Crucial P1 vs Crucial P2: What Are The Key Differences?

crucial p1 vs p2
crucial p1 vs p2

If you’re in between purchasing one of Crucial’s M.2 NVMe SSDs, and are wondering whether to opt for the Crucial P1 or the Crucial P2, then you will be surprised on how different these two SSDs actually are. It may seem self-explanatory that a newer version of a hardware component would be the better performing unit – and that it would be similarly priced if not more expensive than its predecessor – but this is not the case for these two hard drives. Currently, the Crucial P2 is actually priced less than the Crucial P1, and their performance does vary substantially, depending on the application.

Of course, lest we forget, Crucial does also have their SATA III MX500 SSD, which has proven to be an excellent hard drive to house an operating system, games, or even content creation applications, as it has excellent load times and can even outperform Crucial and Samsung NVMe drives in this regard, according to benchmarks carried out by Tom’s Hardware. Therefore, both the Crucial P1 and Crucial P2 need to display excellent performance in order to outshine their inhouse SATA III counterpart, at least when it comes to gaming dedicated and entry-level/budget builds. 

To gain a better understanding of what differentiates the two SSDs have, as well as what type of builds each of these drives are meant for, let’s take a look at their manufacturer specifications and their real-world benchmarks, in order to determine what makes each of them unique. Do note that the Crucial P2 is currently selling for about 12% less than the Crucial P1, so it’s also worth checking whether or not the Crucial P1 is worth the extra cost.


Specifications

ModelCrucial P1Crucial P2
DesignCrucial P1 1TB NVMe SSDCrucial P2 500GB
Release Date20182020
Storage Sizes500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
Sequential Read1,900 MB/s, 2,000 MB/s, 2,000 MB/s2,100 MB/s, 2,300 MB/s, 2,400 MB/s, 2,400 MB/s
Sequential Write950 MB/s, 1,700 MB/s, 1,700 MB/s1,150 MB/s, 940 MB/s, 1,800 MB/s, 1,900 MB/s
4KB Random Read90K IOPS, 170K IOPS, 250K IOPS170K IOPS, 95K IOPS, 295K IOPS, 295K IOPS
4KB Random Write220K IOPS, 240K IOPS, 250K IOPS260K IOPS, 215K IOPS, 430K IOPS, 430K IOPS
Bus TypePCIe 3.0 x4PCIe 3.0 x4
ControllerSilicon Motion SM2263ENPhison E13T
NAND TypeMicron 64L QLCMicron 96L TLC
TBW100 TBW, 200 TBW, 400 TBW150 TBW, 150 TBW, 300 TBW, 600 TBW
Warranty5 years5 years
Price (500GB, 1TB, 2TB)$60, $105, $220$43, $53, $92, $210
AvailabilityAmazon.comAmazon.com

The main difference between these two SSDs is their inherent controller, as the Crucial P2 uses a 4-channel NVMe single-core designed Phison E13T which trades the use of DRAM for NVMe’s Host Memory Buffer. This translates to better read and write latencies, but will also impact application load times. Of course, the Crucial P2 also makes use of a much faster TLC NAND, which is more reliable and less prone to errors that the Crucial P1’s QLC flash – which is generally not recommended to be an operating system’s primary drive.

When it comes to read and write speeds for their 500 GB variants, Crucial states that the P2 is faster than the P1 by 10% to 21%. In random 4KB QD32 read speeds the P2 is superior to the P1 by 5%, but it trails the P1 in 4KB random write speeds by 2%.

Also, though both models are covered by Crucial’s 5-year warranty, the 500 GB Crucial P2 is rated for 50% higher Terabytes Written (TBW). For the vast majority of users this will hardly be an issue, as running through even 100 TB would require 30 gigabytes of data written per day for 10 years, and this limit will definitely not be met by the time the SSD will be replaced for most. However, given that the Crucial P2 is meant for larger data transfers, it is nice that it has a higher durability rating.

Let’s move on to the actual hard drive tests in order to see how accurate these manufacturer specifications really are.


Benchmarks

1 TB ModelCrucial P1 500 GBCrucial P2 500 GB
Peak Sequential Read1,559 MB/s2,340 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write993 MB/s1,838 MB/s
4K Random Read1 8,592 IOPS14,019 IOPS
4K Random Write156,505 IOPS58,092 IOPS
Power Consumption22.71 Watts2.26 Watts
PCMark 10 Score2,538 points1,922 points
SPECworkstation 3 Score2.34 points2.33 points
Game Scene Load Time310.49 Seconds13.70 Seconds

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 8.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times; color: #000000} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; color: #0b4cb4} span.s2 {font: 8.0px Times}
All benchmarks provided by Tom’s Hardware
1 4KB QD1 iometer.
2 50GB copy average power consumption.
3 Final Fantasy XIV: ShadowBringer 

Benchmarks prove that Crucial’s assertions are, for the most part, actually correct, though the Crucial P2 is superior in all read and write measurements. It has a 50% faster peak sequential read speed, an 85% faster peak sequential write speed, and faster 4K random read and write speeds by 63% and 3% respectively. It is also more energy efficient by about 17%, as well.

Where the 500 GB Crucial P1 really held its own is during trace-based benchmarks, where it outperformed the Crucial P2 heavily in the PCMark 10 tests – with a staggering 32% performance advantage – and in SPECworkstation 3, which is meant to simulate workstation applications and push the hard drives to its limits. In this test, once again the Crucial P1 outperformed the newer Crucial P2, though within the margin of error. The icing on the cake, however, is the game scene loading times the Crucial P1 displayed. Usually, the differences in loading times between two SSDs – be it NVMe or SATA – are minimal, ranging between a second to a few tenths of a second. But in this case, the Crucial P1 loaded the game (Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringer) over three seconds faster than the Crucial P2 – which is a 23% performance boost. The 500 GB Crucial P1 also outperformed the 500 GB Crucial MX500, but only by 0.63 seconds.


Verdict

After analyzing the specifications and benchmarks of these two SSDs, we now have a clear picture of what type of build each model is meant for.

Crucial P1 1TB NVMe SSD

For the majority of users, including gaming builds, web browsing, and light general use, the Crucial P1 is the better choice. Of course, it can be argued that other NAND SSD options do exist that outperform the Crucial P1 while costing about the same – or even less – like the Intel 665p, the NAND TLC Western Digital Blue SN550, or, for a few dollars more, the ADATA XPG SX8200, so it still hard to recommend the Crucial P1 over some of its non-Crucial competition. 

Crucial P2 500GB

On the other hand, the Crucial P2 may not be great for installing and running games and applications, but it is a fast SSD that is great for large file transfers, especially for its $92 current selling price for 1TB capacity. If you need an SSD to store and transfer files, the Crucial P2 will not disappoint.  

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