Overall and Final Verdict
Well, Crucial did a great job jumping into the portable SSD market with their X8. Using the Crucial P1 M.2 drive as a base they had solid performance on lock in all of our tests, especially the sequential transfers. Getting down into small files I have seen portable SSD’s that perform faster but overall this is the fastest portable drive I have tested. Being their first portable drive, it was also a new foray into the physical side of things with the casing keeping the X8 all together. They went with a unibody design that is very strong and does have good drop ratings, even without any extra rubber bumpers like the Extreme drives from SanDisk. It did end up being larger than the WD Passport SSD that I use often, but not by a lot and the curvy shape makes the X8 very pocketable. It slides right in your pocket or into a pocket in your laptop bag like I use mine.
The drive does run into issues when you do a full drive nonstop write at around 32% of the way in. This is where the SLC cache runs into issues. But I don’t see many situations where people will be transferring one file that large. My only other suggestion for improvement is with the cord and it is an issue all of the portable SSD’s seem to have. I love that they went with Type-C for both ends, but I would like to see the Type-C to Type-A adapter be attachable to the cord so it isn’t easy to lose. I’ve lost them on past drives and even as I write this I’m not 100% sure where the adapter is after doing my drive testing.
As with all forms of storage, pricing is still very important and the X8 comes in two capacities 500GB and 1TB. The 1TB drive is $164.95 right now and the 500 GB model is $129.95. There are portable SSD’s available for cheaper, but most are SATA based drives. The NVMe drives like the SanDisk Extreme and the WD Passport SSD, and the Samsung X5 are all closer to the pricing of the X8. The WD drives have dropped significantly and are cheaper than the X8, but the X8 is also a faster drive. The Samsung is much more expensive and the SanDisk, even with the older slower model is priced right with the X8 at 169.99 for the 1TB model. This makes the Crucial X8 actually a good buy in the portable SSD market all things considering. The P1 which it is based on was a high-performance high-value drive as well so I guess it shouldn’t be a big surprise, but overall I think Crucial has a good drive with the X8. It is also faster and in a lot of cases cheaper than the 1TB flash drive options as well making it a good choice when you need high speeds along with high capacity.
Live Pricing: HERE
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