The Crucial P1 was one of the best value NVMe SSDs I tested last year, but now Crucial are expanding their P family of NVMe drives with the budget-friendly P2 and high performance P5 - and the good news is that they're both even faster than the P1.
Starting with the P2, this drive is available right now in 250GB and 500GB sizes for £54 / £63 (US pricing TBC), with a 1TB model to follow at a later date, according to Crucial. At time of writing, the 250GB model is a bit more expensive than my current budget NVMe champion, the excellent WD Blue SN550, but the 500GB price is actually a smidge cheaper than its WD rival, so I'll be intrigued to see whether its claimed sequential speeds of 2300MB/s read and 940MB/s write translate to faster random speeds once I get one in for testing.
Admittedly, that sequential write speed of 940MB/s is a little worrying. Even the P1 was rated for a 950MB/s sequential write speed, and Crucial's specs for the 250GB model of the P2 actually put it ahead of its 500GB sibling at 1150MB/s. The 250GB isn't as fast in the sequential read department, admittedly, coming in at 2100MB/s according to Crucial's specs, but I'll have to wait until I get one in for testing to see how it holds up in practice. After all, sequential speeds aren't really the best indicator of an SSD's day-to-day performance, as most SSDs read and write data randomly rather than in neat, next-door-neighbour blocks.
As for the P5, there's currently no word on pricing or a release date just yet (it's currently marked as "coming soon" on Crucial's website), but Crucial are clearly positioning this SSD as their answer to today's top-end NVMe drives such as the Samsung 970 Evo Plus and WD Black SN750. With claimed sequential read and write speeds of a whopping 3400MB/s and 3000MB/s respectively, the Crucial P5 is their fastest SSD to date and will be available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities.
Again, I'm more interested in the P5's random read and write performance shakes out, but the key to the P5's success is almost certainly going to come down to pricing. It may be the fastest SSD Crucial's ever made, for example, but those claimed sequential speeds still aren't as nippy as the competition. The Samsung 970 Evo Plus has sequential speeds of up to 3500MB/s read and 3300MB/s write, for instance, while the WD Black SN750 just about inches ahead with its claimed speeds of up to 3470MB/s read and 3000MB/s write. As I said, the proof will be in the P5's random performance, but if Crucial manage to keep the pricing down to below its WD and Samsung rivals then they could have another great value SSD on their hands.
Still, more competition in the NVMe arena is always a good thing in my books, and I'm intrigued to see how both drives hold up in practice once I can get them in for testing. For more info on the state of today's current SSD prices, head on over to our regularly updated SSD deals page.