M.2 SSDs are starting to gain traction. The Samsung XP941 is starting to become more available and Plextor won Best of Show with their M6e at FMS this year. Both LiteOn and Hynix displayed some 1TB M.2 SSDs and LSI showed off some M.2 reference designs with their latest SF37000 controller. However, these larger capacity products aren’t going to be on the market for a while. Kingston had recently released their SM2280S3 M.2 SATA SSD in 120GB back in June for system builder applications, but it wasn’t until recently that it became available in 240GB capacity.
When it comes to higher capacities for enterprise application, there aren’t many options besides Micron with their M500 and M550 M.2 drives. And now, Micron continues to expand their product portfolio with their just released M600. Typically, Micron’s client drives were developed along-side the drives sold by their subsidiary, Crucial. This time around, the M600 has been developed separately from Crucial’s newest drive and has a new feature its brother does not, dynamic write acceleration.
In the M600 family there are multiple form factors. Earlier this week we reviewed the 2.5” form factor in 256GB and 1TB, which proved to do well in our testing. In today’s review, we have their M.2 2280 SATA SSD in 256GB capacity. The M600 M.2 drives are available in two sizes, 2260 and 2280. These numbers denote the dimensions of the SSDs. 22 is the width in millimeters while 60 and 80 are lengths. The 2260 drives are double-sided design and thus are 3.6mm thick while the 2280 drives are single-sided and only 2.3mm thick. This gives OEMs more options in their ultra-thin mobile platform design plans for which size to choose from.
MICRON M600 SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
Along with the rest of the M600 family, the M.2 SSDs use Micron’s newest 16nm NAND that allow the drives to hit a better cost-per-GB than their earlier products. As with previous drives they feature RAIN reliability technology, adaptive thermal monitoring, TRIM, S.M.A.R.T., and DevSleep. They also feature power-loss protection for data-at-rest to prevent corruption in case of a power failure.
These M600 M.2 SSDs are also self-encrypting drives (SED) that have AES 256-bit hardware encryption from the built-in controller encryption engine and are TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE1667 compliant to support the Windows eDrive standard.
If you read our review of the 2.5″ 7mm form factor M600, you already know that they have implemented a new feature, dynamic write acceleration. For those who haven’t, dynamic write acceleration optimizes the drives performance for typical client-computing environments where writes typically occur in bursts with idle time between. Micron’s latest NAND has the ability to change from MLC mode to SLC mode operation on the fly. Dynamic write acceleration takes advantage of this and it creates a high-speed SLC NAND flash pool where all writes are written to first. During idle time the drive will then migrate the data from the SLC pool to MLC operating NAND. From this new feature, write performance can be up to 2.8 times higher than non-accelerated operations. In addition to faster write speeds, DWA also allows for lower power consumption and increased endurance.
As mentioned earlier, the M600 family is available in 2.5” 7mm, mSATA, M.2 2260 (double-sided) and M.2 2280 (single-sided) form factors. Capacities available for the M.2 variants are 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Unlike Micron’s other client drives, the M600 family has a higher total bytes written rating. For the 128GB, its rating is 100TB, the 256GB is 200TB, and the 512GB is 300TB.
Furthermore, the drives are rated for sequential read speeds up to 560 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 510 MB/s. And for random 4KB speeds, they are rated for up to 100,000 read IOPS and 88,000 write IOPS.
When it comes to pricing, Micron sells enterprise products to businesses through their distribution network that includes sellers such as Digi-Key and Avnet. Due to the nature of large orders, prices fluctuate greatly as more drives are ordered. For reference, Avnet is now listing the 128GB at $107, the 256GB at ~$200, and the 512GB at ~$370.
Finally, all M600 SSD come with a three year warranty.
MICRON M600 SSD PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS
The M600 drives are shipped in a plain white box. There isn’t much need to develop fancy packaging as these drives are non-consumer drives and companies will simply be purchasing drives in bulk orders.
On the front of the M600 M.2 2280 SSD is a label with all the drive information from firmware revision to capacity. Underneath the sticker, some of the main components are a Marvell SATA controller, two NAND packages, and a DRAM chip. This is a single sided M.2 design so the back is left bare of any components.
As we can see, the drive has M and B-key connectors. The controller is the same as in the other form factors. It is a Marvell88SS9189 SATA controller. This controller is also the same one that is in their M550 as well.
By using the Micron FBGA Decoder, we can identify the NAND product number for the 256GB drive as being MT29F1T08CQCCBG2-10:C. The NAND is their 16nm MLC NAND flash memory with each package being 128GB in capacity. The usable storage space is 238GB once formatted.