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Crucial P5 Plus (with Heatsink) Review (vs Samsung 980 PRO): A Solid Contender

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Micron's latest PCIe 4.0 NVMe solid-state drive, the Crucial P5 Plus, is a formidable rival to the Samsung 980 PRO. It delivered excellent performance in my tests and long-term real-world usage, even with an older PCIe 3.0 motherboard.

In early 2023, Micron added the heatsink version of the drive. The P5 Plus likely will be the company's last PCIe 4.0 NVMe considering it launched the PCIe 5.0 drive, the Crucial T700, earlier in 2023.

That, plus the current friendly street price -- $43, $50, and $98 for 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, respectively (add $10 for the heatsink version) -- means the Crucial P5 Plus is a clear winner in the pricing contest. The two deliver about the same performance and have similar features.

If you're looking for a mainstream PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, the Crucial P5 Plus is an easy recommendation. Get one today!

Dong's note: I first published this post on  August 4, 2021, when the SSD was launched as a new piece and upgraded to a full review on August 13, 2021, after thorough hands-on testing. On July 26, 2023, I updated it with information on the heatsink version.

Micron Crucial P5 Plus with Heatsink in action
The Micron Crucial P5 Plus PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD is in action.

Micron Crucial P5 Plus: A Solid Next-Gen Solid State Drive

Like most high-end NVMe SSDs, the P5 Plus takes the standard 2280 NVMe design -- it's 80mm long and 22mm wide.

Apart from PCIe 4.0, the drive also works with a PCIe Gen 3 M.2 slot, which is still popular in most computers, and the new PCIe 5.0 slot available in the latest motherboards.

PCIe
Gen
Commercially AvailableRate per lane
(rounded)
x1 
Speed
x2
Speed
x4
Speed
x8
Speed
x16 Speed
120032 Gbps250 MB/s0.5 GB/s1.0 GB/s2 GB/s4.0 GB/s
220074 Gbps500 MB/s1 GB/s2.0 GB/s4 GB/s8.0 GB/s
320108 Gbps984.6 MB/s1.97 GB/s3.94 GB/s7.88 GB/s15.8 GB/s
4202016 Gbps1969 MB/s3.94 GB/s7.88 GB/s15.75 GB/s31.5 GB/s
5202232 Gbps3938 MB/s7.88 GB/s15.75 GB/s31.51 GB/s63 GB/s
PCI Express PCIe in brief
Note: 1 Gigabyte per second (GB/s) = 1000 Megabyte per second (MB/s) | 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) = 125 MB/s

The table below shows the differences in throughputs of different PCIe generations. Generally, you want to use the drive with PCIe 4.0 or higher to get the most out of it.

On the inside, it houses Micron's home-grown Advanced 3D NAND flash memory and has a rated MTTF greater than 2 million hours.

Micron Crucial P5 Plus with Heatsink Micron Crucial P5 Plus PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD Box
The Micron Crucial P5 Plus PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD's retail boxes of the heatsink and "naked" versions.

Micron Crucial P5 Plus vs Samsung SSD 980 PRO: Hardware specifications

Micron Crucial P5 Plus Samsung SSD 980 PRO
Capacities 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 250GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Interface PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3c PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3c
Design M.2 (2280)  M.2 (2280) 
ControllerCrucial home-grownSamsung Elpis Controller
NAND Flash MemoryMicron Advanced 3D NAND Samsung 1xx-layer V-NAND 3-bit MLC
SecurityFull-drive encryption
capable (TCG OPAL 2.0
AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, 
TCG/Opal V2.0, 
Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667)
Sequential ReadUp to 6600MB/sUp to 7,000 MB/s
Sequential WriteUp to 5000MB/s (2TB, 1TB)
Up to 4000MB/s (500GB)
Up to 5,000 MB/s
Endurance 
(Terabyte Written)
1200TBW (2TB)
600TBW (1TB)
300TBW (500GB)
1200TBW (2TB)
600TBW (1TB)
300TBW (500GB)
150TBW (250GB)
SoftwareCrucial Storage ExecutiveSamsung Magician
Release DateAugust 3, 2021September 2020
Suggested Retail Cost
(at launch)
$80 (500GB)
$140 (1TB)
$310 (2TB)
 $90 (250GB)
$150 (500GB)
$230 (1TB)
$430 (2TB)
Heatsink versionYesYes
Warranty 5 years 5 years
Hardware specifications: Micron Crucial P5 Plus vs Samsung SSD 980 PRO

Useful features and software, similarly modest endurance

According to Micron, the Crucial P5 Plus' advanced features include:

  • Dynamic write acceleration
  • Redundant array of independent NAND (RAIN)
  • Multistep data integrity algorithm
  • Adaptive thermal protection
  • Integrated power loss immunity
  • Active garbage collection & TRIM support
  • Self-monitoring and reporting technology (SMART)
  • Error correction code (ECC)
  • NVMe autonomous power state transition (APST)
  • Full-drive encryption capable (TCG OPAL 2.0)

To manage all those, the Crucial P5 Plus comes with the familiar Crucial Storage Executive software toolbox comparable to the Samsung Magician of the 980 PRO.

The software is useful for checking the status, firmware updates, overprovisioning/cache management, and other tools.

Micron Crucial P Plus PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Storage Executive Software
The Crucial Storage Executive software is an excellent toolbox for the P5 Plus.

On top of that, the Crucial P5 Plus shares the same endurance level as the Samsung 980 PRO.

Specifically, if you write some 100GB, which is a lot of data, a day and do that every day to the 1TB version, it’ll take some 15 years to wear the drive out. If you use the 500GB or 2TB versions, you'd need 7.5 years and 30 years, respectively.

And those are a very long time -- generally, you won't need to worry about wearing the drive out. However, compared to many PCIe 3.0 drives, the P5 Plus' endurance is still modest. The Samsung 970 PRO, for example, has twice the longevity.

But what the Crucial P5 Plus lacks in endurance, if at all, it more than makes up in performance, which is the most important thing anyway.

Micron Crucial P5 Plus with Heatsink Top Micron Crucial P5 Plus PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD Top
The Micron Crucial P5 Plus is a single-sided SSD. Here is the top of the heatsink vs non-heatsink versions.

Micron Crucial P5 Plus: Excellent PCIe 4.0 performance

I initially tested the naked version of the Micron Crucial P5 Plus with PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 motherboards. Later on, I tried the heatsink version also with PCIe 5.0, and in all cases, the drive excelled.

Micron Crucial M5 Plus Copy Performance
The Micron Crucial M5 Plus's Copy performance with different PCIe versions.

And in my combined test, where the drive performed reading and writing simultaneously, it almost topped the charts when working with a PCIe 5.0 motherboard, trailing behind only the T700. Its performances on the lower PCIe gens were also excellent compared to its peers.

Micron Crucial M5 Plus Random Access Performance
The Micron Crucial M5 Plus's Random Access performance with different PCIe versions.

Compared to the Samsung 980 Pro, the Crucial P5 Plus had a pricing advantage. In real-world usage, I found no differences between the two. Both delivered excellent storage experiences. For example, my test host computers -- PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0 machines -- took just seconds to boot up, and all apps launched quickly.

Micron Heatsink SSDs Crucial P5 Plus vs Crucial T700 Silicon Power XS70 vs Crucial P5 Plus 1
Here's the heatsink Crucial P5 Plus next to the Crucial T700 vs its naked version next to a Silicon Power XS70.

In fact, on the same PCIe 5.0 motherboard, the P5 Plus felt similar to the Crucial T700, which is Micron's first PCIe 5.0 drive. For the cost, I'd say the P5 Plus is a much better deal for now, considering PCIe 5.0 requires other latest and most expensive parts, including CPU and RAM.

Like all PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, the Crucial P5 Plus runs a bit warm, so the heatsink version is a welcome update. If you have a host that doesn't have a built-in heatsink, such as a game console, the latter is a better choice.

Micron Crucial P5 Plus' Rating

9 out of 10
Micron Crucial P5 Plus with Heatsink Box
Performance
9 out of 10
Features
8 out of 10
Value
10 out of 10

Pros

Excellent performance

Affordable; heatsink version available

PCIe 4.0 support, backward compatible with PCIe Gen 3

Helpful Storage Executive software

5-year warranty

Cons

Comparatively modest endurance

Capacities cap at 2TB; runs a bit warm

Conclusion

The Micron Crucial P5 Plus is an excellent NVMe SSD and a better choice than many of its peers, including the rival Samsung 980 PRO, thanks to its significantly more affordable pricing.

The new heatsink version makes the drive an even more versatile option for those needing a built-in cooling solution.

Since the initial reviews some two years ago, I've used multiple units for a long time and can attest to the fact this is a reliable drive that can handle extensive loads day after day with ease.

This is the drive to get if you're looking for a well-performance, feature-laden SSD for your gaming or professional rig. It's an excellent choice for a PCIe 4.0 motherboard but will also work well for those with the latest PCIe 5.0. In this case, it's a great bang fur your buck compared to the T700.

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6 thoughts on “Crucial P5 Plus (with Heatsink) Review (vs Samsung 980 PRO): A Solid Contender”

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  1. Hello Dong,

    Great article! I really found difficult to find something related to the use of Crucial P5 plus on a PCIe 3.0 board.

    I wanted to ask you some more info about it since I intend to purchase it.
    I have a 10th gen intel with a motherboard that suppoort PCIe 3.0. For what I understood it should not be a problem being the Crucial 5 plus compatible although running at lower speed.

    I was wondering, how about the heat dissipation o the Crucial P5 plus runnning on PCIe 3.0 laptop base? I would use a thermal pad anyway, but in theory, shouldn’t it couse less heat even for heavy workload? Running basically at PCIe 3 speed it should not run hot as its max performance. Could you confirm?

    My mainly use involve softwares like Lightroom, Photoshop, Davinci Resolve, QGIS and ArcGIS. I mainly was interested in the Crucial P5 plus since it has DRAM compared to the Samsung 980. Do you think I would beneft the specs of the crucial or better saving money on the Samsung 980 (base model not PRO).

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • It’ll work great, Alex, and in fact, better in terms of heat — 4.0 drives are generally hotter when running on a 4.0 machine. I tested it using both PCIe 4.0 and 3.0, as noted on the charts, and I’ve been using it on one of my PCIe 3.0 machines since. I’d go with whichever that’s cheaper.

      Reply
  2. Hello,
    Just installed this drive and I see it runs somewhat hot (55C in standby,with nothing but background operations). In comparison my older INTEL NVme is at 35C and both of the older 2.5″ SSds at 27C.
    Have not tried a drive-taxing procedure,but wondering if you are finding similar temps in your setup.

    Thanks and thanks for all the great reviews.

    Dusan.

    Reply
    • You can see my drive’s temperature in the screenshot, Dusan. And I was testing it. I’d say that’s quite normal. Temp depends a lot on your environment, too.

      Reply
      • Apologies, I do see it. My set up is well cooled. I have added the bequiet! Mc1 pro M.2 cooler and the drive now runs at 30-34C. Much happier.

        Dusan

        Reply
        • No worries, Dusan. I appreciate your input. In fact, thanks to your question, I checked on the drive again just now — in my standard testing, I always use the device for an extended amount of time after the review — and its temperature seemed OK. Yes, it gets warm but not warmer than most other NVMe SSDs, including the Samsung 980 PRO. No, heat is never good but you can’t avoid it. πŸ™‚

          Reply

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