Crucial BX500 120 GB SSD for 23$ – 5 reasons why it’s so cheap

Did you notice the new low price records for usable SSDs? You can get a Crucial BX500 120 GB for only 23$ now. How is that even possible? Seeing is believing, so check out the video for an unboxing and a closer look inside.

Here are the five reasons why it is so cheap.

  1. Minimalist packaging. The package is bare-bones with just the SSD and a small paper leaflet with no extras like height extensions or cables.
  2. Minimalist manufacturing. The SSD has a thin black plastic case that is clipped together without screws.
  3. Tiny and thin board that takes up a small area of the 2.5″ case.
  4. Low cost controller. The onboard Silicon Magic SM2258XT is a widely used low-cost SATA3 SSD controller without DRAM cache support. It will get the job done for most users and it can reach up to 550MB/s reading speeds sequential but will lose speed when it comes to random reading/writing of smaller files.
  5. Low cost flash chips. The 4 chips do have some labels and seem to made by Micron in South-Korea but the database on their website does not list these specific mark codes. The date stamps indicate an August 2018 production. According to the online fact sheet by Micron this specific SSD supports up to 40 TB max write endurance which is lower than more expensive or larger competitors. Uncertain component quality is a trade-off when buying the lowest cost SSD.
Crucial SSD BX500 board
Tiny board with the low cost controller and 2 flash chips per side.

Let me just summarize the benchmarks by saying that they are okay. Up to 550 MB/s sequential but much less with random smaller files. The SSD runs in a slightly older ThinkPad T430s office laptop and it works fine for some months now. Speed feels like any older SSD from the last years and I did not notice any stutter or hick-ups. In fact I could not notice any difference to my older Crucial M4 128GB SSD.

Overall it is a recommendation if saving a few coins means a lot to you. If you want more performance or a longer warranty you should choose a more mid-range option like the Crucial MX500 line. I would argue that 120 GB is enough for Windows and some office programs but you can get a 240 GB version as well.

Thanks for reading! You can check out more of this blog or my YouTube channel.

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