Crucial’s X8 is the company’s first external SSD and it certainly looks the part with its smooth lozenge shape and black finish. Measuring 110 x 53 x 11.5mm and weighing in at 97g, the anodised aluminium chassis with its rubber ends can, according to Crucial, survive a 2m drop on a carpeted floor without damaging the data stored on the SSD.
As to the drive inside, using CrystalDiskInfo we see that the firmware number is one that was used for the P1 drive. The P1 was Crucial’s M.2 NVMe first drive to use 64-layer 3D QLC (quad-level cell) NAND which is looked after by a Silicon Motion SM2263EN 4-channel controller. The X8 also uses an ASMedia 2362 NVMe bridge chip connecting the drive to the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface.
Performance-wise, Crucial quote a maximum Sequential speed of 1,050MB/s. In our testing, we couldn’t quite get to that figure. Using the ATTO benchmark we saw a maximum of 950MB/s for reads with writes reaching 945MB/s. With the tougher AS SSD benchmark, reads dropped to 939MB/s and writes to 936MB/s. In fact, the nearest we could get to that official figure was when we tested the X8 with compressible data in CrystalDiskMark 7 when the drive produced a read figure of 1000MB/s.
Real-life file transfers saw read performance go over the 500MB/s mark on numerous occasions when transferring data to and from a SATA drive. But the true potential of the drive was shown when transferring data to and from an NVMe SSD when we saw transfer read rates as high as 918MB/s (reading the contents of a 12GB Movie folder) and writes peaking at 893MB/s.
Unfortunately, the drive doesn’t have any built-in hardware security nor does come with any form of backup software.
We found the 1TB version of the X8 for sale directly from Crucial UK for £160.79 (inc VAT) HERE.
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- Overall performance.
- The cable is on the short side.
- Disappointing random 4K performance.
KitGuru says: Crucial’s X8 is a fast performing, elegantly designed external SSD with a competitive price tag to add to its attractiveness.