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Crucial X6 Portable SSD Review: Affordable and Responsive

Powered by a DRAM-less architecture, Crucial’s X6 offers high capacity, portable storage for low cost

Crucial X6 Portable SSD
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

Crucial’s X6 is an affordable and very portable USB Type-C SSD that dishes out fast and responsive performance, but its relatively small cache results in reduced performance during larger sustained data transfers.

For

  • Sleek, compact, and light design
  • Responsive performance within the cache and fast to recover

Against

  • Lacks an activity light
  • Lacks USB-C to USB-A adapter
  • Lacks hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption
  • Slow after cache write is exhausted during sustained workloads

Crucial’s X6 is a well-designed USB 3.1 Gen-2 Type-C SSD that’s highly portable and compatible with nearly any host with a USB port. With a heavy focus on value over blazing-high speeds, the X6 is based on similar hardware as the company’s popular BX500 SSD and pushes out up to 540 MBps of sequential read throughput.

In fact, at just $0.09 per GB, the X6 is one of the cheapest portable SSDs at the 2TB capacity point, and it will provide ample performance for your games library or backing up your files, but it falls short under heavy write workloads due to the slow native write speeds of its QLC flash.

Specifications

ProductCrucial X6 1TBCrucial X6 2TB
Pricing $104.99$189.99
Capacity (User / Raw)1000GB / 1024GB2000GB / 2048GB
Interface / ProtocolUSB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2x1USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2x1
IncludedUSB Type-C CableUSB Type-C Cable
Sequential Read540 MBps540 MBps
Sequential WriteN/AN/A
Interface ControllerASMedia ASM235CMASMedia ASM235CM
NAND Controller Silicon Motion SM2259XT Silicon Motion SM2259XT
DRAMCrucial 96L QLCCrucial 96L QLC
Default File SystemexFATexFAT
EnduranceDrop-resistant up to 6.5 ft (2 m)Drop-resistant up to 6.5 ft (2 m)
SecurityN/AN/A
Dimensions (L x W x H)11 x 69 x 64 mm11 x 69 x 64 mm
Weight42 g42 g
Part NumberCT1000X6SSD9CT2000X6SSD9
Warranty3-Years3-Years

Crucial’s X6 comes in two capacities of 1TB and 2TB that retail for $104.99 and $189.99, respectively. Crucial rates the X6 to deliver up to 540 MBps of sequential read speed, but the company doesn’t provide an official write speed rating.

The X6 relies on SLC caching to hit its peak measurements, and based on our testing, the 2TB model comes with a cache that measures roughly 250GB. The cache is dynamic, so so it will scale down in available capacity as you fill the device.

The Crucial X6 comes formatted from the factory with the exFAT file system, and it is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android, as well as devices such as the iPad Pro, Xbox, and PlayStation gaming consoles. You’ll need to format the portable SSD with an NTFS file system if you want to take advantage of the TRIM functionality.

Accessories

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Crucial’s X6 comes with a nine-inch long USB 3.2 Gen-2 Type-C cable (10Gb/s) but lacks a USB Type-C to Type-A adapter (sold separately for $9.99). Unfortunately, the SSD lacks an activity light.

A Closer Look

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Crucial X6 Portable SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Crucial X6 Portable SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Crucial X6 Portable SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Measuring 11 x 69 x 64 mm and weighing in at under 42 grams, the Crucial X6 is a very compact portable SSD. The Crucial X6’s casing is plastic, but with such a small size and shape, the drive is pretty durable. It's rated to withstand drops up to 6.5 feet, but it can definitely survive higher falls. We tested the drive by throwing it 15 feet into the air and allowing it to land on concrete, and it withstood the challenge.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Internally, Crucial took care to ensure the X6 could remain cool, even under heavy usage. Not only is the device wrapped in copper foil, but it also comes with thermal pads that cover both sides of the PCBs.

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Crucial X6 Portable SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Crucial X6 Portable SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Like Crucial’s X8, the X6 comes packed with QLC NAND flash, but rather than leverage an NVMe SSD like the X8, the X6 uses a BX500-like SATA 6Gbps SSD and a small Type-C adapter. The X6 features Silicon Motion’s SM2259XT SSD controller, and the device connects to the host via an ASMedia ASM235CM USB 3.2 Gen 2x1 to SATA 6Gbps bridge chip.

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Crucial X6 Portable SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Crucial X6 Portable SSD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The SM2259XT is a DRAMless SATA 6Gbps SSD controller built on the 28nm node for low cost and power efficiency. It has a four-channel, single-core design that uses Silicon Motion’s proprietary NANDXtend ECC (1KB codeword LDPC + RAID) and end-to-end data path protection to help ensure data integrity with the Micron 96-Layer QLC flash in either 2-plane or 4-plane operation.

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