CRUCIAL P1 SSD
Crucial finally enters the NVMe SSD market.
NVMe SSDs have been available for years now, many of them featuring Micron NAND flash memory. Curiously, Micron has not released NVMe drives under its own Crucial brand until now. We have high expectations given Crucial’s track record and reputation for value. Can it shake up the market like it did with the excellent MX500 series?
The Crucial P1 is a typical NVMe M.2 2280 (80mm length) drive that makes use of a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. The drive contains Micron’s 64-Layer QLC NAND. Quad-level cell NAND stores four bits per cell. This means more data can be stored per die, in turn leading to higher capacities and/or cheaper prices. While QLC NAND should lead to lower SSD pricing, it does have some drawbacks. Performance favours TLC-equipped drives and even more so a drive like the Samsung 970 Pro which uses MLC (2 bits per cell). Endurance also suffers. The 1TB P1 is rated for 200 terabytes written, this is also some way below TLC drives. While regular users won’t face any issues using a QLC drive for many years, professionals and users who thrash their drives with heavy I/O will prefer hardware with higher endurance ratings.
The 1TB Crucial P1 uses a Silicon Motion SM2263 controller. It’s a more budget-oriented controller that won’t produce the performance we see on top of the line NVMe SSD’s. That’s ok though, as the aim is to keep the price of the drive down. Performance is officially rated at 2000 MB/s for sequential read and 1700 MB/s for sequential write performance. This is much faster than any SATA SSD, but some way below the top of the range drives. The P1 doesn’t come with any drive encryption capability. You do get the common SSD features including TRIM, garbage collection, S.M.A.R.T. and a welcome five-year warranty. Crucial offers a link to Acronis True Image cloning software which is a nice piece of software for upgrading from your existing drive.
As a budget oriented drive, we didn’t expect any record setting performance from the P1 and our results were pretty much mediocre, even though it ‘feels’ snappy enough during regular testing and day to day use. Random read speeds are characteristically strong with SM2263 controllers and we see this again with the Crucial P1. In all other areas though, it does lag behind. In day to day use you won’t notice much difference, but under heavy load you will. As expected, performance does drop off once the cache is saturated under heavy sustained load.
The P1 is a welcome market entry from Crucial, however given its lacklustre performance, it needs to be priced competitively in a cut throat market. Unfortunately this is where it falls down. At the time of writing, the P1 was selling for around $330 for the 1TB model, putting it a good $30 above the excellent Samsung 970 Evo. This makes recommending the Crucial P1 impossible unless it gets a major price cut.
Crucial P1 1TB NVMe SSD; M. 2 2280 Form Factor; Micron 64-Layer 3D QLC NAND; PCIe 3.0 x4 Interface, Silicon Motion SM2263EN Controller; 1GB DDR3 Cache; Up to 2000/ 1700 MB/s Sequential Read/ Write; Up to 170K/240K Read/ Write IOPS; 200 TBW Endurance; 5 Year Warranty NVME SSD $330 | WWW.CRUCIAL.COM