Update 9/29/2020: We have updated this article with new testing for the 2TB Crucial P5 M.2 NVMe on page 2.
Original Review published 1/13/2020:
Want to boost your backup speeds? How about store your favorite games on some fast-portable flash? Or maybe, you just want a storage device that can work with all your devices. Today, we take a look at Crucial’s X8, the company’s first portable SSD, which aims to do all of that and more. With 1 GBps read/write performance on tap, a sleek finish, and the best pricing in its performance category, the X8 is a great value too.
Crucial’s X8 is a durable portable SSD that is compatible with a broad variety of devices. This includes Windows 10, macOS, Linux PCs, the Apple iPad Pro, Chromebooks, Android tablets and phones, and the PS4, and Xbox. So, with most USB-equipped devices, it will just work.
The drive comes pre-formatted as exFAT for compatibility out of the box, but we formatted it as NTFS to utilize Trim when testing on our Windows 10 based system. If you are going to use it on a Mac or iPad, APFS is the way to go for the best support.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Crucial X8 500GB||Crucial X8 1TB|
|Capacity (User / Raw)||500GB / 512GB||1000GB / 1024GB|
|Interface / Protocol||USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 2|
|Included Cable (s)||9" USB Type-C to Type-C w/ Type-C to USB-A adapter||9" USB Type-C to Type-C w/ Type-C to USB-A adapter|
|Sequential Read||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps|
|Sequential Write||~ 1,000 MBps (Measured)||~ 1,000 MBps (Measured)|
|NAND Controller||Silicon Motion SM2263||Silicon Motion SM2263|
|Storage Media||Micron 64L QLC||Micron 64L QLC|
|Default File System||exFAT||exFAT|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||110 x 53 x 11.5 mm||110 x 53 x 11.5 mm|
|Weight||100 g||100 g|
|Endurance||Up to 7.5 ft (2 m) drop tested||Up to 7.5 ft (2 m) drop tested|
Crucial’s is introducing the X8 at popular capacities of 500GB and 1TB to start and current street prices are $119.99 and $164.99, respectively. The drive utilizes a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C Interface to hit read speeds of up to 1,050 MBps. And while not officially rated, we measured write speed to be about 1,000 MBps when testing.Like most externals, the X8 lacks a total bytes written rating and comes with a standard 3-year warranty.
Software and Accessories
Included with the device itself is a 9-inch USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a Type-C to USB-A adapter. The cable and adapter feature a notch in their design so you have to make sure you connect them correctly.
The X8 is compatible with Crucial’s Storage Executive software. With it, you can monitor your SSD, view its S.M.A.R.T. data, and possibly update its firmware down the road.
A Closer Look
Crucial’s X8 features a slim and stylish black anodized-aluminum finish with plastic end-caps that feels as good in the hand as it looks. Plus, it aids in keeping the device cool while in use and gives the device its rugged durability to withstand a drop of up to 7.5 ft on the carpet and up to 3ft on concrete. It should be able to withstand much more shock with no data loss, given the lack of moving parts. The drive measures in at 110 x 53 x 11.5 mm and weighs 100 grams.
Housed within the casing is essentially a Crucial P1 SSD with modified firmware. The P1 is Crucial’s entry-level NVMe SSD that is powered by a Silicon Motion SM2263EN controller and features Micron’s 1TB 64L QLC NAND. Because QLC NAND has slow direct to flash speeds, Micron programmed in a dynamic pseudo-SLC write cache to speed up write performance. And, since the X8 is a portable device, the firmware on the internal SSD needed to be modified to suit the tasks, so, Crucial made the write cache a bit larger.
The ASMedia ASM2362 USB 3.2 Gen 2 bridge controller handles communication between the USB interface and the PCIe NVMe SSD. It boasts a solid design that offers power management capability for low heat output and port connection stability. It links up to the NVMe SSD over a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface for low communication overhead and better performance.
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