performance is also very important, and in this test I will be measuring the sequential writing performance of the drive.


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD – 512K Sequential write with repeating data

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

The Crucial BX200 SSD loves sequential data, and it was able to beat the BX100 by 21MB/sec in this test.

 


 

IOMeter 512KB read test.

This test measures 512k sequential reading performance.

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD – 512K sequential reading test

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

A very good result for the Crucial BX200 in this read test.

 


 

IOMeter Workstation simulation (outstanding I/Os = 64).

When running applications you will find that there is a mixture of small random files and larger sequential files, being created and read. Not only that, it isn’t just one file at a time. In this test I measure a simulated workstation pattern, with a queue depth of 64 (threaded).

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD


Crucial BX200 960GB SSD – Workstation simulation

Crucial BX200 960GB SSD review - An affordable SSD

A speed of 291.59MB/Sec isn’t the best that I have seen but it is still a good result.

Summary

The Crucial BX200 gives a mediocre performance in most of the tests, with the exception of the sequential ones, but this is not enough to push it close to the drive that it replaces. Again it’s an acceptable solution for someone that has a very light workload and wants to have all the benefits of an SSD.

 

Let’s head to the next page for our power consumption test results…..