Having been around storage and solid state drives for a few years, we can speak with some authority that client SSDs found in PC systems, laptops and ultra books paled in comparison to those retail SSDs being tested. I can remember our review of the Dell XPS 13 Gold Edition in fact, where the performance spoke to 1500MB/s read and only 300MB/s write. Client SSDs differed a bit back then where their performance was held back in an effort to make them as widely compatible as possible. It was actually no different with retail SSDs where reviewers could pull speeds much higher than specified from their samples with just a bit of tweaking. The effort to ensure mass compatibility hindered data transfer speeds. Not today though. Times have changed.
We received a sample of the Micron 3500 1TB Client SSD last week and it came in this Pelican R40 waterproof, dustproof, shockproof ruck case. Rather original we thought. The Micron 3500 is a Client SSD which means you cannot readily buy it right off the shelf, although you may find this extremely similar to our Crucial T500 Pro Gen 4 SSD Review we posted last month. The two are virtually identical and that is a very good start, considering we might class the T500 Pro as one of the best SSDs we have ever had on our Test Bench. Just as a bit of a side note, Crucial and Micron are different business units of the same company, Micron Technology.
The Micron 3500 is a PCIe 4.0 (Gen4) x4 (4-lane) M.2 2280 (22mm wide x 80mm long) SSD that runs on the NVMe 2.0 protocol. It is based on a 4-channel architecture which typically means that it would be more value-centric than many other 8-channel client SSDs when pre-configured systems are purchased. There was a time when the internet would light up the moment anyone recommended the purchase of a 4-channel SSD, those times having smoothed out over the years. This SSD will put any such ideas to rest completely if it is anything like the T500 Pro. It is. In fact, this SSD stands above a great many 8-channel SSDs as can be seen in our comparison charts throughout this report.
The Micron 3500 is based on the Phison PS5025 4-channel NVMe SSD controller, contains two pieces of Micron’s 232-Layer TLC 2400MT B58R NAND flash memory with a RAW value of 512GB each, as well as a single piece of 1024MB LPDDR4 Micron DRAM.
The 3500 is available in 512GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities and performance speaks to 7GB/s read and variable write speeds of 5.1GB/s (512GB), 6.9GB/s (1TB) and 7GB/s for the 2TB version. IOPS read and write are listed at 680K/700K (512GB), 1050K/1150K (1TB) and 1150K for both read and write of the 2TB capacity. Endurance starts at 300TBW for the 512GB version and doubles for every size jump after that. This SSD has a 3-year manufacturers warranty.