Friday, June 5, 2020

Crucial X6 2TB Portable SSD Review - Up to 540MB/s – USB 3.2


We're taking a look today at the crucial x6, a portable solid state drives and this one is a lower end device compared to their x8 that we looked at a few months back and we're going to see what this drive can and can't do in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that they sent me this drive free of charge along with the x8 however all the opinions you're about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approve what you're about to see before it was written. So let's get into it now and see what this drive is all about. It is available in two capacities this is the 2TB version but there's also a 1TB available and the price point on the one terabyte drive is $155 the two terabyte is $285.

I think the two terabyte drive this one is probably the best value proposition for this particular model and the reason is is that the x8 here which performs much better, doesn't cost all that much more in its one terabyte capacity versus this one the two terabyte drive does offer some savings versus other two terabyte solid state drives on the market but as you'll see in a few minutes the performance here is not nearly as good as some of the more premium drives that are out there, definitely an effort afoot by many manufacturers of these drives to carve out a low end but at the moment the low end isn't all that less expensive than the high end and there's a significant performance difference between the two so stay tuned as we work our way through the review here to see exactly the performance differences.

Now there isn't much to this it's just got a single usb type-c port on it this of course will connect up to a usbc equipped computer it also will work with thunderbolt equipped pcs and macs as well now the drive of course will work with the larger usb a connector that you might have on your computer but it doesn't come with the adapter in the box to do that you have to buy a cable like this one which is a usbc to usb a cable or you can buy a version of this drive that has the adapter in the box for a few dollars more the drive is the same in either sku but one will come with the adapter the other one doesn't so if you have a usbc equipped computer this is going to be fine you'll get the usbc the usbc cable in the box but if you need this you're going to have to pay a little bit more to get it connected now the build quality on the x6 is plastic it's not metal like the x8 is but i found over the years that these silent state drives are pretty rugged irrespective of the material used to manufacture them and it should hold up to some abuse although the metal x8 might do a little better in extreme situations all right let's take a look now and see how it performs i have it connected up to my gaming laptop's thunderbolt 3 port and again this will work also with computers with just usb type-c now this is a gen 2 connector meaning that we've got 10 gigabits of bandwidth running through the cable here but we're not going to hit 10 gigabits of actual performance.

So as you can see here we're pushing about 320 megabytes per second out to the drive on the right test and it's reading data back at about 517 megabytes per second or so there are certainly much faster drives out there on the market powered by nvme technology like the x8 here that we looked at a few months ago these can typically get up to about a gigabyte per second over usb but it's consistent and that's often the most important thing to me here so this test has been running for a while and the drive is performing exactly the same as it did when i first started the test and that is not true of every drive that i look at here on the channel it's just that this one is going to be offering lower end performance because it is a lower end drive now this test is just a sequential read and write test in other words this is kind of replicating capturing video or maybe copying a big bunch of data over for a backup now sequential reads and writes are only one part of the performance equation you also have to factor in the random reads and writes that you might do on one of these drives and we loaded up the crystal disk mark test to do those measurements and the first result here is the crystal disk mark sequential test that it runs this often varies from what we see on the black magic test a little bit but the results here on the bottom these lower three results are the random reads and writes and as you can see here it does much better reading randomly than it does writing randomly and what that means is that if you didn't have some big blob of data to copy over to the drive but rather a folder full of photos and files.

It'll probably take really long to get those files over to the ssd in fact it might feel about the same rate of speed as a traditional mechanical drive because those random writes just don't happen all that quickly here as you can see let's stack this up against some other drives we've looked at recently and of course we can look at the x8 here first and if we look at the random writes that that drive can do it is significantly faster at all levels so if you are doing a lot of those little file writes all the time the x8 which is just a little bit more in its one terabyte configuration might be worth considering just for the performance alone also though you can see that the sequential reads and writes here are much much quicker on the x8 versus the x6 but i also wanted to take a look at the wd my passport ssd which is this little drive here that we looked at not too long ago this is another one of these lower end ssds that are being offered out there on the marketplace right now.

As you can see the x6 does much better against that drive but both are still pretty slow for these random reads and writes and if you're playing games or running an operating system off the drive these random reads and writes are important to consider because those activities tend to do a lot of random disk activity and that's where this one's going to probably fall a little short versus something like the x8 or another nvme based portable ssd so the big question here is is the x6 worth it then and i think if you're looking at the two terabyte version like we have here there is a value proposition it does cost less than other portable two terabyte ssds but it doesn't perform as well as those do.

So if you're just writing big blobs of data to securely transport between places then this will probably do the trick for you given that you will get the benefits of a solid state drive's ruggedness at a lower price it's just going to take longer to get that data written to it versus something like the x8 that has the nvme on board so if you don't need the performance so much as you need the capacity again the two terabyte one here makes a lot of sense it doesn't make as much sense though at the one terabyte level given that the x8 here really doesn't cost all that much more and you get a lot more performance out of it.