While PCIe 5.0 SSDs are finally appearing on etailers’ shelves, PCIe 4.0 SSDs are far better value and offer similar real world performance in most scenarios. The new Crucial T500 comes in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and in 2024 will hit 4TB, plus as it’s an NVMe SSD it supports Microsoft’s DirectStorage that can speed up game load times. It has the option of a heatsink and Crucial claims it can hit up to 7,400MB/sec and it’s compatible with most motherboards out there too, unlike more expensive PCIe 5.0 SSDs.
While the Crucial drive’s peak read and write speeds of 7,400MB/sec and 7,000MB/sec respectively for the 2TB model we reviewed are quite a bit slower than PCIe 5.0 SSDs, it’s only really in sequential workloads dealing with very large files that you’ll notice much difference.
This drive uses Micron 323-layer 3D TLC NAND memory plus 1GB LPDDR4 memory per terabyte to act as a cache. Under the hood is Phison’s PS5025-E25 controller with Phison I/O technology boasting Microsoft’s game load time-reducing DirectStorage feature too. It’s available with a heatsink, but our cheaper model lacked one. During testing it topped 80°C after a few minutes and then started to throttle with speeds falling to 6,500MB/sec.
Thankfully, using our motherboard’s M.2 heatsink saw this cut to a peak of 63°C, so you’ll need some kind of heatsink for it to run optimally. There are 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB models available now, but you’ll have to wait till 2024 for the 4TB model, while our 2TB review sample offers a standard 1,200TBW endurance rating.
We saw a read speed of 7,456MB/sec and write speed of 7,034MB/sec in CrystalDiskMark, matching Crucial’s claims, with the AS SSD benchmark recording 6,246MB/sec and 6,203MB/sec. Compared to a slower PCIe 4.0 SSD such as WD’s Blue SN580, that managed CrystalDiskMark speeds of 4,183MB/sec read and 4,147MB/sec so is quite a bit slower.
Crucial T500 random performance
The random 4K performance was quite a bit slower than the PCIE 5.0 Crucial T700, which managed 6,113MB/sec read and 6,473MB/sec write compared to 4,863MB/sec read and 5,969MB/sec respectively for the Crucial T500, which was also slower than some other PCIe 4.0 SSDs here such as Solidigm’s P44 Pro. However, it was much faster than the 2,541MB/sec read and 3,374MB/sec write speeds recorded by the WD Blue SN580. It was also faster on the Q1T1 random 4K test with a read and write speed of 80MB/sec and 302MB/sec, compared to 73MB/sec and 227MB/sec for the cheaper WD SSD, but again we’ve seen faster from the likes of Solidigm’s P44 Pro, which managed 87MB/sec and 343MB/sec.
Crucial T500 real world performance
The faster performance of the Crucial T500 over cheaper PCIe 4.0 SSDs such as the WD Blue SN580 were also evident in the PCMark 10 full drive benchmark, which runs through real world software tests such as booting Windows, loading programs and games as well as performing tasks in popular word processing and image editing software. Its score of 3,433 eclipsed the 2,921 of the WD SSD and was only a little behind the 3,754MB/sec recorded by the pricier Crucial T700.
- Excellent sequential speeds
- Decent random 4K speeds
- 4TB option
- Other PCIe 4.0 SSDs offer similar or better performance
- Heatsink-less model will require a heatsink to avoid throttling
- Struggles to stand out from the crowd
|Capacities available||500GB, 1TB, 2TB (tested), 4TB (in 2024)|
|Endurance rating||1200 TBW (2TB model)|
The Crucial T500 price is $170 for the 2TB model, making it a little more expensive per gigabyte than other PCIe 4.0 SSDs. WD’s SN850X for example, can be had for $30 less for the same capacity, but the T500 does have a faster read speed.
Sitting at the upper end of pricing for a high-end PCIe 4.0 SSD, the Crucial T500 has excellent sequential speeds, but is often outperformed by some stiff competition such as the Solidigm P44 Pro in 4K random tests. It will also require a heatsink if you opt for the heatsink-less model, but it does have the advantage of a 4TB model arriving in 2024 – a capacity which some other manufacturers including Solidigm lack. In smaller capacities it struggles to stand out from the crowd, though.
For more SSD choices, check out our best SSD for gaming guide, and if you’d like to let us know your thoughts on the T500, you can do so via the Custom PC Facebook page, via Twitter, or by joining our Custom PC and Gaming Setup Facebook group and tap into the knowledge of our 420,000+ members.
Excellent sequential read and write speeds make the Crucial T500 a solid option for a premium PCIe 4.0 SSD. At smaller capacities it struggles to truly stand out for speed, but the upcoming 4TB option is sure to be tempting.