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Micron M600 SSD Review - Digging into Dynamic Write Acceleration

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Micron

Introduction and Specifications

Today Micron lifted the review embargo on their new M600 SSD lineup. We covered their press launch a couple of weeks ago, but as a recap, the headline new feature is the new Dynamic Write Acceleration feature. As this is a new (and untested) feature that completely changes the way an SSD must be tested, we will be diving deep on this one later in this article. For the moment, let's dispose with the formalities.

Here are the samples we received for testing:

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It's worth noting that since all M600 models use 16nm 128Gbit dies, packaging is expected to have a negligible impact on performance. This means the 256GB MSATA sample should perform equally to its 2.5" SATA counterpart. The same goes for comparisons against M.2 form factor units. More detail is present in the specs below:

Specifications:

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Highlights from the above specs are the increased write speeds (no doubt thanks to Dynamic Write Acceleration) and improved endurance figures. For reference, the prior gen Micron models were rated at 72TB (mostly regardless of capacity), so seeing figures upwards of 400TB indicates Micron's confidence in their 16nm process.

Packaging:

Sorry to disappoint here, but the M600 is an OEM targeted drive, meaning its 'packaging' will likely be the computer it comes installed in. If you manage to find it through a reseller, it will likely come in OEM-style brown/white box packaging.

We have been evaluating these samples for just under a week and have logged *many* hours on them, so let's get to it!

Continue reading our review of the Micron M600 SSDs!!


September 29, 2014 | 03:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If there are more reviews like this where people are not able to get their heads around the Micron controller concept, they should simply release the successor to the MX100 line with their low cost standard controller (upgraded of course). This would become the go to SSD for millions. A consistent 256GB SSD for $80 sounds much better than the new dinky M600 for anything.

The M600 looks like a lemon to me at the moment.

September 29, 2014 | 04:01 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

There's the rub. Testing in this manner revealed that the MX100 has issues as well - just different ones. See the bottom of page 4 for details and explanation.

September 29, 2014 | 07:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Makes one wonder if the marvel controller's quirk is exclusive to the 88SS9189. I know sandisk uses previous revisions of the controller in their ssd's.

Different companies, and different firmwares though. Probably not likely.

October 4, 2014 | 01:18 AM - Posted by Dokk (not verified)

I'm a SSD neophyte, my primary usage: Photoshop, Lightroom, Audio recording, (minimal video)

I'm going to replace my 1TB Boot HD with a 1/2TB SSD (480,500,512). I'm leaning to the Crucial M550 over the M100 (only $20>), some say the M550 "is built for heavier use". (?) I was looking at the Samsung but not after Twits "Padre SJ" and this review discuss slowdown issues.

Do the M550's have the any slowdown issues? Or is this only the M600 due to the different/new controller?

Allyn M. talked about the M550 on July 25, 2014. (no "review")

Q: Are the potential specs of the M600 series worth waiting for it to come out, or should I just pull the trigger on the M550 and stop waiting?

Thanks,
Dokk

October 5, 2014 | 12:24 AM - Posted by HERETIC (not verified)

ALLYN
A SANDISK ULTRA 2-Thru the same tests would be a great addition,
as the third variation of this tech.................

October 5, 2014 | 07:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The Sandisk Ultra II drive uses the Marvell 88SS9187 instead of the 88SS9189 controller and uses different firmware. So in my opinion it's probably doubtful. Gonna take some months to also test whether or not sandisk figured a way around the leaky tlc problem.

October 5, 2014 | 11:07 PM - Posted by HERETIC (not verified)

My info tells me Sandisk is using-
9190-4ch for 120 and 240 GB drives,
and 9189 for larger drives........

But it's the tech i would like to see compared.
Sammy has a static cache,
Micron is using dynamic,
Sandisk is using on chip copy...............

October 6, 2014 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hmmm on closer inspection it does seem that Sandisk likes to variate which Marvell controller is used on a drive or even capacity basis.

Example, the sandisk x300s drive uses the 9189 controller.

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