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
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