Photos and Features

The box for the Crucial P3 has the exact same look as the P3 Plus that I just took a look at and both share a lot with past Crucial drives as well. Past drives have had a dark blue background with a picture of the drive in the middle. The new look that the P3 has goes from dark blue on the outside to a light blue in the middle around the picture of the drive. The top left corner has a blue stripe with the Crucial by Micron branding and then in the bottom right they have the P3 model name. Under that, they do let you know that this is a PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2 SSD and on the left side of that white stripe on the bottom they put a sticker on with the capacity of the drive which for our drive is 2TB but it is available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB just like the P3 Plus. The back of the box is white and has a small window that shows a QR code on the SSD itself. Beyond that, the only important information here is the 5-year warranty badge.

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Inside the box, everything comes in a clear plastic clamshell including the documentation which is jammed in there. The P3 has its own spot and there is a tray which comes with a small M.2 screw as well. The documentation isn’t model-specific and has legal information on things like the warranty.

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As far as aesthetics go the Crucial P3 has the same look as the P3 Plus. It has a black PCB which then has a long black sticker over the top that covers up all of the components. The sticker has the Crucial logo on the left and the P3 model name on the right as well as lets you know this is a PCIe 3.0 M.2 again and has the 2280 M.2 length.

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The back of the Crucial P3 doesn’t have any components on it or pads for future components, everything is contained all on the front side of the drive. The back does have two stickers, both with a black background. The left smaller sticker has all of the certification logos and a QR code on it. Then the right sticker is larger and this is the one that has the drive size in a larger font as well as things like your model part number, firmware version, and serial number.

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With everything all on one side on the P3 just like the P3 Plus, we can see that the P3 is a DRAM-Less design and it has the same layout as the P3 Plus with four NAND and the controller in the middle. The controller is made by Phison and has the model number PS5021-E21-48 which is very interesting because this is the same E21 controller that the P3 Plus is running. Crucial must be limiting the P3 on the firmware level. I’m really surprised that it wouldn’t be cheaper to run a PCIe 3.0-specific controller and it does bring up questions on if you could reflash the P3 later to get PCIe 4.0 and P3 Plus performance. As for the NAND, it has four NAND chips like the P3 Plus which for our 2TB capacity mean 512GB chips but leaves room for 1TB NAND for the 4TB model. These are etched 2HC2D NY161 which is the same Micron 3D QLC NAND as on the P3 Plus which QLC itself has its issues like major performance slowdowns when drives get too full.

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