Crucial X8 Portable SSD Review: a Speedy Value (Updated)

QLC helps make this a fast, affordable external.

Crucial X8 2TB
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Crucial has had a conservative product portfolio over the years and has traditionally aimed to be the value leader in selling its SSDs. They have stuck to MX and BX series SATA as their bread and butter for a number of years and only recently entered the NVMe market with their P1. But, the P1 didn’t push any boundaries, like its faster competitors. Rather its aim is to be cheap enough and deliver enough performance to be a great bang for your buck.

Being such a better option than SATA SSDs, it’s as simple a choice to upgrade your system with a P1 as it is to choose the X8 over other SATA based portable SSDs. With Crucial’s X8, the company is expanding into a new market segment yet again, but they still continue to play it safe in the market and shoot for the masses. 

(Image credit: Tom's hardware)

We are glad to see Crucial finally branch out into the portable SSD market by infusing the NVMe-based P1 into this SSD’s design rather than a SATA based BX500 or MX500. With the X8, consumers gain a price-competitive performance-oriented 10Gbps SSD to keep up with their daily file tasks.

In testing, the X1 delivered double the performance of most SATA based SSDs and responsiveness that is significantly faster than an HDD. While it has a write cache that can degrade to an average of 100 MBps, that cache is quite large and during most sequential transfers you will not have any performance slowdowns as it recovers reasonably quickly.

Unlike the Lexar SL100 Pro we reviewed a few months ago, the Crucial X8 offers much better value, although it is a bit larger in size. Pricing is a little high compared to building your own portable SSD and it is more costly than buying one of the cheaper SATA-based portable SSDs. But with that price premium comes a complete package that has been optimized for its performance, efficiency, and thermal characteristics. Cmpared to the rest of the market, pricing is actually cheaper than most competitors thanks to its lower cost QLC NAND.

Our only wish is that the X8 came in a 2TB capacity. While 1TB is plenty for a lot of people, those looking to offload their growing AAA game library or dealing with large video files could use a bit more space.

But if 500GB or 1TB is plenty for you, be sure to give the Crucial X8 a look. It’s a great value offering for the average consumer and a fast storage device to use with your speedy new laptop, game console, or even your old PC.


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Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

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

  • g-unit1111
    I actually have one of these drives. It's not a bad drive but there's things about it that could definitely be improved. The Samsung drive that I have is way better.
  • gg83
    can you take an M.2 usb3.2 enclosure and put an Adata ssd? it might have better performance at about the same cost? or are those cheap enclosures trash?
    is this any good?