Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD Review - Sleek, Powerful and Compatible

Crucial and Silicon Motion deliver a stellar native USB portable SSD that is a slim, pocket-sized powerhouse, offering affordable mass storage efficiency.

Published
Manufacturer: Crucial (CT2000X9PROSSD902)
3 minutes & 58 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 98%
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The Bottom Line

If you want elegant, fast and supremely compatible portable storage, Crucial's X9 Pro portable SSD delivers all.

Pros

  • + Compatibility
  • + Compact
  • + Pricing

Cons

  • - None

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Drive Details

A little over two years ago, we got our first taste of Silicon Motion's SM2320 native USB controller via an engineering sample. From that day to this day, external SSDs based on the SM2320 native USB controller have remained, for us anyway, preferred over all others. Why? Supreme compatibility.

To date, we've seen many portable SSDs featuring Silicon Motion's SM2320 controller, all of which rank among the best devices ever made. The main reason is that SMI's exquisite controller is native USB, meaning it doesn't need a bridge chip to translate NVMe to USB. No bridge chip means less heat, less power draw, and universal compatibility.

Crucial has launched a new line of portable SSDs based on what we believe is the best portable SSD controller ever made, the aforementioned SM2320. This controller not only affords supreme compatibility across all USB host devices but also allows for new slim, compact, pocket-friendly enclosures.

Crucial's X9 Pro is a slim, rugged, and pocket-friendly portable speedster, starkly contrasting to its previous portables that are roughly twice the size of our test subject. Additionally, it runs much cooler than its predecessors. The X9 Pro offers plug-and-play compatibility with Windows, Mac, Android, iPad, PC, Linux, PlayStation, and Xbox gaming consoles via an included USB-C cable. Security via password protection and 256-bit AES hardware encryption.

Drive Details

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The Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD comes in anodized aluminum with a rubberized soft-touch base in a mini 65 x 50 mm design that includes a drive activity light in the integrated lanyard hole. With IP55 water and dust resistance and drop-proof durability up to 7.5 feet/2 meters, your valuable data is well secured.

Buy at Amazon

Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$159.89$159.89$147.20
Buy at Newegg
$159.89$159.89-
* Prices last scanned on 2/21/2024 at 5:55 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, ATTO & Blackmagic

CrystalDiskMark

Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD Review - Sleek, Powerful and Compatible 07
Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD Review - Sleek, Powerful and Compatible 08
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Excellent sequential throughput for a 10Gbps interfaced portable device. At 1,092 MB/s, our test subject is right up there with the best we've seen from similarly interfaced devices. QD1 random performance indicates that the drive will deliver excellent performance if serving as a portable gaming device.

ATTO

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ATTO demonstrates the X9 Pro can deliver essentially full sequential performance at 128K transfers. Exactly what we like to see from any storage device.

Blackmagic

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When serving data to the host, we find our test subject delivering among the best we've seen to date for a 10Gbps storage device. It is significantly better than any 10Gbps portable with a bridge chip. Outstanding.

Real-World Testing: PCMark 10, 3DMark SSD Gaming & Transfer Rates

PCMark 10 Data Drive Benchmark

The Data Drive Benchmark is designed to test drives that are used for storing files rather than applications. You can also use this test with NAS drives, USB sticks, memory cards, and other external storage devices.

The Data Drive Benchmark uses 3 traces, running 3 passes with each trace as follows:

  • Copying 339 JPEG files, 2.37 GB in total,?into?the target drive (write test).
  • Making a copy of the JPEG files (read-write test).
  • Copying the JPEG files to another drive (read test).
Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD Review - Sleek, Powerful and Compatible 16
Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD Review - Sleek, Powerful and Compatible 17

Best-in-class performance here. It's the best we've ever attained from any native USB device, including those with a 20Gbps interface. Impressive.

3DMark SSD Gaming Test

UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing. In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSD's gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:

  • Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
  • Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
  • Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
  • Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
  • Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to most DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. We are now including gaming performance as a part of our external SSD reviews, as using portable storage for gaming duties is very popular among avid gamers.

Ultra-portable, fully compatible storage is a nice complement to any console or PC gaming device. The X9 Pro is among the best choices one can make for this role.

DiskBench - Transfer Rates

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We brutalize our test subjects with our extremely hard-to-swallow 100GB data block. This data block is the same one we use for our internal SSD testing and comprises more than 62K files. As we see it, 100GB is probably right at the upper limit for a single transfer, so again, as we see it, this is a much more realistic test scenario than a sustained filling of the entire drive.

100GB at 764 MB/s is the best we've obtained from any 10Gbps storage device. Impressive.

Final Thoughts

It's great to see another native USB device based on SMI's 2320 controller. We love what Crucial has done with the physical design of the X9 Pro's enclosure. It's perfectly sized and slim, so it's super pocket-friendly, which is a must as we see it. The pricing is excellent as well.

Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD Review - Sleek, Powerful and Compatible 24

Crucial's X9 Pro is one of the best examples of elegantly designed, fast, efficient, compatible, and rugged portable storage we've ever come across, and, as such, it deserves our highest award. Editor's choice.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

95%

Quality

100%

Features

100%

Value

95%

Overall

98%

The Bottom Line

If you want elegant, fast and supremely compatible portable storage, Crucial's X9 Pro portable SSD delivers all.

TweakTown award
98%

Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$159.89$159.89$147.20
Buy at Newegg
$159.89$159.89-
* Prices last scanned on 2/21/2024 at 5:55 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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