Crucial filling the void left by SanDisk

Since there's a bit of a void left in the SSD world with SanDisk's terrible response to their drive failures the options of SSDs for asset delivery were a bit limited but in somewhat perfect timing Crucial, a long trusted brand by OEM NAND flash maker Mircon has released the X9 Pro and X10 Pro.

Both are NVME based drives with the the main difference being USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) for the X9 Pro and USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20Gbps) for the X10 Pro.

Looking the chart provided by Micro below, It seems they have dealt with some of the shortcomings of the previous X8 model. Below, you can see more real world performance rather than the deceptive "up-to" speed spec that most brands latch onto that I've written about before.

Source: Micron
As you can see, compared with the offerings from Samsung and SanDisk it's promised to be on par with the T7 Shield but in a smaller package. It's available in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB starting at $80 at the time of writing. And since Micron/Crucial is a very trusted name in the field it's great to see another viable option with affordable performance.

While you should always take performance numbers provided by the manufacturer with a grain of salt. The performance is echoed in AnadTech's in depth review of this the X9 Pro. In their testing, it was able to maintain respectable write speeds while writing to 90% of the capacity. Not choking on cache and dropping speed over this test is great to see. 
Source: AnandTech

It even bested the performance the Samsung T7 Shield in a more random test of writing "18.86 GB of Photos and Documents over 7627 files in 382 sub-folders" which is a more realistic test of a still photography workflow. 

Source: AnandTech

After reading through AnandTech's reviews I can say these are certainly worthy of consideration going forward.

There's also the X10 Pro, however at this point in time it's just not worth purchasing if you use any of Apple's current lineup of computers since they don't support USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20Gbps) and are limited to 10Gbps over USB. You can read more about this in my previous post about USB overhead. This isn't the case if using a Thunderbolt drive but for client delivery drives that becomes prohibitively expensive.

Source: Micron 

It's also great to see these drives available from various vendors or directly from Crucial making it easy to snag them last minute. The SSD market has become more consolidated over the years but it's nice to see more companies focusing on professionals and not just data center or consumers.