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Micron 5100 Series ECO & MAX SATA Enterprise SSD Review (Page 10)

By Jon Coulter from Jan 30, 2017 @ 23:00 CST
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Micron

Final Thoughts


3D flash paves the way for better performance, greater density, and more endurance. Triple level cell architecture (TLC) in particular is the way forward because of its inherent lower production costs per gigabyte. So far, we have Samsung and Micron/Intel 3D flash in the market. Micron has the upper hand when it comes to cost, Samsung has the upper hand regarding overall performance. However, because Micron's 3D flash is so cost effective, they can counter Samsung with by offering enterprise SSDs with an overwhelming amount of over-provisioning built into their SSDs, which results in record-setting random write performance.

Micron's planar-based 9100 series gave us our first look at how throwing a bunch of flash into the mix can take random write performance to never before seen heights. The 5100 MAX follows along with this strategy; this time doing so with 3D TLC flash. Mass amounts of overprovisioning solve the two main problems inherent to TLC flash; write performance and endurance. Micron's enterprise-grade 3D eTLC flash takes it a step further when used in conjunction with a healthy dose of overprovisioning, by delivering write performance that either matches MLC flash or as in the case of the 5100 MAX, greatly exceeds anything we've seen to date.

Up until now, the highest 4K random steady-state write performance we've witnessed coming from a SATA SSD is about 28,000 IOPS and that is with MLC flash. Micron's eTLC-powered 960GB 5100 MAX shatters this mark delivering well over 79,000 IOPS, or 2.8X what others have been able to deliver to date. What makes this even more amazing is the fact that Micron is doing this with a 4-channel controller when others are using 8-channel controllers. The results of our mixed workload testing show that Micron's 5100 Series SSDs deliver performance that is as good as it gets when running workloads that have at least equivalent or majority random writes in the mix.

We are also very much excited by Micron's revolutionary FlexPro architecture. This architecture allows users to actively tune the write performance and endurance of Micron SSDs to fit their specific needs. Just look at what were able to do with the 5100 ECO; we tripled the drives 4K random write performance by using Micron's FlexCap feature to increase the drives over-provisioning at the hardware level. This means you can easily repurpose any drive in the 5100 series to handle evolving applications in the most efficient manner possible.

Spinning media is winding down and the time is now to move on from legacy media and make the datacenter agile and efficient with all-flash arrays. Micron's 5100 series SSDs dramatically lower TCO in comparison to traditional datacenter solutions. In the end, it all comes down to one thing; TCO per IO.

Micron's 5100 Max and 5100 ECO deliver the goods in a manner that makes them both worthy of TweakTown's Editor's Choice Award.


  • Low Cost
  • Random Write Performance
  • Endurance
  • Flexability


  • Pure Random Read Mixed Performance
TweakTown award
Performance Consistency90%
General Features98%
Value for Money95%
Quality, Design, Build, and Warranty99%
Overall TweakTown Rating95%

The Bottom Line: The dominating write performance of the 5100 MAX and the versatility of the 5100 ECO combined with FlexCap earn the Micron 5100 series SSDs our Editor's Choice award.

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