In October 2019, Micron released their first portable SSD, branded as the Crucial X8 Portable SSD. The Crucial X8 uses a USB 3.2 Gen2 interface and delivers top-end read speeds of 1050MB/s. While generally viewed as a tool for PCs, Crucial is quick to remind us the X8 is also compatible with XBOX and PS4 systems, along with Android and certain iOS devices like the iPad Pro.
In October 2019, Micron released their first portable SSD, branded as the Crucial X8 Portable SSD. The Crucial X8 uses a USB 3.2 Gen2 interface and delivers top-end read speeds of 1050MB/s. While generally viewed as a tool for PCs, Crucial is quick to remind us the X8 is also compatible with XBOX and PS4 systems, along with Android and certain iOS devices like the iPad Pro. Offering capacity up to 1TB, the Crucial X8 is a convenient plug and play storage solution formatted in exFAT to support most systems listed above immediately out of the box. Crucial is a brand of Micron which is of the leading flash storage manufacturers in the world. Meaning this product is backed by top quality and engineering.
The X8 comes in 500GB (CT500X8SSD9) and 1TB (CT1000X8SSD9) capacities and carries a three-year warranty. Current street prices are roughly $80 and $165 respectively. Our X8 for review is the 1TB model.
For those that are interested we also have a video review of this drive.
Crucial X8 Portable SSD Specifications
|Interface||USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10Gbps)|
|Capacity||Up to 1TB|
|NAND||Micron 64-layer QLC NAND Flash|
|Controller||Silicon Motion SM2263|
|Speed||Up to 1050MB/s Sequential Read|
|Dimensions||110 mm x 11.5 mm x 53 mm|
|Compatibility||• Windows 10, 8.1
• PS4 & PS4 Pro
• XBOX One & XBOX One X
•iPad Pro (2018 USB-C model)
Crucial X8 Design and Build
The Crucial X8 design features a timeless jet black aesthetic with soft rounded corners. Built with a unibody core of anodized aluminum, this material choice aids in efficient heat dissipation and maximizing performance. The slim and compact design of the aluminum metal case offers enhanced durability and mobility. To ensure data safety this drive has been tested to withstand extreme temperatures, shock, vibration, and up to a 7.5 foot drop onto carpet. This rating is a bit weak compared to what we’ve generally seen from others on the external SSD market.
Looking at built-in performance measures, the X8 leverages the USB-C 3.2 Gen2 interface to offer bandwidth of up to 10Gbps. The USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface maximizes transfer speeds for all capacities. In addition, the X8 uses the Micron 64-layer QLC NAND Flash to provide performance up to 1,050MB/s.
For those concerned about security, while this drive doesn’t feature built-in hardware security there are software options for encryption like Windows Bitlocker to Go or Apple’s FileVault. The Crucial X8 also works with popular endpoint protection services from brands like Symantec and McAfee.
Crucial X8 Performance
To test the performance of the Crucial X8 we will be looking at BlackMagic on a current generation MacBook Air and IOMeter on a Lenovo P73.
For BlackMagic, the Crucial X8 was able to hit 904.7 MB/s read and 802.0 MB/s write.
Moving on to IOMeter, we ran 1 thread and 16 thread testing. We’ll start with 1 thread performance. When looking at 2MB sequential the Crucial X8 hit 784.24 MB/s read and 760.02 MB/s write. Looking at 2MB random speeds, we saw 727.33 MB/s read and 752.36 MB/s write. In random 4K the Crucial X8 hit 5,978 IOPS read and 8,435 IOPS write.
Now we’ll dive into 16 thread performance. For 2MB sequential, we saw 997.99 MB/s read and 953.12 MB/s write. For 2MB random, we saw 997.99 MB/s read and 949.20 MB/s write. Finally, for random 4K speeds hit 39,643 IOPS and 44,518 IOPS respectively for read and write.
With the Crucial X8 Micron has broken into the portable SSD market with a competitive high-quality product. Benefits of the X8 include its affordable price point, high-performance, and solid build. Key features include multi-device compatibility, USB-C connectivity, and capacity up to 1TB. Included in box with the drive is a fully-reversible USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter. Warranty for this product is a 3-year limited warranty.
Taking a look at performance, the Crucial X8 came close to hitting its maximum speeds in our testing while performing slightly better in IOMeter over BlackMagic. There needs to be a just released USB chipset that supports Gen2 to hit the top speeds. That being said, the X8 was able to hit good numbers for a portable drive: 904.7 MB/s read and 802.0 MB/s write in BlackMagic, 2MB sequential speeds of 997.99 MB/s read and 953.12 MB/s write, random speeds of 997.99 MB/s read and 949.20 MB/s write, and throughput of 39,643 IOPS read and 44,518 IOPS write (16 thread). The speeds were better than a typical USB portable SSD but behind something that leverages the proper connectivity to bring the full NVMe potential to light.
Overall, if you are looking for a fast and affordable portable SSD the Crucial X8 will do the job well.
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