Crucial X10 Pro Review: Fastest USB Portable SSD to Date

Crucial X10 Pro Review: Fastest USB Portable SSD to Date

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On the one hand, the Crucial X10 Pro is Micron’s first USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) portable SSD — rivaling the SanDisk Extreme Pro or the WD Black P50 — and it has everything to live up to its specs. As a matter of fact, it’s the fastest portable SSD for the USB standard I’ve tested.

On the other hand, it’s simply the souped-up version of the X9 Pro on the inside. The two are identical features and look, albeit sporting different colors.

So, the biggest and only difference between the two is that the X10 Pro features a peripheral connection speed twice that of its X9 Pro twin brother.

In my testing, the X10 Pro indeed edged out the X9 Pro when used with the right USB port — by a good margin but far from double the speed. When used with the 10Gbps and slower USB standards, its performance was similar to the X9 Pro, as expected.

So, if you have a computer that has a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 or faster USB-C port, the X10 Pro is worth its price, which is about $40 more than the X9 Pro. However, considering 10Gbps USB is still much more popular than the 20Gbps standard, there is little to no difference between the two in most cases.

And since 10Gbps is plenty fast, if you need a quick decision in a Crucial X10 Pro vs X9 Pro matchup, grab whichever costs less. If you don’t want to miss out on anything, the X10 Pro is the way to go.

On the retail boxes, the Micron Crucial X10 Pro is just a few digits different from the X9 Pro.

Crucial X10 Pro: A non-compromising portable USB SSD

The Crucial X10 Pro joins the small crowd of portable SSDs supporting the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2.

That’s because the standard itself hasn’t taken off — it was first available over two years ago — mostly because the 10Gbps ceiling speed of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 is fast enough for most situations and is the current mainstream peripheral connection together with the 5Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 1.

Confused about USB standards? This post will explain them all!

But faster is always better. And the Crucial X10 Pro was the fastest among its handful of peers in my testing. We’ll get to the performance section soon, but the table below shows the differences between this portable SSD and its X9 Pro twin sibling.

Micron Crucial X10 Pro vs X9 Pro frontMicron Crucial X10 Pro vs X9 Pro Back
Micron Crucial X10 Pro vs Crucial X9 Pro (bottom): Other than the color, the two are identical.

Crucial X10 Pro vs Crucial X9 Pro: Hardware specifications

Crucial X10 Pro Crucial X9 Pro
Crucial X10 Pro Portable SSD Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD
Capacity 1TB, 2TB, 4TB 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Part Number CT1000X10PROSSD902 (1TB)
CT2000X10PROSSD902 (2TB)
CT4000X10PROSSD902 (4TB)
CT1000X9PROSSD9 (1TB) 
CT2000X9PROSSD9 (2TB)
CT4000X9PROSSD9 (4TB)
Internal Storage NVMe SSD NVMe SSD
Product Color Black Silver
Dimensions ‎2.56 x 1.97 x 0.39 in
(65 x 50 x 9.91 mm)
‎2.56 x 1.97 x 0.39 in
(65 x 50 x 9.91 mm)
Weight 1.3 oz (40 grams)  1.3 oz (40 grams) 
Write Speed
(up to)
2,000 MB/s 1,050 MB/s
Read Speed
(up to)
2,100 MB/s 1,050 MB/s
Interface USB 3.2 Gen 2.2 Type-C
(20Gb/s)
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C 
(10Gb/s)
Backward Compatibility USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps),
USB 3.2 Gen1 (formerly USB 3.0),
(5Gb/s), 
USB 2.0
USB 3.2 Gen1 (formerly USB 3.0) 
(5Gb/s), USB 2.0
Ruggedness Water, dust, and sand resistant (IP55) Water, dust, and sand resistant (IP55)
Security Password protection,
256‐bit AES hardware encryption
Password protection,
256‐bit AES hardware encryption
Power Usage USB Bus Powered 
via a USB-C port
USB Bus Powered 
via a USB-C port
Package Content Crucial X10 Pro Portable SSD 
USB-C Cable 
Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD 
USB-C Cable 
Supported Platform Windows, macOS, Android Windows, macOS, Android
Warranty 5-year limited warranty 5-year limited warranty
US Price
(at launch)
$119.99 (1TB) 
$169.99 (2TB)
$289.99 (4TB)
$79.99 (1TB) 
$129.99 (2TB)
$239.99 (4TB)
Hardware specifications: Crucial X10 Pro vs Crucial X9 Pro

Crucial X10 Pro vs Crucial X9 Pro: Mostly the same portable SSDs

As noted in the table above, the two drives are mostly the same, except for the color and the USB standard. The way the USB standard works, they are interchangeable in terms of applications.

Both share the same physical design with a rectangular shape and rounded corners. The two are light and compact enough to be attached to a keyfob, hence the little ring hole at one corner.

And they share the same features, too. Both have built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption and can be password-protected. They ship pre-formatted with the versatile exFAT file system to work right out of the box with all supported platforms but can be easily reformatted if need be.

There’s no software preloaded on the drive, but you’ll find links to download bundled applications, including a one-month trial of Adobe Creative Cloud.

In most cases, plug the drive in and use it as is. Installing any software is unnecessary unless you need to protect the information from prying eyes.

Crucial X10 Pro: Fastest USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 performance to date

I tested the 2TB version of the Crucial 10 Pro, which proved to be the fastest to date when used with the 20Gbps USB standard — consistently sustaining faster speeds than other same-standard counterparts by tens of MB/s, as shown in the charts below. And that was impressive.

Micron Crucial X10 Pro Write PerformanceMicron Crucial X10 Pro Read Performance
The Micron Crucial X10 Pro’s real-world sustained copy speeds

However, when used with older USB standards, the drive was on par with its lesser peers, even a tad slower at times, albeit within the margin of error.

While the drive didn’t deliver close to the standard’s ceiling speed, that’s normal for USB, which generally has severe overhead. It’s safe to say the X10 Pro is as fast as can be for the standard it supports.

Like the case of the X9 Pro, the X10 Pro also ran cool in my week-long trial. I didn’t encounter any issues with it.

Pros

Fast performance overall with top NVMe USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 performance

Super-compact yet spacious; rugged, practical design

Supports all platforms, including Android.

Cons

No USB-A cable or adapter included

Conclusion

The Crucial X10 Pro is an excellent portable SSD. But compared to the X9 Pro, it’s a tad expensive, costing around $40 more.

If you have a computer with 20Gbps USB and want to squeeze every MB/s out of that, the drive is an excellent buy.

On the other hand, in day-to-day usage, the X9 Pro will likely deliver a similar, if not the same, experience. That’s because, in most cases, we don’t write much data at a sitting to truly benefit from the higher connection standard of USB 3.2 Gen 2×2.

With that out of the way, get the Crucial X10 Pro today! It’s always great to be able to turn things up to 11.



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