Crucial seems to switch to slower qlc-nand for P2-ssd

Crucial seems to have started supplying P2 SSDs with qlc nand, while it was initially released with tlc chips. It’s not clear whether Crucial has completely transitioned to qlc-nand, or whether the company is still producing tlc variants at the same time.

The qlc variants were noticed and tested by Tom’s Hardware, which writes that the performance is significantly lower than the tlc models. Besides the use of qlc-nand, Crucial would not have changed anything about the drives. So the model name is still the same. As a result, users cannot see in advance which variant they are buying. In addition, many reviews are based on the faster TLC models, which can lead to confusion.

According to Tom’s Hardware, the performance differences differ per test, but in certain tests the P2 drive with qlc would be up to four times slower than the tlc variant, for example when copying a 6.5 GB zip file. In addition, the qlc model achieved a speed of 98MB/s, compared to 428MB/s with the original Crucial P2. Also on a DiskBench run with a file of 50GB, the qlc drive is considerably slower.

The qlc model also has more slc cache, with an amount of 135GB compared to the 24GB of the P2 with tlc-nand. However, the tlc variant was still faster, and the write speeds of the qlc variant decreased more than the tlc model after the slc cache became full.

Crucial informs Tom’s Hardware that it has taken into account a possible switch to qlc-nand in its performance claims. At release, the manufacturer advertised write speeds of 940MB/s, while according to Tom’s Hardware these are in practice twice as high on a P2 500GB SSD with TLC Nand. The qlc performance would be more in line with the advertised speeds.

It is also unknown whether Crucial only produces qlc variants of the P2-ssd. Crucial already reported in a statement in 2020 that they could eventually switch to a ‘mix of tlc and qlc’. The company told PC Gamer last year: “The Crucial P2 SSD currently uses Microns TLC memory, but over time may contain a mix of Microns TLC and QLC nand. By mixing types of nand with different capacities, we are able to make product adjustments and decisions based on emerging and changing technology, preferred capabilities and flexibility to align with movements of the overall market.”

The Crucial P2