We got a sneak peek of a future NVME release in the Micron family, but its introduction was a bit unexpected. Enter the Ballistix (by Micron) brand of flash memory products where the Ballistix TX3 NVMe SSD will be leading the way, along with an assortment of DRAM memory products. We are well aware that Crucial’s Ballistix memory is already well-known for performance, reputation and value, so much so in fact, that Micron thought the Ballistix name should stand on its own. There is even a website at BallistixGaming.com.
The Ballistix TX3 NVMe SSD is a PCIe 3.0 x4 (four lane) 2280 (80mm) form factor SSD that is made up of the SMI 2260 NVMe controller, Micron 3D MLC NAND flash memory, and will be available in 250, 500 and 1TB sizes. Initial performance numbers appear to be similar to all that have grabbed on to this SMI controller (Stay tuned for other updates) and, as early as it is to put forward a solid spec, we are seeing 2400MB/s read and just under 1000MB/s write performance, with 140K IOPS right now. Release of the TX3 isn’t expected to be until later in the year so SMI updates could see final speeds jump significantly by release dates. This CDM result was being demonstrated during our meeting:
Something we really like seeing in this result are the low 4k write transfer speeds just below 200MB/s; very impressive. The Ballistix TX3 will be considered a mid-range performance product and aimed at gamers and enthusiasts. There is no pricing as of yet, however, this SSD will have the Micron trademark of powerloss protection as a feature.
Crucial also provided some information on their anticipated MX300 release, this release being based on Micron’s newest 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The MX300 will be available in capacities up to 2TB and the 2TB version will be accompanied by an excellent 400TBW expectation for endurance.
Performance for the MX300 is listed as 530MB/s read and 500MB/s write with 92,000 IOPS read and 83,000 IOPS write. The MX300 will come with thermal protection, full encryption as well as powerloss protection as can be seen by the large number of capacitors on this M.2 MX300. It is very worthy of note that Crucial is the ONLY consumer SSD that contains such a large array of capacitors for power-loss protection; data safety is paramount.
June 14 will be the initial release for the MX300 750MB SSD with 250, 500 and 1TB notebook versions, along with a 250MB M.2 MX300, set for Q3 16. Q4 will see the remaining capacities released and Crucial was quick to point out that the actual capacity value may change before release as they may decide on a larger over-provisioning size for better endurance and performance.