Device Features and Characteristics

A comparison of the physical characteristics and the internals is helpful to have prior to looking at the performance profile of the devices.

SATA-Class Direct-Attached Storage Characteristics
Aspect
Upstream Port USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C
Bridge / Controller ASMedia ASM235CM + Silicon Motion SM2259XT JMicron JMS580 + Silicon Motion SM2259XT
Flash Micron 96L 3D QLC Micron 64L 3D TLC
Power Bus Powered Bus Powered
     
Physical Dimensions 68.83 mm x 64 mm x 10.92 mm 86.7 mm x 61 mm x 10 mm
IP Rating N/A N/A
Weight 42 grams (without cable) 35 grams (without cable)
Cable 23 cm USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C to Type-C
Type-C to Type-A adaptor sold separately
20 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C to Type-C
20 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C to Type-A
     
S.M.A.R.T Passthrough Yes Yes
UASP Support Yes Yes
TRIM Passthrough Yes Yes
Encryption Support N/A Software (ADATA HDDtoGO)

The Crucial Portable SSD X6 2TB uses the BX500 SATA SSD platform and adds an ASMedia bridge for the Type-C interface. The other two drives being compared against it use the JMicro JMS580 bridge and a Silicon Motion SM2259XT (DRAM-less) SSD controller for the SATA side of things. All three use Micron flash - the X6 uses 96L 3D QLC, while the other two adopt 64L 3D TLC flash.

The NVMe-class drives all adopt the strategy of placing a M.2 2280 SSD behind the USB 3.2 Gen 2 bridge.

NVMe-Class Direct-Attached Storage Characteristics
Aspect
Upstream Port USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
Bridge / Controller ASMedia ASM2362 + Silicon Motion SM2263 ASMedia ASM2362 + Silicon Motion SM2263
Flash Micron 96L 3D QLC Micron 64L 3D QLC
Power Bus Powered Bus Powered
     
Physical Dimensions 110 mm x 53 mm x 11.5 mm 110 mm x 53 mm x 11 mm
IP Rating N/A N/A
Weight 101 grams (without cable) 101 grams (without cable)
Cable 23 cm USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C to Type-C
Type-C to Type-A adaptor bundled
25 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C to Type-C
Type-C to Type-A Adaptor
     
S.M.A.R.T Passthrough Yes Limited
UASP Support Yes Yes
TRIM Passthrough Yes Yes
Encryption Support Software (Windows BitLocker to Go / Apple FileVault) Software (Windows BitLocker to Go / Apple FileVault)

The Crucial Portable SSD X8 2TB version carries forward the same internal bridge chip as the 1TB version from last year. The main change is the move from 64L 3D QLC to 96L 3D QLC in the 2TB version. Externally, the drives appear the same. Crucial doesn't provide any hardware encryption support for the drive, a feature available in competing SSDs from the Western Digital stable.

We opted against tearing down the X6 and X8 because it involved more than the usual teardown efforts. The internals (silicon and thermal design) have already been photographed and published on other review sites (X6 teardown, X8 teardown).

Introduction Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO and CrystalDiskMark
POST A COMMENT

22 Comments

View All Comments

  • luxuryhousebuild - Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - link

    At that point they will spend more hours requesting and examining many hard offers from exchanges to assemble a careful and exact financial plan. Given this time venture, it is commonplace for truly solid developers to be made up for their pre-development administrations. You can find an assortment of solutions to this inquiry; https://astorhomesbydesign.com.au/services/ interestingly, you feel great with the pay the manufacturer requests and with how they clarify their part in the pre-development measure for your task. Reply
  • Duncan Macdonald - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    This is QLC flash - most QLC will not reach beyond 1000 cycles - some will only reach a few hundred - the rated TBW IS important. Also the write speed on QLC often degrades as the cycle count increases. Reply
  • zepi - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    I don't care slightest about write endurance - I have hard time envisioning a use case where this kind of drive is written to death. Even few hundred P/E cycles is a lot for a normal person. If you are not a "normal person" and your workload is heavy, then go and buy something else.

    However, what I'd be very afraid is the data retention. QLC - drive being unplugged for reasonably long periods of time etc.

    It is completely normal for people to take backups, transfer bunch of files etc. and expect them to be readable in half a year from writing after storing the drive in the glove compartment of their car or whatever crazy people do.

    Is the data readable after such period? No idea.
    Reply
  • AMDSuperFan - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    Ganesh - looking at the boxes in your picture they look pretty much banged up. Were these new or used drives that you tested here? I think you are an excellent writer. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    "The emergence of 3D NAND with TLC and QLC has brought down the cost of such drives."

    You meant:

    The emergence of 3D NAND with TLC has brought down the cost of such drives. QLC, meanwhile, is about increasing margin for drive makers and decreasing quality for consumers."
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    "I don't care slightest about write endurance - I have hard time envisioning a use case where this kind of drive is written to death. Even few hundred P/E cycles is a lot for a normal person. If you are not a "normal person" and your workload is heavy, then go and buy something else. However, what I'd be very afraid is the data retention. QLC - drive being unplugged for reasonably long periods of time etc."

    Drive death in the consumer realm has always been mainly about firmware/controller bugs (or, possibly defective NAND), not the NAND wearing out through use. The most extreme examples I can think of are the Sandforce 2 controllers from OCZ that bricked drives when OCZ switched to 64-bit planar MLC (without telling anyone) and Intel's G2 drive that had a data corruption problem due to bad firmware.

    (The Sandforce problem was never solved by a plethora of firmware patches. OCZ pretended that it solved the issue by letting people return the drives but the people who spent the most money (on the highest capacity drives, the 240 GB ones) were not allowed to return them! I have three bricked 240 GB OCZ drives. Two of them are drives OCZ sent when the first ones bricked.)

    The differences between things like planar MLC and planar TLC have been about other problems. Planar TLC from Samsung didn't result in drive death (the red herring everyone talks about). Instead, it was voltage drift that caused the data to have to be constantly rewritten as a kludge "solution" to very poor performance. That much more frequent writing slows performance, makes one question the safety of storing the drive powered off for long periods, and can lead to the NAND wearing out I suppose.

    Drive death from worn-out NAND has been a red herring for the most part, while other serious drawbacks to increasing the number of voltage states (by adding layers) have been whitewashed. Well, it looks like QLC brings back the drive death from worn-out NAND problem back a bit while having all of the drawbacks of there being so many more voltage states (which increases the problem of drift drastically).

    The only things going for it is that it's 3D instead of planar and that capacities have increased which helps to mask the issue for most consumer workloads. Regardless, I consider QLC to be an unsatisfactory solution to a problem consumers didn't face: how to increase margin for the companies selling drives beyond what 3D TLC offers. That's the real driving force being QLC. It is not giving consumers a much better capacity deal for their money. The economy of scale factor, instead, works against consumer value by increasing the price of 3D TLC. Companies use that as an excuse to keep prices of QLC too high. Neat trick, for as long as they can make it last. By winding down TLC capacity, they can do it for as long as they like, so long as no one decides to fight the current and keep high volume TLC production going and reasonable pricing for it (in defiance of the scarcity dynamic).
    Reply
  • happythanksgives - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - link

    Clearly, your Thanksgiving menu is critical, yet the event is a long ways past essentially stacking our plates. Thanksgiving is an occasion to exhibit your gratefulness for your partners, family, and all that you have for the duration of regular daily existence https://happythanksgiving2020.com/ . These true Thanksgiving proclamations will assist everyone with recollecting the clarification behind the season. This overview is overflowing with clever words that would make for an exceptional event toast or even as a respectable Thanksgiving engraving through online systems administration media. Reply
  • Henry jones - Monday, November 23, 2020 - link

    I guess there is no need to compare 35$ product with the expensive one
    https://ynntechnology.com/product/dry-ice-machine/
    Reply
  • iOSEmusapps - Monday, March 15, 2021 - link

    It is seen as that getting changed applications is very irksome in iOS, yet iOSEmus simplified this dazzling. It has a whole library of the https://iosemus-app.com/ relative multitude of top notch applications that can fulfill you truly particularly perky. Do whatever it takes not to confide in me? I BET you should endeavor this. Reply
  • mp3pawtv - Monday, July 5, 2021 - link

    Mp3Paw Download Free Mp3 Music in High Quality – Can I download free MP3 Music from MP3PAW or how might I will download Free films from MP3paws? https://mp3paw.tv/ Here in this article, you would have the option to gain proficiency with a ton about the mp3 paw download and furthermore how to get to the mp3paw download page to download the decisions of your Mp3 music melodies. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now