One of the best PCIe 4.0 SSDs is now as cheap as a last-gen drive

Crucial P5 Plus SSD on a blue background
(Image credit: Crucial)

With every advancement in technology there comes a tipping point where the once-premium hardware hits price parity with the last-gen tech and, at that time, everyone should move on. That's pretty much where we're at with PCIe 4.0 SSDs right now: the $135 1TB version of the new Crucial P5 Plus is now hitting the same price as the best PCIe 3.0 drives thanks to a healthy discount at Amazon.

That puts it right at the top of our thoughts when we're recommending new SSDs, which means it's right up there in our guide to the best SSD for gaming in 2022. Until recently we were still suggesting the 1TB WD_Black SN750 as a great, affordable SSD option for anyone not on a Gen4 platform. But that has definitely changed now, with more Intel and AMD options offering support, and the imminent drop of PCIe 5.0 SSDs this year.

Now, the Crucial P5 Plus is what we'd recommend for anyone looking for a new NVMe SSD. It's the same price as a top-end PCIe 3.0 SSD and even if you don't have a board that supports the newer interface, the Crucial drive will still run at a faster pace than pretty much any Gen3 SSD.

Crucial P5 Plus 1TB | PCIe 4.0 | 6,600MB/s read | 5,000MB/s write | $159.99

Crucial P5 Plus 1TB | PCIe 4.0 | 6,600MB/s read | 5,000MB/s write | $159.99 $134.99 at Amazon (save $25)
The 1TB version of the P5 Plus will deliver impressively high sequential read/write numbers, especially if you're coming from a straight PCIe 3.0 SSD. And it's more or less the same price as a 1TB last-gen drive. Even if you're currently not running a PCIe 4.0 compatible motherboard, this drive will drop in for a great price and deliver high performance out of the box.

That basically means you're still sorted for today's systems, not out of pocket while missing a chunk of speed on an older Gen3 platform, and ready for a healthy speed boost the next time you upgrade your system. This is a drive that will be with you for a good while.

The only thing to say is that it is effectively a budget PCIe 4.0 SSD, and that means it's running at a slower pace than the outright best Gen4 drives. But then you pay for what you get, and the P5 Plus is still no slouch. With rated sequential speeds of 6,600 MB/s and 5,000 MB/s for reads and writes respectively, and performance that puts it on par with the Samsung 980 Pro you're getting a mighty fine drive whichever way you look at it,  

At its standard $160 price tag it's still not a bad option, but that will net you the superior WD_Black SN850—our absolute favorite SSD right now. Though at this discounted $135 price point—the lowest it's ever been—the Crucial P5 Plus is a bit of a next-gen SSD bargain today.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.