Back in May Crucial announced two of their latest NVMe-based M.2 SSDs with their P3 and P3 Plus. These drives continue their P lineup which has had the P1 and the P5 as their budget and flagship drives and later the P2 replaced the P1 and they introduced the P5 Plus to push things farther being their first PCIe 4.0 drive. Well the P3 and P3 Plus drop in the middle of the lineup as a cheaper PCIe 4.0 option behind the P5 Plus and today I have the P3 Plus in the office to test to see how it performs. Crucial is normally great at offering a good value in this part of their lineup so I’m excited to see if the P3 Plus continues that so let’s dig in.

Product Name: Crucial P3 Plus 2TB

Review Sample Provided by: Crucial

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Capacity

500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB

Generation

PCIe 4.0 NVMe™ technology

Form Factor

M.2 (2280)

Speed

Sequential read/write speeds up to 5000/4200MB/s

SSD Endurance (TBW)

440 Terabytes

Warranty

5-Year limited

 

 


Photos and Features

The packaging for the P3 Plus is similar to past Crucial SSDs but they have dropped the single color background for a dark blue that gets lighter as it goes into the center. They have a picture of the P3 plus in the center which I always like to see and then up in the top left corner they have the Crucial by Micron branding. In the bottom right corner, the P3 Plus model name has the largest font on the box, and below that they let you know that this is a PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD in the white strip along the bottom. Then the drive capacity is in the bottom left as a sticker so they can use the same box for all of the drive capacities. Around on the back, there is a small window cut in the box which lets you see inside and confirm the drive capacity as well as scan the QR code for the serial number if needed. Beyond that, the back doesn’t have much useful information other than the drive warranty which is 5 years and has a badge next to the window.

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Inside the P3 Plus comes in a clear plastic tray and inside alongside the drive itself there is a small tray with a single M.2 screw to help with the installation for anyone who is missing one or doesn’t want to dig their motherboard box out to find the one included with the motherboard. Other than that you get a folded up generic installation guide and that’s it.

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Like the P5 and the P5 Plus, the P3 Plus has a black PCB and a long black sticker that covers the top of the SSD. They have the Crucial by Micron logo on the left in white and just a simple P3 Plus and below that PCIe 4.0 and the M.2 length of 2280 on the right side. Simple and not too bad looking.

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The back of the drive doesn’t have any components on it and they have used this space for more stickers. There are two and both are black. The sticker on the left has the certification logos on it. The sticker on the right is larger and this is the one with the actual part number serial number, firmware version, and where the drive is manufactured (Mexico). They have the QR code for the serial number that we saw through the window before and of course, the model name and the drive size are across the top in the largest font. Our drive that I will be testing today is the 2TB model. The P3 Plus is also available in 500GB, 1TB, and a larger 4TB model as well which I think is the first 4TB option that Crucial has offered.

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The front side sticker was removed and now we can get a better look at the layout. The first thing to note is that this is a DRAMless configuration, there isn’t a DRAM chip anywhere. Crucial has four NAND chips with the controller setup in the middle between them. The controller is a Phison PS5021-E2-48 which was announced last year as a PCIe 4.0 x4 controller with 3D NAND support and a 1600 MT/s interface which matches with the 5000 MB/s read speed that the P3 Plus is advertising. All four of the NAND are Micron branded no surprises there and they have 2FC2D NY161 etched on them. This is Micron 3D QLC NAND and being 4 chips it tells us that each is 512GB for the 2TB model and that they will run larger 1TB NAND for the 4TB model because there aren’t any extra pads left open.

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Test Rig and Procedures

Testing Hardware

Live Pricing

Case

Primochill Wetbench

HERE

Motherboard

Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme

HERE

CPUs

Intel i9-12900K w/ PL2 set to 250W

HERE

Ram

Crucial 2x32GB 64GB Kit

HERE

Power Supply

Corsair AX1200w

HERE

Thermal Paste

Noctua NT-H2

HERE

SSD

Sabrent Rocket Q4 2TB

HERE

OS

Windows 11 Pro

HERE

 

Test Procedures

CrystalDiskMark 8

Full CrystalDiskMark benchmark then also taking a look at the IOPS performance on both read and write RND4K Q32T1

AS SSD

File Copy benchmark using ISO, Program, and Game settings

Passmark Performance Test 10

Passmark storage benchmark is run using the provided score

Anvil's Storage Utilities

We run the whole SSD benchmark but only use the 4K QD16 IOPS for random read performance

Queue Depth Testing

This uses Anvil’s as well, but we run individual tests set to 4k file size at a queue depth from 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and for read speeds 128

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark is run with a queue depth of 1 for both read and write file transfer speeds

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 storage benchmarks for the Full System Drive benchmark and the Data Drive Benchmark

Real World Test

File transfer tests are done in Windows 11 using the default transfer tool. Tests are done with a folder filled with Word Documents, a folder filled with JPG and RAW photos, and a folder filled with movies

 


Performance

Before getting into testing the Crucial P3 Plus I did check the drive out using CrystalDiskInfo just to confirm that it was connected using the correct interface. The drive runs on PCIe 4.0 and needs 4 lanes to get the best possible performance and we were connected and running at that. I also like to do this to document the firmware revision we are running on for testing because those do change from time to time which we are on P9CR409.

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My first round of testing was to run the Crucial P3 Plus through Crystal Disk Mark 8. Sequential testing is usually a best-case scenario and is what companies use for their specifications and on the front of the box to advertise drive speeds which in the case of the Crucial P3 Plus the box didn’t have the drive speed listed but the specifications do and those say the P3 Plus should see up to 5000 MB/s for its reads and 4200 MB/s for its writes. Below I have the drives labeled in orange if they are PCIe 4.0 and blue for older 3.0 drives for reference. The P3 Plus beat its listed read speed at 5041 MB/s which is good and puts this drive as a mid-range 4.0 drive as expected. For the write speeds, it did 4388 MB/s which was way ahead of the listed 4200 MB/s.

 

PCIe 3.0

PCIe 4.0

   

Crystal Disk Mark 8 - Read

SEQ1M Q8T1

SEQ128K Q32T1

RND4K Q32T16

RND4K Q1T1

WD Blue SN550 1TB

2444.53

2077.36

1075.88

57.88

Sabrent Rocket Q4 2TB

4939.59

2871.47

1034.52

74.53

Corsair MP400 1TB

3432.77

1889.56

713.28

61.42

Corsair Force MP600 2TB

4828

1543.31

901.83

41.49

Sabrent Rocket 4.0 Plus 1TB

6468.33

2712.53

455.24

54.68

Crucial P5 Plus 1TB

6697.19

4358.63

1113.7

69.76

Kingston FURY Renegade 2TB

6592.75

3093.11

1085.23

55.14

Patriot P400 1TB

5036.9

3518.47

1059.71

88.06

WD Blue SN570 1TB

3569.34

2681.32

1046.46

65.75

WD Black SN770 1TB

5223.32

4958.17

1034.35

82.24

MSI Spatium M480 Play 2TB

6979.03

4267.59

1315.25

81.22

Viper Gaming VPR400

5163.46

3880.75

1030.81

85.35

Crucial P3 Plus 2TB

5041.44

2799.96

1107.97

56.56

 

 

PCIe 3.0

PCIe 4.0

   

Crystal Disk Mark 8 - Write

SEQ1M Q8T1

SEQ128K Q32T1

RND4K Q32T16

RND4K Q1T1

WD Blue SN550 1TB

2007.63

2006.4

776.4

290.25

Sabrent Rocket Q4 2TB

3633.71

2568.7

920.84

385.73

Corsair MP400 1TB

2021.09

2017.63

1196.42

262.36

Corsair Force MP600 2TB

992.38

982.78

996.22

276.26

Sabrent Rocket 4.0 Plus 1TB

5241.89

5225.25

921.51

402.26

Crucial P5 Plus 1TB

5025.83

4880.38

884.12

240.78

Kingston FURY Renegade 2TB

6899.76

5831.06

1083.12

367.6

Patriot P400 1TB

4830.94

4813.27

846.34

307.12

WD Blue SN570 1TB

3147.13

2893.72

909.47

234.17

WD Black SN770 1TB

4983.07

4980.59

1149.36

295.13

MSI Spatium M480 Play 2TB

6870.73

5863.14

1062.32

357.02

Viper Gaming VPR400

4780.82

4775.74

838

285.02

Crucial P3 Plus 2TB

4388.26

4387.54

989.42

2967.35

 

While testing in CrystalDiskMark 8 I did also check out the drive’s IOPS performance with the random 4k queue depth of 32 and 1 thread results. I stacked the read and write performance together here because I do believe that the overall drive performance is important, not just one result or the other. The P3 Plus did surprisingly well here with its read IOPS right with the P5 Plus and only behind the M480 Play and its write IOPS were even better way out ahead of the P5 Plus with just four drives total faster. When combined there were just three drives faster, the M480 Play, the SN770, and the FURY Renegade.

graph1

In AS SSD I skipped over the standard test because it is very similar to the CrystalDiskMark tests I prefer to check out one of its sub-tests, the copy benchmark. This moves three files, one that is an ISO, one that is a program, and then a game and times how long each takes. With these being timed, lower is better here. I have all three results stacked to see which drives are best overall. The P3 Plus struggled on these tests well the Program and Game files at least which all combined put the P3 Plus at the back of the chart.

graph2

Next up with PassMark Performance Test 10 I ran their combined synthetic benchmark to get a look at their DiskMark rating. The P3 Plus didn’t do so well with it sitting down in the middle of some of the PCIe 3.0 drives here.

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I then changed my focus back over to IOPS performance and ran the Viper Gaming VPR400 in Anvil’s Storage Benchmark focusing on the 4k queue depth of 16 results from the main test. The read IOPS here were middle of the pack but the P3 plus did well with its write IOPS. Overall this put it in the middle of the pack behind all of the flagship drives.

graph4

Sticking with Anvil’s Storage Utilities I did a few more tests. Here I wanted to check out how the drive would react to different queue depths so with the file size set to 4K I ran tests ramping up double each time starting at 1 and up to 128 for reads and 64 for writes. This lets us see if the controller gets overloaded. For the read, queue depth tests the P3 Plus was the slowest drive tested with a queue depth of 1 and stayed near the bottom of the drives until it got up to a queue depth of 32 where it started to catch up, and on the last 128 QD test, it jumped way up sitting behind all of the flagship drives but still doing well. For the write tests, it did better earlier on sitting in the middle of the pack and staying there through all of the tests. It continued to climb up until the queue depth of 64 test where it dropped in performance by 300 MB/s compared to the 32 QD test.

graph5

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For ATTO Benchmark I set it to a queue depth of just 1 but ramped up the file size slowly to see how it would affect performance. For the read test in ATTO, the P3 Plus stayed right in the middle up until 16KB file sizes where it jumped up in performance and was even the fastest drive tested for a little while before stalling at 128KB. It continued to ramp up after that but was behind the top three drives from there on out. Interestingly enough it was faster than the P5 Plus in this test.

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Next up I wanted to look at more real-world performance and for this, I started with PCMark 10 which has an overall full system benchmark for storage and then one focused on data storage drives. In the full system drive benchmark, the Crucial P3 Plus matched the P5 Plus on the data drive benchmark which put it up behind a few of the flagship drives. But for the full system drive benchmark, it was in the middle of the pack.

graph9

Next, up for more real-world resting, I did our file transfer tests. You don’t get any more real-world than this. For each drive, I copied the folder filled with files to the drive tested and then back to the Rocket Q4 in our test bench. I used three file types, movies which are large single files, a folder filled with RAW and JPG photos, and then a folder filled with word documents. Starting with the movie files the Crucial P3 Plus did well with just four drives being faster and it did even better when sending the files back to the PC but was far from the performance of some of the top drives there including the P5 Plus. The photo files are more likely to be what you see day to day in file size and the P3 Plus wrote the files to itself at 1080 MB/s and sent them back faster at 1430 MB/s. The write speed was in the top four but impressively the read here was the fastest tested. Then last up I tested using word documents which are always a struggle due to their small file sizes. The P3 Plus wrote these at 6.92 MB/s and read them at 7.37 MB/s, both of these were impressively fast.

Windows 11 File Transfers

Movies to Drive

Movies to PC

Pictures to Drive

Pictures to PC

Docs to Drive

Docs to PC

WD Blue SN550 1TB

852

1360

937

1001

2.42

5.32

Sabrent Rocket Q4 2TB

2720

2060

1140

1030

5.75

5.2

Corsair MP400 1TB

2140

875

996

1410

2.57

5.98

Corsair Force MP600 2TB

1250

1330

816

1320

2.83

5.48

Sabrent Rocket 4.0 Plus 1TB

2120

2960

254

842

1.63

5.16

Crucial P5 Plus 1TB

2060

2720

1030

1140

5.2

5.75

Kingston FURY Renegade 2TB

2330

3220

857

1270

2.58

5.88

Patriot P400 1TB

2070

2870

981

944

2.86

4.62

WD Blue SN570 1TB

602

325

992

1310

5.14

6.05

WD Black SN770 1TB

2260

2170

605

1210

2.52

6.11

MSI Spatium M480 Play 2TB

1930

494

905

706

5.62

3.87

Viper Gaming VPR400

2360

1980

1300

1310

2.61

7.12

Crucial P3 Plus 2TB

2240

2430

1080

1430

6.92

7.37

 

I also ran the P3 Plus using AIDA64’s linear read disk benchmark for 30 minutes to heat things up to see what the thermals for the drive would look like. Not surprisingly the controller was where all of the heat was coming and with it being center mounted it does heat up the NAND on each side of it. But overall the temps weren’t out of line from what you would expect and long file transfers like that are relatively rare.

image 1

 

 


Overall and Final Verdict

With the new update to Crucial’s lineup, they have now fully embraced PCIe 4.0 which means a big step up in performance which makes for an especially huge jump in performance when comparing the P3 Plus with their previous mid-range drive, the Crucial P2 which has a read speed of 2400 MB/s and write speed of 1900 MB/s. The P3 Plus offers over double that performance with their new drive and that doesn’t even count the fact that the P3 Plus outperformed its listed specifications as well. In fact, in some situations, the P3 Plus is running with their flagship P5 Plus. They kept the same simple styling with the blacked-out PCB and a simple black sticker for the branding and for the P3 Plus they have expanded the size options available. Where before Crucial's biggest NVMe SSD was 2TB the P3 Plus now can come in a 4TB while still having smaller 500GB, 1TB, and of course the 2TB that I tested today. As far as performance goes it was dependent on the test. The P3 Plus did especially well in some of the IOPS heavy tests but struggled in tests like the AS SSD Copy benchmark and Passmark’s Disk Mark. Overall it is a middle of the pack drive but its real-world performance was up in with some of the fastest drives.

Drive availability is still limited but looking as of writing this you can find the 500 GB model on Newegg but everything else is out of stock. Our 2TB model has an MSRP of $189.99 but Newegg is listing it at $161.99. As it sits the cheapest available comparable drives on Newegg are $174.99 and by comparable I mean PCIe 4.0 x4, 2TB, and an M.2 SSD but those lowest end drives aren’t near the 5000 read speed of the P3 Plus making it a great price even at its MSRP and amazing at the price Newegg has listed assuming that doesn’t change once they get more stock in. I loved the P1 and the P2 in the past as great budget drives that didn’t sacrifice much in performance and the P3 Plus fits right in there with middle-range PCIe 4.0 performance at bottom-end PCIe 4.0 pricing.

fv6value

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
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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