For the past few years, AMD has had an advantage over Intel in several areas, and one of those has been storage speed. Its earlier adoption of the PCI Express 4.0 standard has meant it has been able to support the fastest NVMe drives available, while Intel was stuck with PCIe 3. But now the recently released 11th Generation of Intel processors (aka “Rocket Lake”) also supports PCI Express 4.0, making it high time to consider the upgrade. PCIe 4 drives are generally a lot more expensive than their PCIe 3 alternatives, but Crucial has a bit of a reputation for providing performance and quality for less. The P5 Plus continues that tradition into PCIe 4 NVMe SSDs.
There are considerable benefits on paper from the move to PCIe 4. The primary one is a doubling in bandwidth. Where SSDs smashed through the ceiling of SATA years ago, they have been nudging up against PCIe 3’s limitations recently too. The NVMe M.2 SSD standard supports up to four lanes of PCI Express, so with PCIe 3 you get 4GB/sec of bandwidth, but with PCIe 4 you can have 8GB/sec, and there are now SSDs out there that can deliver speeds close to this – at least for disk reads.
Crucial P5 Plus 1TB review: Capacities, speeds, and features
Crucial’s P5 Plus upgrades from the P5 we reviewed a year ago, promising 6,600MB/sec reading where the non-Plus version only delivered 3,400MB/sec. This is allied with 5,000MB/sec writing for the 1TB and 2TB versions, or 3,600MB/sec writing for the 500GB model. These are the three capacities currently available, with no 250GB option. The write speeds are a significant upgrade over the PCIe 3 P5 too, which only offered 3,000MB/sec writing.