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)

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

SSDs like SanDisk’s Extreme Pro and Samsung’s X5 are incredibly fast, but they are very expensive devices. If you’re more budget-conscious, the Crucial X6 is an appealing option. While not constructed of luxurious materials such as metal or featuring an anti-slip grip coating, at just $105 for the 1TB capacity and $190 for the 2TB capacity, the X6 is a great value.

Crucial’s gears the X6 for those looking for lower pricing more than blazing performance, so the company uses a DRAMless architecture paired with QLC flash to cut down manufacturing costs. This trade-off was very apparent during the 2TB X6’s sustained write testing.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

For those who find themselves wanting better sustained write speeds, such as content creators, WD’s My Passport SSD may be worth the extra coin. At 1TB, the WD My Passport SSD carries a $40 premium and roughly a $100 premium at 2TB, but it’s worth it if you want added security and the longer five-year warranty, too.

The X6 is responsive with small working sets thanks to a tweaked and tuned dynamic SLC cache, trading blows with the TLC-based SanDisk Extreme v1, but ultimately it wasn’t as fast, especially during longer sustained data transfers. In that regard, SanDisk’s Extreme v1 is a much better pick. However, the Extreme v1 costs roughly $20-$30 more, so it might be a stretch if your budget is tight.

If your budget can stretch, the Crucial X8 is priced the same as the SanDisk Extreme v1. While the X8 also suffers from poor sustained write performance, it’s much snappier than the X6 with small datasets and will deliver responsive game load times on your gaming PC or console, given you have a USB 10 Gbps port to support it. Crucial’s X6 lacks hardware-accelerated encryption support, but it’s hard to complain given the price point.



MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs

MORE: All SSD Content

Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.

  • Shonk.
    You need to do a new review

    It seems there has been a revision and its an nvme drive and not sata now

    Crucial gave me a free one due to delays with my 64GB of DDR5 it arrived today and it's peaking at 911MB/s

  • Shonk.
    Updated with a 12900K instead of a 9900KS

    932.7 MB/s

  • solfizz
    Shonk. said:
    Updated with a 12900K instead of a 9900KS

    932.7 MB/s

    Hey, if you get this, is your drive still running at those speeds? Also what RAM reader is that? Thanks in advance!