The Micron 9100 MAX 2.4TB U.2 Enterprise SSD Review - P3700 Killer
Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup
First lets get the outside taken care of:
Note the 'bulges' in the housing for the controller and power loss capacitor. More on those shortly.
Cracking open the housing we find a pair of PCBs. I'm always amazed at the way SSD makers can origami their HHHL PCIe parts into these tiny 15mm housings.
Everything removed and laid out. Now for a closer look.
The portion normally sandwiched together contains huge tracks of RAM and 16nm NAND flash.
...and on the other side, we find even more flash and RAM. In total, this 2.4TB (addressable) SSD comes with 4TB (32x 256GB packages) of installed flash! The overprovisioning is what enables the higher sustained random performance and endurance figures specific to the 9100 MAX Series (vs. the 9100 PRO Series). Total RAM comes to 512MB x 9 = 4.6GB.
This capacitor is responsible for ensuring there is enough power remaining to properly preserve any in-flight updates to the Flash Translation Layer (FTL) during an unexpected power loss.
...and finally, we come to the heart of the 9100 MAX. This PMC (now Microsemi) PM8604 NVMe1032 16-channel controller is the driving force behind many of today's modern enterprise parts.
This is our first review using a purpose-built enterprise testing suite. We will cover the methodology further into the review and welcome your feedback on our process and presentation.
Test System Setup
We have several storage testbeds, but for this piece we used the same setup used in our 5-way SSD 750 RAID testing. It is not server-class hardware, but it is a reasonable equivalent that allows us to push the CPU to higher clock speeds than server hardware would normally be capable of. This helps shift the burden / bottlenecks to the NVMe PCIe SSDs under test.
PC Perspective would like to thank Intel, ASUS, Corsair, Kingston, and EVGA for supplying some of the components of our test rigs.
|Hard Drive Test System Setup|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 5960 @ 4.5 GHz|
|Motherboard||ASUS X99 Deluxe|
|Memory||16GB Micron DDR4 @ 3333|
|Hard Drive||G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD|
|Video Card||GeForce 210|
|Power Supply||Corsair CMPSU-650TX|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 Pro X64 (update)|
- PCPer Enterprise Storage Test Suite 0.95 (beta)
- PACED Latency/IO Percentile and QoS