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Crucial P1 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD Review
Introducing the Crucial P1 Series, Crucial's first NVMe PCIe Soild-State-Drive (SSD) with QLC flash technology.
The Crucial P1 SSD
The Crucial P1 SSD is an M.2 Type 2280 physical form-factor currently offered in two variants, a 500GB model with retail pricing of $109.99 and 1TB for $219.99. A larger 2TB capacity model is on the docket for upcoming release, although, availability has not yet been announced.
Regardless of which capacity you choose all three P1 drives share the high-performance benefits of Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe). By utilizing a NVMe host controller interface and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) bus, this direct connection overcomes the constraints associated with fast flash-based storage colliding with legacy data transport technologies such as Serial ATA (SATA).
To put this in perspective, third-generation SATA has an effective transfer speed of 600MB/s (6.0 Gbit/s). Using the SATA III interface with a SATA SSD will produce Read/Write speeds in the neighborhood of 550MB/s. PCI Express devices can support 1x, 4x, 8x, or 16x lanes. Since PCIe 3.0 has an effective transfer speed of 985MB/s per lane in each direction, the potential transfer speeds are up to 15.76GB/s. However, most M.2 for PCIe SSDs support between 2x and 4x lanes, which translates a maximum transfer speed closer to 3940MB/s (31.5Gbit/s or 3.94GB/s).
Achieving faster speeds requires your motherboard to support PCIe 3.0 on the M.2 socket. If not, you may purchase an optional PCIe Adapter that has an M.2 slot aboard and conveniently drops into an PCIe 4x (four lanes of bandwidth) expansion slot. This will allow you to leverage the full potential of PCIe/NVMe performance without having a supporting M.2 slot.
I'd recommend either a SilverStone ECM21 M.2 to PCIe adapter or SilverStone ECM22 Dual M.2 to PCIe adapter which supports both NVMe SDD and SATA SSD simultaneously.
Though the the Crucial P1 supports PCIe 4x, performance ratings differ between drive capacities. P1 500GB model is quoted to deliver 1900MB/s sequential read with 90,000 IOPS and sequential write performance up to 950MB/s with 220,000 IOPS. P1 1TB model is quoted to deliver 2000MB/s sequential read with 170,000 IOPS and sequential write performance up to 1700MB/s with 240,000 IOPS. P1 2TB model is quoted to deliver 2000MB/s sequential read with 250,000 IOPS and sequential write performance up to 1750MB/s with 250,000 IOPS.
Crucial's P1 Series is their first NMVe SSD to market. Driven by a Silicon Motion SM2263 controller, featuring Micron Quad-Level Cell (QLC) NAND flash memory, QLC packs 33% more capacity per NAND cell than its triple-level cell (TLC) counterpart we've seen in the past.
The P1 NVMe M.2 SSD 1TB model has a calculated arithmetic mean (average) time between failure of 200TB. This equals 109GB of writes per day for 5 years, a slight decrease in endurance rating vs the previous generation MX500 1TB SATA models. Mainly due in part to the use of QLC NAND.
- Hybrid-Dynamic Write Acceleration
- SLC Cache
- NAND-integrated Power Loss Immunity
- 5 year limited warranty
- Free shipping
- Type: M.2/NGFF (2280) Single Sided
- Height: 22mm x 80mm
- Flash Controller: Silicon Motion SM2263
- Flash Type: Micron Quad-Level Cell (QLC) NAND
- Interface: NVMe/PCIe Gen3 x4
- Temperature: Operating (0°C to 70°C) Non-operating (-40°C to 85°C)
- Acoustics: 0dB
- Mean Time To Failure: 1.5 million hours
- Drive Endurance: 200TB Total Bytes Written (TBW), equal to 109GB per day for 5 years
Performance testing was done under Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). Factors affecting performance include: Capacity of the drive, interface of the host and overall system performance. Your results may vary.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Eight-Core @ 3.40GHz (8 Cores / 16 Threads)
- Motherboard: ASUS PRIME X370-PRO
- Memory: 64512MB (64GB DDR4)
- OS: Ubuntu 18.04
- Kernel: 4.15.0-39-generic (x86_64)
- Interface: PCIe Gen3 x4
- SSD Firmware Version: P3CR010
We have revised how our SSD benchmarking is performed and no longer benchmark the drive while in a Fresh-Out-of-Box (FOB) state. FOB typically is how manufactures specify I/O performance in advertising because the drive has yet to endure any sustained workload and initial performance benchmarks from a FOB state will result in uncharacteristically high measurements.
To provide more accurate measurements we precondition the drive to a Steady state before running our benchmarks. Steady state is achieved by issuing a set of random and sequential preconditioning operations. Though this process takes several hours, the benchmark results are more consistent and produce real-world values.
- Model: CT1000P1SSD8
- Sequential Read: 2000MB/s with 170,000 IOPS
- Sequential Write: 1700MB/s with 240,000 IOPS
Sequential Reads compared to Random Reads with Identical Block Sizes
Sequential Writes compared to Random Writes with Identical Block Sizes
4K Random Read Performance with Varying Queue Depths
4K Random Write Performance with Varying Queue Depth
Timings of device Reads
This measurement is an indication of how fast the drive can sustain sequential data reads under Linux, without any filesystem overhead. Timing buffered disk reads: 3606 MB in 3.00 seconds = 1201.68 MB/sec
ConclusionThe Good - Pros
- PCIe/NVMe overcomes the constraints of SATA SSDs
- Overall performance profile is reasonable
- 5 five-year limited warranty
The Bad - Cons
- QLC has a slightly lower endurance rating
- No hardware encryption on P1 Series SSDs
The Ugly - Issues
The Verdict - Opinion
Overall PCIe/NVMe offers better throughput, reduced latency and improved power consumption in comparison to any SATA SSD. However, the true Read/Write speed potential of NVMe is only reached with larger files transfers, otherwise the differences may not be that noticeable for gaming, browsing and everyday tasks.
Being a first NVMe offering from Crucial, the P1 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD hits the consumer segment as an entry-level NVMe drive with average performance results and an affordable price point.