Micron, the company who brings us Crucial and Ballistix products, have introduced two new families of affordable M.2-2280 SSDs, which are perfect for anyone looking to upgrade to faster NVMe storage and future-proof their PC.
The Crucial P3 SSDs come in two flavours - the P3 which uses PCIe 3.0 x4 and the P3 Plus, which uses PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. Both of these lines offer 176-layer 3D QLC NAND memory, which offers 25% faster read and write times over the 128-layer replacement-gate NAND, using replacement-gate architecture that combines charge traps with CMOS-under-array (CuA) design.
For those who don't wear a white coat or have letters after their name, this is a significant breakthrough in 3D NAND technology, which mitigates some of the issues other manufacturers are facing in the manufacturing process. 3D NAND is beginning to see performance limitations due to cell-to-cell capacity coupling. This cell behaviour seriously affects memory cell reliability, and can lead to reduced performance in 3D NAND due to slower programming times. Micron's 3D RG NAND uses a nonconductive layer of silicon nitride, trapping electrical charges (known as charge traps). The silicon nitride surrounds a control gate, insulating stored charge and reducing the cell-to-cell capacity coupling that traditional NAND structures experience.
With this new fabrication process, one might expect a cost being passed on to the consumer, but Crucial P3 Plus and P3 SSDs are priced very affordably, and offer capacities up to 4TB, with a very satisfying sequential read performance of up to 5,000 MB/s. This makes them just about perfect for both gamers and creators, especially those who might have had to choose between reliable SSD storage and grabbing a graphics card in the last couple of years while they were in stock.
Crucial P3 SSD
The Crucial P3 drives use PCIe 3.0 x4 interface with impressive sequential read/write speeds of up to 3500/3000 MB/s. If we take the Crucial P3 2TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 as an example, and we compare it to the highly praised Samsung 970 EVO Plus (a much more expensive SSD), there is little difference in performance:
|Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB ||Crucial P3 2TB |
|PCI Express 3.0 x4 NVMe ||PCI Express 3.0 x4 NVMe |
|M.2 2280 Form Factor ||M.2 2280 Form Factor |
|Up to 3500MB/s Read, 3300MB/s Write ||Up to 3500MB/s Read, 3000MB/s Write |
|4K IOPS Read: 600000 ||4K IOPS Write: 700000 |
|4K IOPS Write: 550000 ||4K IOPS Read: 650000 |
In the affordability stakes, the Crucial P3 is a major contender, also coming out on top for 4K IOPS read and write.
Crucial P3 Plus SSD
Micron's Crucial P3 Plus SSDs use a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface with sequential read/write speeds of up to 5000/4200 MB/s, and this might seem a little slower when compared to other PCIe Gen4 drives on the market. However, aggressive pricing thanks to the new 3D NAND technology, high capacity, and improved reliability should be enough to persuade many to jump on these QLC SSDs.
The Crucial P3 Plus 2TB, for example, offers specifications indicative of its price tag, being perfect for an entry level or mid-range PC that is budget focused: -
- PCI Express 4.0 x4 NVMe
- Up to 5000MB/s Read, 4200MB/s Write
- 4K IOPS Write: 850000
- M.2 2280 Form Factor
- 4K IOPS Read: 680000
- 5 Year Warranty
Teresa Kelley, vice president and general manager of Micron’s Commercial Products Group, said: "For users that have been waiting to upgrade their PCs to Gen4 SSDs, the wait is over. With the forthcoming availability of the new Crucial P3 Plus SSD, anyone seeking high-performance SSDs can upgrade to NVMe Gen4 storage and affordably futureproof their PC.
"Both the Crucial P3 Plus and P3 SSD products will strengthen our overall SSD portfolio and NVMe product category by offering competitive choices for high-performance storage that enables users to get more done in less time."
If you are looking to move away from SATA and HDD storage, or need to augment your large capacity storage, then these P3 SSDs from Crucial are almost irresistible at current pricing. Crucial P3 SSD is positioned in a great spot in the market for DIY PC builders, professionals, casual gamers, creators and any PC user who needs high-quality NVMe with a modest budget.
View latest pricing for Crucial P3 SSD here.