Overall and Final Verdict
The Crucial P3 is the second half of Crucial's latest update to their SSD lineup and it falls into an interesting spot. For starters, this is their PCIe 3.0 drive where the P3 Plus is their budget PCIe 4.0 SSD. There are still a lot of people with systems that aren’t capable of running PCIe 4.0 so it does still make sense to keep that in the lineup though the 4.0 drives will also work at 3.0 speeds. The P3 is nearly the same drive as the P3 Plus. It has the same black PCB and black sticker with minimal text on it that gives it a simple clean look. More importantly, it has the same Micron 3D QLC NAND and the same Phison controller as well, the only difference from what I can tell is that the P3 is set on the controller to run at PCIe 3.0 x4. This makes for some interesting performance which is a lot slower than the P3 Plus in pure bandwidth tests like the sequential performance but in some tests like the queue depth test and some of the other benchmarks, they perform similarly so the P3 has situations where it performs like a higher end PCIe 3.0 drive and times where it over performs with mid-range 4.0 performance. Like the P3 Plus Crucial has the P3 available in a new 4TB option which is exciting and they haven’t limited capacities on the lower end with it still available at 500GB as well as 1TB and 2TB.
Because it is so similar to the P3 Plus it struggled in the AS SSD copy benchmark like the P3 Plus did when I took a look at it and the QLC NAND does have its limitations as well with that not handling the drive filling up as well.
The 2TB Crucial P3 that I tested today has an MSRP of 174.99 which is $15 less than the Crucial P3 Plus at the same capacity. That is a little cheaper than the higher-end PCIe 3.0 drives that are 2TB right now but there are also drives like the SN570 which is cheaper. More importantly, the P3 Plus is on Newegg now for $179.99, and given the $5 difference if you can use PCIe 4.0 that is still going to be the better option. Even if you can’t, at that price it might be worth it to know that you can get more performance when you upgrade your CPU/Motherboard in the future. The P3 also has the issue of availability currently with Newegg not having the 4TB option and Amazon being hit and miss on all of the capacities.
Live Pricing: HERE