Crucial P5 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD Review
Crucial P5 NVMe SSD – Meet The Extraordinary
When Crucial introduced the P1 M.2 NVMe SSD series in 2018 they entered the consumer NVMe drive market with one of first highly-anticipated QLC NAND Flash drives. Crucial had the entry-level NVMe market covered with the P1 series, but did not have a high-end NVMe solution for those wanting a premium storage drive for their laptop or desktop PC. No one knew it at the time, but it would be another 1.5 years for Crucial to launch a high-performance NVMe SSD.
Enter the brand new Crucial P5 series that will be made available to purchase on June 30th, 2020. Crucial is marketing this drive as being ‘extra fast ‘ and ‘extraordinary’ on their website and promotional material. Those marketing terms feel a bit much though as the Crucial P5 uses the PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe interface and not the latest PCI Gen 4 interface that AMD has been using for nearly a year. Crucial says this drive pushes the limits of the PCIe 3.0 x4 interface with sequential read/write speeds of up to 3400/3000 MB/s. That is extra fast compared to the Crucial P1 or Crucial P2 drive series, but seems pretty ordinary for mainstream NVMe drives here in 2020. It is the fastest consumer SSD that Crucial has ever made, so it seems they are super excited about it.
The Crucial P2 series is available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. Suggested retail pricing will be $62.99 for the smallest 250GB drive, $86.99 for a 500GB model, $179.99 for the 1TB and $399.99 for the largest 2TB capacity SSD. So, you are looking at anywhere from $0.17 to $0.25 per GB for the Crucial P5 series.
Performance for all the capacities is 3400 MB/s read, but the 500GB, 1TB and 2TB drives are rated at 3000 MB/s write with the smallest 250GB model being rated at 1400 MB/s write.
When it comes to endurance ratings each drive is given 150 Total Bytes Written (TBW) for every 250GB of storage capacity and each is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.
Crucial P5 Endurance Ratings
- P5 250GB – 150TBW
- P2 500GB – 300 TBW
- P2 1TB – 600 TBW
- P2 2TB – 1200 TBW
These are pretty robust endurance ratings and are due to the Crucial P5 series using Micron’s latest 96-layer TLC NAND Flash
Crucial sent over the P5 1TB model that is sold under part number CT1000P5SSD8 for us to take a look at. This model is priced at $179.99 and features the fastest speed ratings of 3,400 MB/s read and 3,000 MB/s write. It comes with a installation guide in the box, but you also get free access to the Crucial Storage Executive tool and the Acronis True Image for Crucial software suite.
The Crucial P5 1TB drive is a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor driver that work on the PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. The drive is blacked out, so you have a black PCB with a very simple black label on the front with minimal text. The label does not have any conductive properties, so Crucial is relying on their adaptive thermal protection algorithm to optimize for performance and durability.
There are no components located on the back of the Crucial P5 1TB NVMe SSD, but you do have the capacity, model number, serial number, PSID number and the firmware version that shipped on the drive shown on the label located here. The Crucial P5 series does support full hardware based-drive encryption, so if you need a Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) then you are in luck!
When you peel back a Crucial P5 product label you’ll reveal a Micron DM01B2 controller that is fairly large in size. It is our understanding that this is the first in-house designed controller by Micron that has made it to the consumer side of the business. Micron developed the controller, firmware, the 96-layer 3D TLC NAND Flash and even the LPDDR4 DRAM on this drive. The Crucial P5 series is one of the only drives on the market where one company was able to design and manage pretty much everything!
Crucial doesn’t have a fancy name for it and is not sharing the code name, so we are stuck calling it the Micron DM01B2 controller. Crucial said this is an 8-channel controller and is the same controller that is used by the Micron 2300 SSD. The Crucial P5 and Micron 2300 share the same platform, but the OEM gets a few things that aren’t needed in the consumer market.
Peeling off the sticker even further reveals a Micron branded LPDDR4 DRAM chip, a fairly large Power management integrated circuits (PMIC) and then finally two Micron NW969 96-layer TLC NAND Flash packages. If you enter the FBGA part number into the Micron decoder it comes up with part number MT29F4T08EQLCEG8-R:C and that these are 4Tb density chips that is each 512GB in size.
The DRAM cache size on the 250GB and 500GB drives is 512MB, the 1TB drive uses 1GB and the 2TB model uses 2GB. The largest function of the DRAM is to actually manage memory mapping in real time, so not a lot of user data is ever stored there. The amount of user data stored in the cache at any point in time is usually only 1-2 MB and the rest is used for a live copy of the logical and physical translation table.
Crucial Storage Executive software is free and available to download for those that would like to have an SSD toolkit at their disposal.
Here is promotional video for the Crucial P5 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD series before we look at the test system and get to the benchmarks!