The Crucial P5 Plus is the successor the P5 that Crucial launched last year and is the first PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD from the company. The latest model dropped the 256GB model, so the starting available capacity for the P5 Pro is 500GB. Additionally, the drive is also available in 1TB and a new storage capacity of 2TB model. The P54 Plus is priced similar to the P5 though there is a slight bump in the price where drive is retailed at $107.99(500GB), $179.99(1TB), and $367.99(2TB). The 2TB model is definitely a welcome addition and if we judge by the price per gigabyte, the 1TB model would be the most economical option. Despite the slight bump in the price, the P5 Plus are still priced competitively against its competitors. The question is, just how well would the performance backing it up? We shall find it out today.
Crucial choose to keep it conservative in terms of performance rating as oppose to break any world record. The P5 Plus has a rated sequential read up to 6,600 MBps. The sequential write tops off at 5,000 MBps for the 1TB and 2TB model and 4,000 Mbps for the 512GB model. The drive’s random write speed is rated up to 700,000 IOPS. And the random read is up to 720,000 IOPS for the 2TB, up to 630,000 IOPS for the 1TB and up to 360,000 IOPS for smallest 500GB drive. While they are not earth shattering, they are nonetheless competitive among the PCIE 4.0 drives on the market.
Like the other high-end NVMe SSDs, the P5 Plus is backed with generous five-year warranty. The drive carries rated endurance 1,200 TB TBW (600 TBW for the 1TB, and 300 TB for the 512GB). Furthermore, the Crucial P5 Plus supports the latest security and encryption that includes the AES 256-bit full-disk encryption based on TCG OPAL 2.0. In addition, it supports TRIM, S.M.A.R.T, and secure erase.
The Crucial P5 Plus is shipped in a cardboard box that as far as I can recall has been a standard packaging for the company dating back to the SATA SSDs. Inside, we have plastic clamshell securing the drive during shipping. Additionally, Crucial is kind enough to include a M.2 screw, in case that you lost the one that came with your case.
Like Samsung and Intel, Crucial is one of the few SSD manufacturers that is able to build SSD with all in-house components. Hence, the Crucial P5 Plus pair the in-house developed controller with the Micron NAND (a subsidiary company of Crucial).
We see Crucial taped over both the front of the rear of the drive.
Peeling the sticker off the P5 Plus and we see that the components are all located on one side of the drive. Single sided drives is a big plus for large storage capacity drive like the 2TB model that we have here as this allows the drive fit into tight space like a laptop without much of an issue. Additionally, it is easier to add additional cooler like a heatsink or a fan to one side of the drive.
The controller on the drive is the Micron DM02A1, an eight channel controller that is the successor to the DM01B2 found on the P5. The latest controller provides support for the PCI-Express 4.0, which double the theoretical bandwidth from PCIe 3.0. Not much information is provided by Crucial about this particular controller.
Two 1TB packages of Micron 176-layer B47R3 3D TLC NAND chips is found on the drive and 1GB LPDDR4-4266 chip acts as DRAM cache.
While not includes in the box, the drive also comes with Acronis True Image (https://www.acronis.com/en-sg/promotion/CrucialHD-download/) that you can download off Crucial’s website. The software utility helps you clone your existing drive to the new drive. While most users probably would be fine with Windows’s built in backup, the Acronis True Image offers few more extra features such as online backup and incremental back up. It is a nice tool to have and it is good to see it being included with the purchase of the drive.
Also included is Crucial Storage Executive software utility that helps to maintain the drive’s performance. The software is an all-in-one tool that performs basic tasks such as firmware update as well as more advanced tasks such as adjust over provisioning, secure erase data, sanitize drive, and PSID revert. The UI is clean and easy to use that less tech savvy should not have trouble using it to update their drive’s firmware as well as use it to monitor drive’s health. And if you are inclined to venture into more advanced setting, it is also simple enough to use if you wish to secure erase the drive, performs PSID Revert, or adjusting the over provision.
Crystal Disk Mark
We starts off with the CrystialDiskMark and here the Crucial P5 Plus achieved sequential read and write are 6512 MB/s and 5062 MB/s, respectively. The sequential read is just a tad slower than the specified 6600 MB/s while the sequential write is a hair faster than the 5000MB/s.
The drive’s random read tops the drives tested but the random write is a tad slower than the Neo Forza drive that uses the Phison controller.
The P5 Plus excels on this test due to the fact that it is PCIE 4.0 drive.
However, the random read and write trails behind the Phison controller.
When we looked at the AS SSD Copy test, we can see that the drive excels in the ISO copy test. However, in the game and program tests, the drive falls behind the other drives.
The P5 performs well here in the Anvil test.
With the DiskBenchmark, the Crucial P5 Plus falls again behind the Phison controller drive, both in the Folder test and the ISO test.
The Crucial P5 Plus performs quite good in the PCMark 10 with a score of 3799.
When we looked at the bandwidth test, the drive manages to yield 468.09 MB/s and the latency of 34 us, which are both excellent scores.
Finally, the Aja System Test gives us an idea how well a drive handles video workloads and here the PCIE 4.0 bandwidth and the excellent sequential performance of the P5 Plus shines through.
The sensor on the drive reports that the Crucial P4 idles at roughly 54C and under heavy loads, the drive reached to 75C. The temperatures are a tad higher than what we would have liked to see but it is nothing to be worried. The drive performance should not be impacted by the thermal throttling. Keep in mind that the temperature is recorded without any additional cooling so additional cooling can be achieved with NVME heatsink.
While not revolutionary, the P5 Plus is certainly a much-needed upgrade for Crucial. With the PCIE 4.0 support, the P5 Plus finally at the same feature parity as its competitors. We are glad to see that the Crucial P5 Plus starts at 500GB and is available for storage capacity to 2TB. Ditching the smaller 250GB option just make sense to us.
Performance-wise, the Crucial P5 Plus is a bit of a mixed bag. The drive excels in the sequential read and write tasks but it’s random read and write performance lags its competitor a tad, especially the random write. In the CrystalDiskMark and the AS SSD benchmarks, its random write performance is even slower than the PCIE 3.0 drive based on the Phison controller. This is rather unfortunate4 and this is most likely due to the controller limitation, something that Micron would have to work on to improve for its future drive.
Last year’s Crucial P5 was a good PCIE 3.0 drive that offers a good price to performance ratio. While the P5 Plus may not offer as big of performance boost as we would have liked, it is certainly not a bad drive. The market is just getting more competitive with many more PCIE 4.0 drives that offers competitive pricing and performance. We still think feel that the P5 Plus offers a good price to performance and if your workloads are heavy on sequential read and write, you would definitely see a major boost from older PCIE 3.0 drives.
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