Crucial P5 Plus Review: A Solid NVMe Deal

Crucial P5 Plus Review: A Solid NVMe Deal

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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.

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.

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.

Commercially Available Rate per lane
x16 Speed
1 2003 2 Gbps 250 MB/s 0.5 GB/s 1.0 GB/s 2 GB/s 4.0 GB/s
2 2007 4 Gbps 500 MB/s 1 GB/s 2.0 GB/s 4 GB/s 8.0 GB/s
3 2010 8 Gbps 984.6 MB/s 1.97 GB/s 3.94 GB/s 7.88 GB/s 15.8 GB/s
4 2020 16 Gbps 1969 MB/s 3.94 GB/s 7.88 GB/s 15.75 GB/s 31.5 GB/s
5 2022 32 Gbps 3938 MB/s 7.88 GB/s 15.75 GB/s 31.51 GB/s 63 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 HeatsinkMicron 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) 
Controller Crucial home-grown Samsung Elpis Controller
NAND Flash Memory Micron Advanced 3D NAND  Samsung 1xx-layer V-NAND 3-bit MLC
Security Full-drive encryption
capable (TCG OPAL 2.0
AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, 
TCG/Opal V2.0, 
Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667)
Sequential Read Up to 6600MB/s Up to 7,000 MB/s
Sequential Write Up to 5000MB/s (2TB, 1TB)
Up to 4000MB/s (500GB)
Up to 5,000 MB/s
(Terabyte Written)
1200TBW (2TB)
600TBW (1TB)
300TBW (500GB)
1200TBW (2TB)
600TBW (1TB)
300TBW (500GB)
150TBW (250GB)
Software Crucial Storage Executive Samsung Magician
Release Date August 3, 2021 September 2020
Suggested Retail Cost
(at launch)
$80 (500GB)
$140 (1TB)
$310 (2TB)
 $90 (250GB)
$150 (500GB)
$230 (1TB)
$430 (2TB)
Heatsink version Yes Yes
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 TopMicron 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 T700Silicon 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.


Affordable; heatsink version available

PCIe 4.0 support, backward compatible with PCIe Gen 3

Helpful Storage Executive software


Comparatively modest endurance

Capacities cap at 2TB; runs a bit warm


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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