Micron 3500 1TB SSD Review - The OEM Champ

Today, Micron launches a new OEM SSD, the Micron 3500. This SSD brings 2400 MT B58R and is easily the most potent OEM client SSD ever offered.

Published
Manufacturer: Micron (EEFDKBA1T0TGD)
7 minutes & 23 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 100%
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The Bottom Line

It's simply the best OEM SSD ever made.

Pros

  • + Gaming
  • + User experience
  • + 4-channel controlled

Cons

  • - None

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Drive Details

About a year ago, we got our first taste of Micron's revolutionary B58R flash via its 2550 OEM SSD. Back then, B58R was in its infant stage, so to speak, in that it was initially only available at a speed of 1,600 MT. Even so, at 1,600 MT, Micron's B58R clearly demonstrated its architectural superiority by easily outperforming similar speed flash and even much faster speed flash.

Fast forward to the present day, and Micron B58R still reigns supreme, and we are now seeing it running 50% faster at a whopping 2,400 MT, or to its full potential. To date, we've only had one retail SSD arrayed with 2,400 MT B58R, that being Crucial's T500 that launched a little over a month ago.

As you may or may not know, Crucial is the retail arm of Micron, which is why the world's first retail SSD arrayed with 2,400 MT B58R was its own T500. Crucial's PCIe Gen4 T500 is an absolute powerhouse due to its superior flash array. This uniquely configured drive is the world's only retail 4-channel controlled NVMe SSD with onboard DRAM. It's so powerful that it outperforms every PCIe Gen4 8-channel SSD on the planet with the lone exception of Samsung's 990 Pro, and then only if the 990 Pro is configured to run in full power mode.

There is a reason for referring to Crucial's T500. The reason is that Micron's 3500 SSD is, for all intents and purposes, a T500 with different firmware. Micron's 3500 OEM SSD leverages its 232-layer NAND to power demanding workloads for business applications, scientific computing, cutting-edge gaming, and content creation.

The 3500, like its close cousin, the T500, supports the DirectStorage API, which further accelerates load times in supported games. Both SSDs are the world's only Phison E25 controlled of their kind. Phison and Micron have forged a powerful partnership and are currently delivering the world's highest-performing flash-based SSDs.

As it stands currently, Phison's E25 controller is exclusive to Micron. This controller is an absolute masterpiece, easily the best 4-channel controller on the planet. Back when we reviewed the T500, Phison's E25 controller was shrouded in mystery. We could not find any datasheet or anything else referencing the E25 controller. But now we have it:

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Best controller, best flash, best performance. This is what Micron's 3500 SSD is bringing for Micron's OEM partners. 4-channels means it's cost-effective, low power, and low heat. Exactly what OEM system builders are looking for. Furthermore, the Micron 3500 SSD represents the first time that 4-channels outperforms 8-channels. There has never been an OEM client SSD like this one:

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Drive Details

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Jon's Test System Specifications

Intel Test System

AMD Test System

Because we at TweakTown like to be first at everything whenever we can, we will present our storage performance results for the test subject on both 13th Gen Intel and 7000 Series AMD platforms going forward for the foreseeable future. Because Intel still delivers the best real-world storage performance, (Look Here), our running chart will continue to be Intel-based until AMD can deliver better real-world storage performance than its rival.

Buy at Amazon

Crucial T500 1TB Gen4 NVMe M.2 Gaming SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$84.99$89.99$84.99
Buy at Newegg
$104.75$104.75-
* Prices last scanned on 2/25/2024 at 11:57 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Sony PlayStation 5 - M.2 Storage Expansion

PS5 Read Performance

With Sony's wildly popular PlayStation 5 console now enabled for M.2 NVMe SSDs to be used as fast storage expansion, we include results for PS5 compatible SSDs we test as a part of our reviews going forward.

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Micron 3500 1TB SSD Review - The OEM Champ 08

For SSDs that don't have an adequately sized PS5 compatible heatsink or other SSDs where the heatsink provided doesn't fit right and can be removed, we both use and recommend Sabrent's unparalleled PS5 heatsink available HERE.

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We only chart SSDs that can deliver a minimum of 5,500 MB/s read, which is Sony's original recommendation.

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6,100 MB/s is not the best here, but we would remind our readers that sequential throughput, as it is with PC, isn't the best indicator of real-world performance.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

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We employ CDM as our standard measurement for both sequential throughput and Q1T1 random read. In terms of sequential throughput, we find our test subject fully capable of meeting and exceeding quoted up to specifications. This very closely matches the speeds we extracted from the T500. Q1T1 random read is slightly better, but this may be because of the capacity difference of 1TB vs. 2TB, as is the sequential write difference.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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As expected for a 4-channel controlled SSD, the 3500 is dishing out midrange overall synthetic read performance exactly in line with its cousin, the T500.

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We employ Anvil's random read test as our standard for measuring max random read IOPS. This test is very accurate as it at its core is Iometer skinned over. We test at QD128. Our results, while quite good, are as expected a bit lower than factory up to spec due to our more demanding user state of system disk with 150GB data onboard.

ATTO

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ATTO gives us a clear picture of what transfer sizes a particular SSD favors in terms of sequential throughput. We chart 128K transfers. The 3500 favors sequential transfers of 1MB or larger when serving data to the host (reading) and 64K or larger when programming (writing) data.

Real-World Testing: Transfers, 3DMark SSD Gaming Test, PCM10 Storage

Transfer Rates

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Our 100GB data transfer test is not your ordinary 100GB of data. Ours is a crushing mix composed of more than 62K files. Write performance random or sequential, is an infrequent operation, and as such, we do not consider it to be an important performance metric in the consumer space. An example being how many times is a game installed vs. how many times it's played. Third best for a flash-based PCIe Gen4 SSD. Excellent.

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Unlike programming (writing) data, serving data to the host (reading) is always an important performance metric as it relates to the consumer space. This is where 4-channel SSDs can't keep up with 8-channel SSDs, having a slight 200-300 MB/s disadvantage. Our test subject likely has a slightly lower power envelope than the T500, which explains why transfer performance is slightly lower across the board.

3DMark SSD Gaming Test

UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing. In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSD's gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:

  • Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
  • Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
  • Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
  • Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
  • Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to most DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. Now we've reached the point where results start to matter as they are a direct reflection of user experience. Look at that chart. Do you want the best gaming performance while sipping power and running cool? This is it. Everything above it is hard to cool and consumes way more power.

PCM10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them. The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

This test writes 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data, which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

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Our 4-channel contender delivers massively here, as does its cousin, the T500. This is especially impressive considering it's demolishing moderate to heavy consumer workloads with half the channels tied behind its back. Outstanding.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test.

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And there you have it. The Micron 3500 is just as performant as the Crucial T500 because it reads just as well, and reads are what matter most, most of the time. This is performance that matters.

Final Thoughts

Typically, we see a significant performance disparity between OEM SSDs and their retail equivalents. However, this is not the case for the Micron 3500 Series SSD. Even though it's constrained a bit to meet more stringent OEM requirements, it still delivers real-world user experience at the same level as its retail cousin does. Amazing.

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We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage and 3DMark gaming storage tests. We consider a user experience score of 14K or more to verify an SSD as a TweakTown Elite performer. Like its predecessor, the T500, Micron's 3500 is an absolute masterpiece of engineering. Able to vanquish 99.99% of all 8-channel controlled PCIe Gen4 SSDs with half the channels is easily the most impressive feat we've ever witnessed from any SSD at any time.

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In our considered opinion, there has never been an OEM client SSD so appealing as Micron's 3500 SSD, and as such, it has earned our highest award. Editor's choice.

Performance

100%

Quality

100%

Features

99%

Value

N/A

Overall

100%

The Bottom Line

It's simply the best OEM SSD ever made.

TweakTown award
100%

Crucial T500 1TB Gen4 NVMe M.2 Gaming SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$84.99$89.99$84.99
Buy at Newegg
$104.75$104.75-
* Prices last scanned on 2/25/2024 at 11:57 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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