Is it possible to carry all your data with you by storing it in a small box that fits in your hand? “Yes,” Crucial replies with its X6 portable SSD, which now offers a record capacity of 4TB. Certainly, Crucial is not the first to offer this capacity. But the manufacturer plays the price card and positions the X6 4 TB just below the 500 euros mark. In comparison, similar models from SanDisk and Western Digital are positioned at around $ 830 for the same capacity.
Like the 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB versions, the X6 4 TB uses Micron QLC flash memory (four data bits per cell), which is less expensive, but also less efficient than TLC flash memory (three data bits per cell). cell). The 4TB version stands out from other capacities by using a Phison U17 controller which makes the direct connection between the flash memory and the USB Type-C port.
A promise of 800 MB / s in speed
By eliminating the SATA interface, the X6 4 TB can offer a theoretical throughput of 800 MB / s, against 540 MB / s for other capacities. This is indeed what we see with the CrystalDiskMark test. We get maximum speeds of 828MB / s read and 812MB / s write, provided you plug the SSD into a USB 3.1 (or 3.2) Gen 2 (10 Gbit / s) port. On a traditional USB 3.0 port (also called USB 3.1 Gen 1 or USB 3.2 Gen 1), speeds drop to 450MB / s read and 455MB / s write.
However, we must temper our ardor, because these high speeds are obtained in the context of intensive use. For current use, the performance is good, but more modest. This is what we saw in our Windows 10 file transfer test, using 700MB Divx videos, 5MB MP3 audio files, and 1MB Jpeg photos. The X6 does. very good at reading, but struggles to write small files quickly, here our 1MB Jpegs.
We also regret the absence of a diode to know when data transfers are in progress, as well as AES hardware encryption to secure sensitive data.
Adapter is optional
If your computer has a USB Type-C connector, you will have no problem connecting the SSD with the supplied cable. But for a traditional Type-A connector, you will have to buy an adapter, sold for around 9 euros. It is also a pity that the manufacturer does not deliver a backup program.
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Finally, there remains the question of the lifespan of the SSD, whose flash memory wears out with each write or erase operation. Crucial guarantees its X6 for 3 years, but gives no figure for the TBW (quantity of TB written guaranteed by the manufacturer before a possible failure). One can only hypothesize using information from the Crucial P1, an internal M.2 SSD that uses QLC flash memory. The P2 2TB offers a TBW of 400TB, hence the theoretical deduction of 800TB for the X6 4TB, which corresponds to the writing of 730GB of data on average per day, during the 3-year warranty. This amount is more than sufficient for regular use.
Finally, this small compact (6 cm side) and light (about 40 g) case offers an excellent capacity / price ratio with good performance and solid endurance. You will therefore be able to entrust your data to it without any problem.