Crucial’s P1 has been a go-to for anyone looking to build a budget build that still wants the significantly faster speeds than an NVMe drive can offer. I took a look at the P1 back in 2018 HERE and still love the drive. So when Crucial announced their new P2 I was excited to find out what they were doing differently this time around. Well, today I’m going to take a closer look and find out what the P2 is all about then put it through our test suite to see how it performs. Is it still the go-to for budget builds? Let’s find out!

Product Name: Crucial P2 500GB

Review Sample Provided by: Crucial

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE



Form Factor



250 GB and 500 GB


PCIe Gen 3 x4



Sequential Read

250GB – 2100 MB/s

500GB - 2300 MB/s

Sequential Write

250GB – 1150 MB/s

500GB - 940 MB/s

Operating Temperature

0 °C to 70 °C


Dynamic Write


• Redundant Array of

Independent NAND


• Multistep Data Integrity


• Adaptive Thermal


• Integrated Power Loss


• Active Garbage


• TRIM Support

• NVMe standard

Self-Monitoring and

Reporting Technology


• Error Correction Code


• NVMe Autonomous

Power State Transition

(APST) Support

Life Expectancy (MTTF)

1.5 million hours


250GB: 150 Total Bytes Written (TBW)

500GB: 150 Total Bytes Written (TBW)


Manufacturer's 5 Year Limited


Photos and Features

Before taking a look at the drive, we do have to get into the packaging. Crucial kept the P2 packaging the same as the P1 which means a dark blue background with the P2 sticking out of the white at the bottom. The Crucial logo is in the top left corner with the black backdrop and they use a sticker to show the drive capacity in the bottom left corner which in our case is the 500GB model. Around on the back, they have the same dark blue with white on the bottom only with more white than on the front. That said the only thing interest back here is the window that lets you double check the drive size and serial and the stamp for the 5-year warranty.

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Inside the P2 comes in a clear plastic clamshell tray to keep it sale. Along with that, they do include a small information book as well.

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Now Crucial did step things up a little when it comes to the look of the P2 compared to the P1. The P1 had a basic white sticker with all the information on it but the P2 has added a blue section with the Crucial branding on it. Besides that, it does still have a white section where they have the P2 model name and the drive capacity in the biggest font. It also has all of the required certification logos and the serial number.

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So our 500 and 1TB Crucial P1 drives both were one sided but on those they did leave room on the backside for a 2TB model in the future. This time around the P2 isn’t really for higher capacities at all with it coming in just 250Gb and our 500GB model and with that, there is no need to save any room on the back of the drive. So other than a QC sticker the back of the P2 just has that flat black PCB finish on it and that’s about it.

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With all of the drive being on just the one side I pulled the sticker off to check out what the P2 has going on. I was surprised that Crucial went with a quad NAND layout given the max 500GB capacity. They are of course Micron NAND with NX959 as the model number which is 64 layer TLC. With four NAND the 500GB drive is running 128GB chips which even without the back of the drive leave a LOT of room for going larger if Crucial decided to later. Next to those is a Phison branded controller, specifically the E13 which is a PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 interface and is a DRAMless controller which is supported by the fact the P2 doesn’t have any DRAM on it.

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Test Rig and Procedures

Test System (with affiliate links)

Motherboard: Asus ROG X570 Crosshair Hero w/WiFi

CPU:  AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Motherboard: Asus Crosshair VIII HERO WiFi

Cooling: Noctua NH-U12S for cooling

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

Memory:  G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3600MHz 16-16-16-36

Storage:  Corsair MP600 2TB

Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

Power Supply: Corsair TX750M

Case: Dimastech Test Bench

OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit





Before jumping into testing I always like to take a look at CrystalDiskInfo to document the firmware revision that I am testing with and to confirm that I am testing in the correct transfer mode. In this case that is PCIe 3.0 at x4 and everything is good to go.

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My first tests are all in Cristal Disk Mark and I tested with both the older CDM 6 and the new version 7. For CDM 6 I focused on the sequential read and write performance and the P2 had a read speed of 2498 which was a nice jump over the original P1. The write speeds were a little lower at 1840 but again higher than the P1, especially if you compare the 500GB version of the P1 which did very badly in overall writes.


While in Crystal Disk Mark I also took a look at the Random IOPS performance at a queue depth of 8 and with 8 threads on both read and writes. I stacked the two together to get an overall idea of the drive's performance Which doesn’t hold up when compared with the fastest drives but was faster than the older WD Blue but slower than the new WD Blue SN550. The Lexar NM610 is also a good comparison and another budget-friendly drive and the P2 was way out ahead of it, especially on the write IOPS.


As for the newer Crystal Disk Mark 7, the P2’s read performance was a little lower here than in the previous version but still solidly ahead of the Lexar and not far behind the WD Blue SN550. It was even closer to the SN550 on the writes and again faster than the Lexar.


Now PCMark 10 is a great test because it includes a lot of real-world usage examples into its test. Sadly the P2 fell off here on the full system drive benchmark but it did do well on the data drive benchmark where it came in ahead of the SN550.


For AS SSD I skipped the standard tests which hit the same points that Crystal Disk Mark tests and I went for their timed file transfer test that tests the transfer time for three different file types. I stacked them all together because overall performance is important unless you only plan on using the drive for one specific type of file. In this case for the ISO transfer, the P2 didn’t do so well but it did make up a lot with the program files and wasn’t bad on the game files as well. Compared to the original P1 the P2 looks even better, especially when in the combined results it outperformed the SN550 and the NM610 but also the MP600 which is a monster of a drive.


In Passmark Performance Test 9 I ran a few different tests. I did their advanced disk test with all four of the default tests which look at a few different enterprise workloads and I also tested using the standard Performance Test with the Disk Mark which combines multiple tests to create a score. For the advanced tests, the P2 did well on the Web Server and File Server tests being three times as fast as the original P1 and similar compared to the NM610. Its workstation performance is good, not at the top of the class but right in line with everything else. The same could be said for the database results as well. As for the disk mark score, it was significantly faster than the SN500 but way behind the SN550 and a big jump up from the P1. It is right in between all of the higher-end drives and last year's budget drives. A happy medium and about what you would expect with a new budget-focused drive.


I went back to checking out IOPS performance. This time using Anvils Storage Utilities with a Random IOPS at a queue depth of 16. The P2 did well here, really well with 346390 in write IOPS which was way out ahead of the SN550 and the NM610 with just the high end drives ahead of that. Then for the read IOPS, it was right with the SN550 and WAY ahead of the original P1.


Sticking with Anvil’s Storage Utilities I wanted to see how the drive would handle different queue depths so I ran through the same test with both read and writes while ramping the queue depth up to see how the Phison E13 controller would handle things. For the reads, it ramped up well and only stopped gaining when I reached the queue depth of 128. It wasn’t the highest in the charts at any point during that but the end result at those higher queue depths was above average with just the five higher-end drives up at the top. With the write test, it was a little different. Specifically, the results were making sense until it hit a queue depth of 16 and it spiked up then dropped back down. I was completely puzzled about these and spent a LOT of time testing and retesting thinking it was a cache or thermal issue. I’ll talk a little more about this below.


So like I said that queue depth of 16 had me puzzled so I wanted to show some of my results. Normally if a cache issue is popping up you will run a test once and then for the second time it will speed up and stay fast after that because it is cached. The four tests below are all in order. The first one was 1340, the second was 746, the third was 720. At this point, I thought well clearly it is throttling down maybe from heat. But then the fourth test was back up to 1366 MB/s.

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I still always take a look at thermals and for this, I run AIDA64 read stress test and take a thermal image. In AIDA64 I am looking for any dips or spikes and boy did I get those. The test ran fine for 15 minutes then the results spikes up to 2752 and then back down again over and over then it went away and went back to the lower speed. Was our drive possessed? I’m not completely sure, but I can say that it didn’t get too hot during the testing. The controller was the hottest area of course which reached 119F but the rest of the drive was running at 97F. Both aren’t enough to be a concern.

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Overall and Final Verdict

Going in I knew that the Crucial P2 wasn’t going to be breaking records. Just like the Crucial P1, it is designed to be cheap while still offering good performance. Crucial changed the formula up this time around. The P1 was a QLC drive with an SLC cache but the P2 drops the cache and is a TLC drive. The result is significantly faster than the P1 in basically every test I ran. Considering the P1 was still one of the drives I would recommend for someone looking for lower-end NVMe performance a jump in performance is a welcome addition. In fact, with the TLC NAND, it ends up being a lot more well-rounded drive. That is of course other than the weird issue I ran into when doing queue depth tests in Anvils. Not that I would complain about performance being better than it should be.

My main complaint with the P2 however is the capacities that Crucial is offering the drive-in. You can only get it in a 250GB or 500GB version. Those are popular capacities, but a lot of people are starting to look at larger drives and moving ALL of their data to NVMe rather than running an OS and then a game drive and without a 1TB or larger option that just isn’t possible.

As for pricing, the drive is available at around $64.99 which is right near the bottom of what you will find M.2 drives for at the 500GB capacity and just under 13 cents per gigabyte. The original P1 is just a few dollars cheaper at $62.99 and the P2 was significantly faster. The WD Blue SN550 however is also at this same price point and they did trade blows back and forth in our tests. With that in mind, I wouldn’t call this a steal, undercutting the SN550 would help with that. But even priced together the P2 offers another good option especially with its 5-year warranty for a budget build.


Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite:
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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