Micron’s consumer brand Crucial is entering the portable SSD market with the new Crucial X8 Portable SSD. The X8 has a USB-C 10Gb/s (USB 3.1 Gen 2) connection and internally uses a NVMe SSD based on the Crucial P1 with QLC NAND flash. The Crucial X8 is intended for general-purpose consumer storage workloads that are mostly read-intensive; even though it can handle up to ~1GB/s read speeds, the use of QLC NAND means it cannot sustain high write speeds for long and videographers would be disappointed. Instead, Crucial is touting the X8 for transferring or backing up files and photos, or for expanding the storage of a video game console.
The SSD inside the X8 is based on the same hardware as the Crucial P1, but with some firmware tweaks to optimize for the expected use cases of external storage rather than as an internal OS drive. The USB to NVMe bridge chip is the ASMedia 2362. Crucial has worked with ASMedia to ensure that all the idle power management features are working behind the bridge, but the peak power draw of the whole drive still requires a USB host port that can supply 5V at up to 1.5A. The case is a combination of aluminum and plastic, and is rated to survive drops onto the floor but is not ruggedized with any water resistance or dust proof rating.
The Crucial X8 is available in 500GB and 1TB capacities. It is supplied with a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter. The warranty period is only 3 years compared to the Crucial P1 SSD’s 5 year warranty, and the X8 doesn’t come with an official write endurance rating. MSRPs for the X8 are substantially higher than current prices for the P1 SSD, but are in line with MSRPs for other high-end portable SSDs: $189.99 for the 1TB and $119.99 for the 500GB model. We expect street prices to be quite a bit lower, since the P1 is currently retailing for around $96 and $67, and USB to NVMe enclosures for a DIY portable SSD are about $25.