Earlier this year, Crucial added a 4TB storage option to its popular X8-series of external SSDs. Like the other storage options in the X8 lineup, the 4TB model promises fast transfer times, a slim, sturdy design, and enough storage to hold a small library’s worth of data. To see whether it could live up to those lofty promises, we took the 4TB X8 External SSD home for a weeklong hands-on review.
When it comes to external storage, the story remains the same: every year, drives get smaller, faster, and more spacious. Still, it’s hard not to marvel at the Crucial X8. We’re talking about an SSD that’s smaller than your iPhone, yet packs up to 60x as much storage. It’s slimmer than a deck of cards, yet it can withstand drops that would break bones. It’s sleek, it’s sturdy, it’s effortlessly portable. In terms of physical aspects, the X8 is as quality a build as you could hope for.
Crucial lists the X8’s read speeds as up to 1050 MB/s and its sequential write speeds at 1000 MB/s. Our own stress tests didn’t quite hit those numbers, hovering around 950 MB/s for write speeds and 910 MB/s read. That’s a little shy of Crucial’s listed speeds and other synthetic benchmarks, but it’s still pretty darn close and awfully fast. To hit those speeds, the X8 utilizes its USB 3.2. Gen 2 Type-C interface, which, as of this writing, is still the second-fastest version of USB 3.2, supporting data transfer speeds up to 10 Gb/s.
When testing the X8 SSD, we moved files between Windows and Mac laptops, as well as a PS4 Pro, PS5, and a 2018 iPad Pro. Preformatted with exFAT, the X8 SSD worked perfectly with each device, as was expected.
After our speed and transfer tests were concluded, we did throw the X8 SSD around for a bit and even left it outside in light rain for a couple of hours. It wasn’t too strenuous a durability test, but the X8 SSD still managed it no worse for wear.
Despite its many bona fides, the X8 SSD’s best feature might just be its overall value. In terms of cost per gigabyte alone, what you pay for the 4TB X8 is almost too good to be true. Add in its ruggedness, portability, and competitive transfer speeds, and you’re talking about maybe the best bang for your buck on the market. It’s definitely up there, with few other choices offering a similar feature set at such a low cost.
It’s difficult to find fault with the 4TB X8 External SSD—especially when you factor in its cost. Are there faster SSDs available? Absolutely. Are any of them as inexpensive, with the same abundance of storage or premium build quality? Not so much. If you’re someone who needs an SSD that can churn through massive files at breakneck speeds and cost is of no concern, then yes, there are a couple of high-dollar drives we can recommend.
However, if you want fast and reliable performance, broad device compatibility, portability, a sleek, solid build, and more storage than you’ll probably ever need—all for a price that seriously makes you wonder whether the Crucial accountants made a mistake, then friends, the 4TB X8 SSD is an excellent choice.
Ready to put the 4TB X8 External SSD to the test? Let us know in the Comments section, below.