We recently published the Crucial P1 1TB review and found it to be a strong consumer SSD. The P1 series is Crucial's first SSD using the NVMe protocol over PCI Express, and the first to use the company's advanced 4-bit per cell (QLC) memory.
Crucial's target audience, mainstream users, likely will never need a full 1-terabyte of storage. That makes the smaller and less expensive 500GB model an even better buy for some shoppers. The easy way to tell what capacity you need is simply to check your current usage level in the My Computer panel. If you use less than 400GB now and have never deleted data to make room for more pictures, movies, music or other commonly stored files, then the smaller drive may be a better buy.
Many claiming affiliation with the so-called PC Master Race can also benefit from the smallest P1. The Micron flash used in this series comes has lineage to the 64-layer TLC that delivers exceptional random read performance. The new QLC was even slightly faster with smile-inducing random reads in our 1TB P1 test than the two of the fastest and most popular drives shipping today, Adata's SX8200 and HP EX920.
For two years we spoke of QLC like it was a terrible 100-year storm on the horizon; the F5 coming to take the fun out of SSDs. Now that it's here we realize it's a bright sunny day. QLC does have some faults that we will discuss. Endurance isn't that great right now but more than adequate enough for mainstream users. Writing a lot of data at one time can cause the drive to slow down for a short time, but the cache does a very good job of masking native QLC performance.
Our 1TB P1 review discussed the new series in broad terms, but today we will focus on the 500GB. This capacity sports 1,900 MB/s sequential read and 950 MB/s sequential write performance. Of the three capacities, the 500GB is the slowest with the largest reduction coming in sequential writes.
The random performance tops 90,000 IOPS read and 220,000 IOPS write. On paper, the drop to 90,000 read IOPS is a large cliff compared to the 170,000 of the 1TB model. In reality, the 500GB P1 still delivers more than 16,000 read IOPS at queue depth 1, and that increases to nearly 32,000 IOPS at queue depth 2. For most users, these two random performance numbers matter and the peak number are irrelevant.
Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance
We start with the 500GB in the pricing breakdown. This model currently sells for $109.99. That virtually doubles to $219.99 for the 1TB model, and we can only assume the 2TB drive will sell for somewhere close to $400 to $440 when it comes to market later this year. Crucial hasn't released the official price of the 2TB drive.
All three sizes carry a generous 5-year warranty limited by written data. The industry calls this a TBW rating or terabytes written. The 500GB P1 warranty allows users to write up to 100 TBW for the 500GB drive and that doubles for each model up to 200TBW and 400TBW.
Crucial gives P1 owners access to Acronis TrueImage software used to clone your existing data to the new drive. The company also has a strong management software in Executive Suite that includes monitoring and firmware update capabilities. The software also has a DRAM-based cache feature that increases performance and lowers flash wear when enabled. We don't recommend using the Momentum Cache feature on notebooks as it uses more power in some instances.
A Closer Look
The Crucial P1 uses the M.2 2280 form factor and the NVMe protocol over a PCI Express 3.0 x4 connection. The interface is faster than SATA but you need to make sure your computer supports the drive.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Crucial P1 500GB NVMe SSD - $100 NVMe retails for $XXX at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The Crucial P1 500GB NVMe SSD - $100 NVMe retails for £XXX at Amazon UK.
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