Crucial introduced the X6 portable SSD last year as an entry-level alternative to their NVMe-based X8 portable SSD. Launched in capacity up to 2TB, the X6 adopted a 96L 3D TLC version of the SATA BX500 SSD along with an ASMedia ASM235CM chip bridge from SATA to USB 3.2 Gen 1. Today, the company launches a unique high-performance product in the external SSD space within the same X6 family.
The first thing you notice about Crucial X6 is how small it is; it’s not a small USB drive, but it’s not that far away. At 68.83 x 64 x 10.92 mm, weighing just 42g without cable, it is slightly larger and slightly lighter than its nearest competitor, Samsung’s acclaimed Portable T5, which was released in 2017. The latter began his life as a premium product and is now entering the mainstream, while the X6 is clearly aimed at a price-sensitive crowd given its minimalist black plastic case that is adorned with the crucial logo.A single 10GB file was transferred in less than 33 seconds, producing a transfer speed of over 300 MBps which was better than some of the rivals we tested recently. You may not get the same levels of performance with smaller versions of this drive. Larger drives can write to multiple NAND chips at the same time and speed up the read/write process.
Crucial X6 4TB Portable SSD – If you want very small SSD with a high capacity. The Samsung T5 Portable is about 8% smaller, but it is heavier at about 9g thanks in part to its metal body.
Direct flash-to-USB controllers have traditionally only been used in thumb drives, where compactness is the main feature. These controllers have a number of benefits, including a significant reduction in bill of materials (BOM) cost and overall device power consumption. However, such controllers were typically limited at speeds of about 400 MBps. Taking advantage of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Gen 2×2 interfaces, Phison introduced a pair of high-speed flash controllers with a USB interface directed to CES 2021. The U17, with an upstream USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) interface and a 2-channel 1200 MT/s downstream NAND interface, is the one on which Crucial’s portable 4TB SSD is based.Crucial attestation speeds of up to 800 MBps for both reads and writes. This is significantly higher than the 540 MBps numbers possible with SATA-based external SSDs. Officially, X6 drives have ‘Micron 3D NAND’ and there is no generation/level counting specification. However, Crucial has indicated that the X6 4TB drives that are shipped today come with 96L Micron 3D NAND (QLC). As usual with Micron/Crucial, nand generation is likely to be updated in the future to allow Micron to offer even lower prices. Photo: Crucial
The new 4TB X6 Portable SSD is priced at $490. At this price, it compares quite favorably with other QLC-based external SSDs such as the Sabrent XTRM-Q (although the latter comes with a Thunderbolt interface). The other 4TB external SSDs on the market come from Western Digital, with prices ranging from $680 to $750. Given their 3D TLC flash and the use of an NVMe drive behind a chip bridge, they can offer much better performance, strength and flexibility (such as the ability to recover internal SSD in the event of a chip bridge failure) for professional use cases. However, for the average consumer, the price per GB and the price/performance ratio are both in Crucial’s favor with the new X6 portable SSD based on the Phison U17 controller.
|Item model number||CT4000X6SSD9|
|Hardware Platform||PC, Linux, Mac|
|Item Weight||1.43 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||2.72 x 0.43 x 2.52 inches|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||2.72 x 0.43 x 2.52 inches|
|Flash Memory Size||4|
|Date First Available||March 2, 2021|