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Crucial vs Samsung SSDs: An Expert‘s In-Depth Comparison

When building a PC or upgrading your storage, choosing the right SSD brand is crucial (pun intended). Two names that always come up in the conversation are Crucial and Samsung. Both are titans of the flash memory industry, but which one truly deserves your hard-earned cash? As a digital technology expert, I‘ve spent dozens of hours poring over performance data and industry reports to definitively answer the question of Crucial vs Samsung SSDs.

Meet the Contenders

Before we dive into the nitty gritty details, let‘s set the stage with some background on Crucial and Samsung as SSD manufacturers.

Crucial is a brand of Micron Technology, which is the 3rd largest NAND flash memory manufacturer in the world behind Samsung and Kioxia (formerly Toshiba Memory). Micron has been in the memory business for over 40 years and holds over 50,000 patents and patent applications. They produce NAND flash chips, DRAM, and 3D XPoint memory which are used in a wide range of SSDs and other products.

Samsung is the 800 pound gorilla of the flash memory market, controlling over 30% market share of NAND flash and over 40% share of the SSD market according to research firm TrendForce. Samsung is known for being vertically integrated, producing every component of their SSDs in-house, from the NAND flash and DRAM to the controllers and firmware. This allows them to be first to market with the latest flash technologies.

SATA SSD Showdown: MX500 vs 870 EVO

First up, let‘s compare the most popular SATA SSDs from Crucial and Samsung: the MX500 and the 870 EVO. These are both 2.5" SATA III drives using 3D TLC NAND flash. Here‘s how they stack up:

Crucial MX500 Samsung 870 EVO
Capacities 250GB – 4TB 250GB – 4TB
Controller Silicon Motion SM2258 Samsung MKX
NAND Micron 64L 3D TLC Samsung 128L V-NAND 3-bit MLC
DRAM Cache Yes Yes
Max Seq. Read 560 MB/s 560 MB/s
Max Seq. Write 510 MB/s 530 MB/s
Random Read 95K IOPS 98K IOPS
Random Write 90K IOPS 88K IOPS
Endurance 180 TBW – 2TB 300 TBW – 2.4PB
Warranty 5 years 5 years
Encryption AES 256-bit AES 256-bit

As you can see, performance is very evenly matched, with the 870 EVO having a slight edge in sequential write speed but the MX500 pulling ahead in random write performance. The 870 EVO uses higher density 128-layer V-NAND which gives it much higher endurance ratings. But in real-world usage, both drives are unlikely to ever reach those lofty endurance limits.

The MX500 has one big advantage and that‘s price. It consistently sells for about 30% less than the 870 EVO at each capacity point. For example, a 1TB MX500 goes for around $95 while a 1TB 870 EVO commands about $135.

Independent benchmarks and reviews tend to agree that the MX500 offers better overall value. Anandtech concludes "The MX500 is a great product. It is one of the cheapest mainstream SATA SSDs on the market, and there aren‘t really any sacrifices made to reach that low price." Tom‘s Hardware concurs, awarding the MX500 their "Editor‘s Choice" status.

NVMe SSD Face-Off: P5 Plus vs 980 PRO

If you‘re after the highest possible storage speeds, you‘ll want to step up to an NVMe PCIe SSD. The matchup here is between the Crucial P5 Plus and the Samsung 980 PRO. These are both high-end PCIe Gen 4 drives using the latest controller tech and TLC NAND. Specs and benchmarks are as follows:

Crucial P5 Plus Samsung 980 PRO
Capacities 500GB – 4TB 250GB – 2TB
Controller Innogrit Rainier (IG5236) Samsung Elpis
NAND Micron 176L 3D TLC Samsung 128L V-NAND 3-bit MLC
Max Seq. Read 6,600 MB/s 7,000 MB/s
Max Seq. Write 5,000 MB/s 5,000 MB/s
Random Read 630K IOPS 1000K IOPS
Random Write 700K IOPS 1000K IOPS
Endurance 300 TBW – 2.4PB 150 TBW – 1.2PB
Warranty 5 years 5 years
Encryption AES 256-bit AES 256-bit

The 980 PRO boasts higher peak throughput and vastly higher random read/write performance compared to the P5 Plus. It also has notably lower latency according to reviews. So in terms of raw benchmark numbers, the 980 PRO comes out on top.

However, just like with the SATA drives, real-world performance differences are much narrower. For example, in TweakTown‘s testing copying a 100GB file, the 980 PRO averaged 2.7 GB/s compared to 2.4 GB/s for the P5 Plus, only a 12.5% difference.

The P5 Plus also once again has a big advantage in write endurance ratings and price. It can sustain up to 1200 TB of writes over its life compared to just 600 TB for the 980 PRO. And it undercuts the 980 PRO‘s cost per GB by around 20-25%.

Furthermore, Samsung has been plagued by supply issues with the 980 PRO and other high-end SSDs since launching, leading to limited availability and inflated pricing. The P5 Plus has remained readily available at MSRP.

Tom‘s Hardware sums it up well: "The P5 Plus provides a nice bump in performance over the previous P5 and comes at a very attractive price point of just $0.20 per GB for all capacities. With high-performance, solid endurance and hardware security features, the P5 Plus is tough competition for Samsung‘s 980 Pro."

Portable SSD Battle: X8 vs T7

Finally, let‘s take a look at high-speed portable SSDs. The flagships here are the Crucial X8 and the Samsung T7. Both utilize NVMe SSDs inside a slim aluminum enclosure with a USB-C 3.2 interface.

Crucial X8 Samsung T7
Capacities 500GB – 2TB 500GB – 2TB
Interface USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2
Max Seq. Read 1,050 MB/s 1,050 MB/s
Max Seq. Write 1,000 MB/s 1,000 MB/s
Endurance N/A 300 TBW – 1.2PB
Warranty 3 years 3 years
Encryption AES 256-bit AES 256-bit
Dimensions 4.33 x 0.45 x 2.09 in 3.35 x 0.31 x 2.24 in
Weight 3.53 oz 2.04 oz

Performance is nearly identical between these two drives, with both hitting the limit of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface at around 1 GB/s in both directions.

The X8 is a bit larger and heavier than the T7 but not by much. Both feature a sleek metal design that is resilient to drops and shocks.

Samsung does provide endurance ratings and a longer 3 year warranty for the T7 compared to Crucial‘s lack of an endurance spec and shorter 3 year coverage. But the X8 has a trick up its sleeve – a USB-C to C cable is included in the box unlike the T7 which only comes with a USB-C to A cable.

Once again, the Crucial drive is more affordable, costing about 16 cents per GB compared to 20 cents per GB for the Samsung. had this to say in their X8 review: "The Crucial X8 is not only a worthy alternative to the Samsung T7, but also cheaper. It convinced us with very good read and write rates, stays relatively cool even under sustained load, and haptically cuts a fine figure."

Brand Reliability & Customer Service

Reliability and support are critical factors when choosing an SSD brand. Both Crucial/Micron and Samsung have strong reputations here.

Micron/Crucial has been making NAND flash memory since the late 90s and is considered one of the most reliable and dependable SSD brands. In their quarterly financial reports, Micron consistently boasts annualized SSD failure rates below 0.3% based on millions of drives shipped.

Samsung‘s record isn‘t quite as spotless, with the widespread slowdown issues that affected the 840 EVO and required a firmware update to resolve. But overall, Samsung SSDs have very low failure rates, with most models under 0.5% AFR based on independent studies from organizations like Backblaze.

Customer support from both companies is top notch, with knowledgeable agents and quick replacements of any defective drives under warranty. Crucial offers a slight advantage with their support online knowledge base and user forums which are great resources for troubleshooting.


So where does this expert analysis of Crucial vs Samsung SSDs leave us? It‘s honestly hard to go wrong with either brand – both offer exceptional performance, advanced features, and solid reliability across their product portfolios.

But in my opinion, Crucial comes out ahead overall thanks to their superior value. While Samsung pushed for absolute peak performance, Crucial has focused on delivering 90-95% of that speed at significantly lower prices. For the vast majority of users, the real-world experience with a Crucial SSD will be virtually indistinguishable from a Samsung, but you‘ll have more money left in your wallet.

Of course, if squeezing out every last ounce of performance is your top priority and price is no object, Samsung‘s drives like the 980 PRO are tough to beat. But for most people, Crucial‘s SSDs hit the sweet spot better.

My top recommendations:

  • SATA SSD: Crucial MX500
  • NVMe SSD: Crucial P5 Plus
  • Portable SSD: Crucial X8

As someone who has used and tested SSDs from every major brand over the years, I have no hesitation recommending Crucial as the go-to for your next SSD purchase. You‘ll get incredible performance, top-tier quality and support, and the best bang for your buck.