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.

Source: Crucial

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  • sorten - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    Without a point of reference, that thing looks massive. Considering 2280 drives are the size of a stick of gum I have to wonder about the packaging. I think I'd rather have a high quality thumb drive for backup and transport needs.
  • Billy Tallis - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    One of the other pictures on the product page puts it in perspective: https://content.crucial.com/content/dam/crucial/ss...

    It's unnecessarily wide, but given that it has to contain an 80mm SSD, the length is reasonable.
  • deil - Friday, October 25, 2019 - link

    2280 is inside ? it looked like 2260. really pic is completely missleading
  • Dragonstongue - Friday, October 25, 2019 - link

    cool and all, however...if not expected to be as quick nor potential as "good" in terms of P/E durability, they should not have targeted same price point as "other high-end portable SSDs"

    IMO...they probably should have thought about such a bit better ... if were me (business is business crud saying lol) I would see what can afford to put on the market for where I still make profit from, but, not "gouge" customers...i.e maybe they could have put on market for $99 for 500gb $165 for 1tb (just cause portable should not auto mean -has to be priced higher just like everyone else is doing)

    then keep at such price points instead of doing sales and such things....i.e instead of make quick $$$ to speed on to the next product, play the "long game" be happy the product it being sold maybe/maybe not far more than would have at the "gougey" price point

  • PeachNCream - Friday, October 25, 2019 - link

    Isn't there a problem with long term, powered-off data retention for TLC NAND? Does QLC make NAND more sensitive to temperatures and user absenteeism? I still use mechanical drives for data backup because I might go a good half year before pulling the external drive out of a drawer to gather up and save my old files.
  • Great_Scott - Friday, October 25, 2019 - link

    While I haven't been able to find any real testing for this, it apparently is a problem for worn-out drives. Assuming this thing (re)written to constantly it while not being left connected that shouldn't be a real-world problem.
  • tayedil - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link

    it being sold maybe/maybe not far more than would have at the "gougey" price point

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