Crucial P1 1TB Review: Value comes to the NVMe marketplace

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In the recent Crucial BX500 article we made mention of IMFT’s troubles with getting 4-bits per cell QLC NAND production ready for primetime. Obviously, the issues are either now solved, or they were a touch… overblown to begin with. That is because Crucial has just released another solid-state drive series – the P1 or ‘Performance generation 1’ – and toady we will be putting the 1TB capacity version of the P1 under the microscope to see how good it really is… and if it deserves the newly minted ‘Performance’ moniker.
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The use of QLC is certainly going to be controversial, but what is not is the MSRP of the new first ever Performance series. To be precise this relatively large 1TB P1 SSD has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of only $220(USD)… or a mere 22 cents per GB. On first blush that firmly places it in the lower end of the mainstream or high end of the budget-oriented marketplaces. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is not a MX or BX type solid state drive. Instead, not only is the P1 Crucial’s first ever QLC NAND based model… but also its first NVMe model to make it to the home marketplace. In fact, this is four PCIe lane NVMe based model – so ‘slow’ is not even in this model’s lexicon.

NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express, and as the name suggests is PCIe and not SATA based. Without getting too deep into the differences, NVMe removes the SATA controller and its slow bus from the equation and replaces it with the faster, lower latency PCIe bus. This in turn removes the SATA and its AHCI bottlenecks, allowing for speeds of upwards of 2000MB/s and incredibly lowered latency thanks to the drive’s controller talking directly to the CPU without any ‘middlemen’.
This unique, dare we say ground breaking, combination of near SATA asking price with NVMe performance is all thanks to IMFT’s QLC 3D NAND. In this review we will not only go over the pros and cons of the new Crucial P1 1TB drive but how Crucial’s decision to use QLC NAND impacts performance. We will also go over the ways in which to mitigate some of these issues and then with all this information you can make your own judgement call on the new P1 series. We do however have a sneaking suspicion that you will agree with our assessment and put the P1 1TB near the top of your list… as this drive creates a new definition of the term ‘value’.

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last edited by Soullessone21

The temps seem a to be a bit of an issue, but pending pricing I think the could be a solid competitor to other nvme options available. Thanks for the review!

Yup. Heat is the number one problem with M.2 nvme drives in general and this model - because of QLCs fragility - is very susceptible to performance variance because of it. The upside to it being so aggressive in keeping temps in check... is it will last a looong time. Plus its a very easy, very cheap fix.

IMHO no M.2 NVMe drive should be used without a heatsink or heatspreader. Its why I am very, very picky on which mobos I will purchase (so I dont have to use after market M.2 heatsinks). YMMV

last edited by GaK_45

@GaK_45 said in Crucial P1 1TB Review: Value comes to the NVMe marketplace:

Yup. Heat is the number one problem with M.2 nvme drives in general and this model - because of QLCs fragility - is very susceptible to performance variance because of it. The upside to it being so aggressive in keeping temps in check... is it will last a looong time. Plus its a very easy, very cheap fix.

IMHO no M.2 NVMe drive should be used without a heatsink or heatspreader. Its why I am very, very picky on which mobos I will purchase (so I dont have to use after market M.2 heatsinks). YMMV

Would bga coolers work on m.2 drives? Is there a specific part that is hotter than others or does the whole stick just heat up?

Thanks

Its actually the controller that runs the hottest. They can run hot, it really doesnt matter until 75-80c, whereas NAND... yeah every couple degrees above 50-60 is going to cost lifespan ( it varies from nand type to nand type and how many layers there are - consider this my rule of thumb / comfort level... and I rather see them in the 40s... or even 30s).... however the alogs usually use the controller temp for throttling. Its basically the idea of better too conservative than too optimistic.

The heatsinks can be as simple as little copper BGAs that you stick on the controller and NAND... or as complext as full length WC block. Doesnt really matter how they work... as long as they work and nothing works for all scenarios and situations.

Me I like a BIG heatsink and active cooling. This is an optimal combo. Next best is vertical orientation to catch as much air flow as possible (and really makes little add-on heatsinks work great). Its why I went TUF X299 for my main rigs mobo. Main M.2 sits underneath a huge chunk of metal (with heatpad to connect it to it) AND gets air flow from the fan cooling the PCH.... that goes over and under the M.2 cooling both sides at the same time. The secondary is a vertical at the edge of the board. Perfect for adding in extra little heatsinks and catching a ton of air flow.

last edited by GaK_45

@GaK_45 said in Crucial P1 1TB Review: Value comes to the NVMe marketplace:

TUF X299

The worst is most boards stuff the M.2 between the first two PCIe slots. They have been getting better but that's still common. Nothing like sticking a hot part under a damn heater. Can't get airflow and the GPU just adds to the problem.
Heat has always been an issue, I have one of the first Samsung NVMe drives and yes @Soullessone21 those little sinks help tremendously. I had some stick-on aluminum ones that I used on the Sammy with a little air the throttling was gone.

Yup. Most mobos just stick the M.2 port where ever it will fit. Stooopid rookie mistake... and peeps STILL buy the damn things. Its not like finding vertical space on a board is hard compared to horizontal foot print. Grrr. Pet peeve of mine.

So, me i would have no issues with that as my Antec 300 has 2 front intake fans, one 200 mm fan on top and a 120mm on the side panel and the drive would be onto an adapter. How much performance do i lose from x4 3.0 to x4 2.0?

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