Crucial P2 500GB Review (Page 2 of 11)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

As with most NVMe drives nowadays, the Crucial P2 500GB looks like it could belong in a box of gum, at least when it comes to the physical size. It has a large white and blue sticker on top of the components that show off the model name, capacity, and serial number, as well as some miscellaneous information. From a visual standpoint, M.2 drives are unlike traditional 2.5" drives with no enclosure to worry about, unlike my center brake light. More specifically, the P2 500GB is an M.2 2280 SSD, which refers to a physical standard of 22mm by 80mm. The components are located on the black printed circuit board, and they are all underneath the sticker. The Crucial P2 500GB works on the NVMe 1.3 logical device interface and plugs into compatible motherboards directly. Electrically, the M.2 NVMe interfaces with PCIe 3.0. It uses up to four lanes for a theoretical maximum of 4000MB/s bandwidth in each direction. The mass is approximately 6g for the P2 500GB. Otherwise, the label shows this drive is assembled in Mexico.

Underneath the blue and white label of the Crucial P2 500GB, we are exposed to several components. There are two main components to take note of. The first is the Phison PS5013-E13T controller. This is an NVMe solution on the M.2 socket to overcome traditional SATA bottlenecks. This controller operates with no DRAM external to the controller. This is a bit of a disadvantage to have no DRAM on an SSD, as this can affect performance, but this is common cost-cutting measure seen on budget drives. On the other hand, this DRAMless solid-state drive utilizes HMB, or host memory buffer, which uses the system's memory as a buffer location for faster access compared to flash NAND access. This is only available with Windows 10. We will see the effects of this during our tests.

Underneath, we have four black chips, marked with "NX959". This FBGA code refers to Micron's MT29F1T08EMHBFJ4-3R:B, which is a 64-layer triple-level cell flash NAND memory. The four chips mean each one has 128GB of capacity. The total rated write endurance for the 500GB variant is 150TB, which equates to over 82GB per day for five years. Compared to the P1 500GB, this is more than 1.5 times the write endurance over the same period of time, which is great to see, although this is still on the lower side. In the Windows operating system, you will see 465.8GB available for use after formatting. On the back side, you will see there are no components or labels of interest.

Specified at 2300MB/s read and 940MB/s write over NVMe 1.3 on PCIe 3.0 x4, these figures are all in the budget-friendly range of drives while still representing an improvement over the original Crucial P1. This is still quite a bit faster than SATA 6Gb/s solid state drives. To see how it translates to numbers in our benchmarks, we will pit this middle of the ground SSD against other PCI Express based SSDs from popular manufacturers like ADATA, Crucial, Gigabyte, Kingston, Patriot, and Western Digital in the next nine pages or so.

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-L9i
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170N-Gaming 5
RAM: Patriot Viper 4 Blackout DDR4-3600 2x8GB
Graphics: Integrated
Chassis: NZXT H210i
Storage: Gigabyte UD PRO 256GB
Power: FSP Dagger Pro 650W
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared Hardware:
- Crucial P2 500GB
- ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB
- Crucial P1 1TB
- Crucial P1 500GB
- Crucial P5 500GB
- Gigabyte M.2 PCIe SSD 256GB
- Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 480GB
- Kingston KC2500 1TB
- OCZ RD400A 512GB
- OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB
- Patriot Hellfire M.2 240GB
- Patriot P300 512GB
- Patriot Viper VPN100 512GB
- Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB
- Toshiba RC100 240GB
- Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB
- Western Digital Black SN750 NVMe SSD 1TB
- Western Digital Blue SN500 NVMe SSD 500GB
- Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1TB

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 6.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 5.70
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 10
9. Benchmark: PCMark 7
10. Benchmark: PCMark 8
11. Conclusion