A maximum speed for sequential reads up to 6600MB/sec in a PCIe 4.0 compatible workstation and a typical read/write speed of 3300/2700MB per second in a Mac with Thunderbolt 3 or 4, is what Crucial’s P5 Plus NVMe SSD promises.
The P5 Plus NVMe SSD comes in a cardboard box inside a hard plastic protection enclosure that includes a tiny M.2 mounting screw. The 1TB version and 2TB test unit are the fastest SSDs currently on the market. These are PCIe x4, M.2 form factor SSDs using 176-layer, TLC (Triple-Level Cell/3-bit) NAND with a Micron controller.
When you test a Crucial P5 Plus using an external Thunderbolt 3/4 device on any machine supporting it, the maximum performance will not exceed 3000MB/sec, due to the upper limit of the Thunderbolt specification. Installed in a workstation which a friend of mine was kind enough to let me briefly try out, Crucial’s SSD reaches a 6500MB/sec read speed and a 5000MB/sec write speed.
On any system where the P5 Plus is used in an external enclosure, the read performance is going to hover around a still generous 2800MB/sec because of system overhead issues. You could ask yourself the question then why you would buy such a high performance SSD that is more expensive than its PCIe 3.0 sibling, the P5, which has excellent performance in Macs as well. My answer to that question is that the P5 Plus is 33% faster than the P5 and ready for the future, so if you have the budget and there’s a chance you will be buying a faster machine that supports PCIe 4.0 in the future, the P5 Plus is better. It’s currently also cheaper than its competitor, the Samsung 980 Pro.
The 2TB Crucial P5 Plus has a limited 5-year warranty and is rated for 1200TB of TBW (Total Bytes Written). The P5 Plus 2TB retails for €381.29, the 1TB costs €182.70 and are available direct from Crucial’s website. A 500GB version with a lower maximum write speed of 4GB/sec is available for €110.10.