Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Crucial BX200 SSD Review

Another Disk!
Marcus had to explain to Agata how buying another disk was actually saving money.  The explanation in brief is:  I'll buy a modest disk to replace a older cheaper disk in the main server, using that for a new firewall that I'm building.

It's actually a huge amount of work, involving TeraBytes of data shuffling, so if I was instead feeling extravagant I'd just buy a new Firewall SSD directly instead of recycling an old disk (into the firewall).

And to recall,  I'm building an additional firewall to replace the failed network hardware that recently died.

An even easier solution would be to buy a new, additional Hardware Firewall  But, long story short, such devices are expensive, and too expensive for us.

Side Note on Firewalls
At home your individual computer is normally supplied with Firewall software (even Apple). The idea is to prevent you from network related attacks from the Internet.

If you have several computers in the house, it is usual practice to take the Internet feed from the Internet Service Provider (ISP), and then immediately feed it into a House or Boundary Firewall.  Or say 2 [different vendor] for paranoia.  The Boundary Firewall's task is to shield you from the shits on the Internet would would like to disrupt your computers and compromise them.

It is this additional Boundary Firewall that I will be building, and of course there are 2 (and other security measures) for redundancy / resiliency to make quite sure the total bastards who would like to penetrate our defences will not have an easy time.

Why Crucial

For a 480GB SSD I found Crucial to be the cheapest at our local Digitec store.   I use Crucial as a default unless I read an outstanding review of another.   The BX200 is the budget line, if I had more cash I would have recommended the MX200, but it is >20% more expensive

Not Perfect Firmware

Here is Crucial Firmware page.  For the BX200 drive the current latest production level is MU02.   And my disk was downlevel.

I spent several hours  (yes, hours not minutes) trying to update the firmware.  In a nutshell the Crucial Storage Executive   (CSE) does not work on any of my Server systems

- CSE has 32 and 64 bit variants
- The idea is that you load it on your Windows machine
- It upgrades the disk firmware
- For safety of course do this before you put any data onto the disk, so for Marcus, the ideal time now
- But it either won't install on Windows Server, and even on Windows 10, it installed, but then it could not find the BX200 disk
- The other option is to boot an .iso
- Some hours later, because nothing worked, I had to burn an actual CDROM, and not even a re-writable CD would work.

Sexy Pics

Performance Tests
Installed into a SATA III port, on a powerful, though busy and old master server I give you:

 HD Tune Pro

 Crystal Disk Info

 CrystalDisk Mark


Oh and for curiosity the following Benchmarks below are with the disk formatted in ReFs  not NTFS

 Crystal Disk Mark  with ReFS

ATTO with ReFS

AS SSD with ReFS

My real world performance figures are nowhere near the theoretical maximums,  but they are the honest ones.  

Though a budget drive the 447GB Crucial BX200 has the Crucial name behind it and the performance of this drive far exceeds a spinning drive for low cost.

At the price: recommended.   If you can afford more consider MX200.