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Micron 5100 Series ECO & MAX SATA Enterprise SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 31, 2017 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Micron

Jon's Enterprise SSD Review Test System Specifications


  • Motherboard: ASRock Rack EPC612D8A-TB (Intel C612 chipset) - Buy from Amazon
  • CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2699 V3 18 Core 36 Thread - Buy from Amazon
  • Cooler: Supermicro Air Cooling
  • Memory: 64GB Samsung DDR4 ECC 2133MHz - Buy from Amazon
  • Video Card: Onboard Video
  • Power Supply: Seasonic Platinum 1000 Watt - Buy from Amazon
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 64 Bit - Buy from Amazon
  • Drivers: Intel Proprietary NVMe driver


We would like to thank ASRock Rack, Crucial, Intel, Samsung, Seagate, and Seasonic for making our test system possible.



TweakTown's Enterprise SSD testing methodology replicates typical enterprise workload environments as closely as possible. Our test systems employ enterprise based hardware. Enterprise chipsets, Intel Xeon processors, ECC DRAM, and standard air-cooling. Storage drivers are Windows standard drivers, except as otherwise required for the test device to operate as designed.


TweakTown strictly adheres to industry-accepted Enterprise Solid State Storage testing procedures. Each test we perform repeats the same sequence of the following four steps:


  1. Secure Erase SSD
  2. Write entire capacity of SSD a minimum of 2x with 128KB sequential write data, seamlessly transition to next step
  3. Precondition SSD at maximum QD measured (QD32 for SATA, QD256 for PCIe) with the test specific workload for a sufficient amount of time to reach a constant steady-state, seamlessly transition to next step
  4. Run test specific workload for 5-minutes at each measured Queue Depth, record results


We chart workload preconditioning IOPS or MB/s and latency for each specific test. We plot workload preconditioning using scatter charts with each recorded 1-second data point represented on the chart, allowing us to see some of the performance variability exhibited by our test subjects. We chart workloads using line charts plotting average workload IOPS or MB/s and latency at each measured QD. Utilizing line charts provides a good visual perspective of the test subject's performance curve.


To summarize, we test with Enterprise hardware, Windows Server Operating System, and we strictly adhere to industry-accepted Enterprise SSD testing procedures. Our goal is to provide results that are consistent, reliable, and repeatable.





We wanted to test out Micron's new FlexCap feature that allows the user to actively tune capacity to optimize drive performance and endurance through Micron's FlexPro firmware architecture. We decided to take the 1920GB ECO and OP at the hardware level by an additional 100% by reducing user capacity to 960GB. This should result in a massive increase in write performance.




First, we download and installed the latest version of Micron's Storage Executive SSD management software. Clicking on the FlexCap tab brings up the screen shown above. We entered our new capacity as 960GB and set the drive capacity.





After a power-down and reboot, we checked to see that the new user capacity was set to 960GB and it was.





We decided to check the impact this would have on random write performance, and we were not disappointed. With the additional OP, the ECO became almost as powerful as the MAX (compare to MAX on the next page).


The only reason it didn't exceed the MAX' performance is due to the controller overhead incurred when managing a larger flash array. Nearly 3X better performance than at factory OP. Logic follows that it would have an endurance of roughly 10 PB in this configuration. As you can see with FlexCap, it is easy to tune the write performance and endurance of Micron's 5100 series SSDs.

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