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Micron 5100 MAX Takes On Today’s Top Entry-Level Enterprise SSDs

Micron 5100 MAX Takes On Today’s Top Entry-Level Enterprise SSDs
Category: MY Computing News
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Synopsis: Billy Tallis compares the recently released entry-level Kingston DC450R to a top-of-the-line, but slightly older, Micron 5100 MAX to prove newer doesn't always mean better.

Breaking in the newly updated AnandTech 2020 Enterprise SSD testing suite, Editor Billy Tallis compares two SATA III enterprise solid state drives from opposite ends of the spectrum, showing how a new entry-level SSD performs next to an older top-line SSD under current market workloads.

For entry-level testing, Tallis uses a 3.48TB Kingston DC450R SSD released late 2019 featuring the Phison PS3112-S12DC controller and 3D TLC NAND flash. With max advertised speeds of 560MB/s read and 525MB/s write, the DC450R boasts endurance ratings and overprovisioning ratios similar to consumer SSDs but at the expense of power loss protection capacitors and is best used for read-oriented workloads like CDN servers.

Conversely, Billy chose the two-generation old 1.92TB (2TB) Micron 5100 MAX TCG-E for his top-of-the-line flagship comparison. Released in 2017, the 5100 MAX is a self-encrypting drive powered by the Marvell 88SS1074 controller with a slew of features and advertised speeds up to 540MB/s read and 520MB/s write at 5DWPD.

Using the Micron 5100 MAX in this review, he explains, is thanks to MyDigitalDiscount.com recently acquiring a large quantity of stock that they're offering at a price comparable to the DC450R and other entry-level Server SSDs.

Performance Testing

Testing both SSDs at Queue Depth 1 (QD1), showed the two had roughly constant IOPS for random reads 4kB in size, that changed however when it came to read performance with transfers above 128kB as Tallis notes:

"The DC450R shows a more severe faltering in performance than most of the other SATA drives, while the Micron 5100 MAX simply shows performance that grows relatively slowly with transfer size."

Peak-level performance testing showed the Micron 5100 MAX to have slightly slower read speeds compared to the Kingston DC450R but, as expected, was over twice as power-efficient.

For steady-state write performance, the 5100 MAX out-performed the Kingston DC450R by around 50%. Billy credits this to the over-provisioning on the Micron drive, as he explains:

"Thanks to its massive overprovisioning, it's no surprise to see the Micron 5100 MAX delivering great random write performance here, matching the Kingston DC500M."

The Micron solid state drive also dominated the DC450R in power efficiency for steady-state write performance as Tallis observes:

"The Micron 5100 MAX scores very well here, as well it should." Adding, "the DC450R end up drawing 5.5-6W and having half the performance per Watt of the next-worse drive in this batch."

Wrapping up, the Kingston DC450R benefited the most in mixed workload testing but the Micron 5100 MAX put up a fight, exceeding performance expectations, leaving Tallis with a toss-up:

"There's no clear performance winner among these SATA drives, and the latest-and-greatest models aren't necessary to get good throughput on this workload."


The Micron 5100 MAX more than held its own against the Kingston DC450R. Billy explains that even though the 5100 MAX uses older NAND flash that held it back in some performance tests, the drive's over-provisioning allowed it overcome this handicap and deliver throughput that matched some of the best enterprise SATA SSDs available today.

While both SSDs were out-performed by Samsung SSDs Tallis included in his testing, he closed with this to say about the Micron 5100 MAX:

"While supplies last, the 1.92 TB Micron 5100 MAX from MyDigitalDiscount is pretty good deal, currently about 18% cheaper than the Samsung 883 DCT. For read-heavy workloads it's only a little bit slower than the Samsung, and for very write-heavy workloads it can't be beat by any current SATA drive."

Read the Full Review

Click here to read the full review on AnandTech.com (Link opens in a new window)

Get Yours Today

Micron 1.92TB (2TB) 5100 MAX TCG-E SED 5DWPD 3D eTLC SATA III (6Gb/s) 2.5" Internal Server SSD

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