Micron M500DC 800 GB SSD Review: Cloud And Web 2.0 Storage

How We Test Micron's M500DC

Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 32 nm, 3.3 GHz, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
Motherboard
Intel DX79SI, X79 Express
Memory
G.Skill Ripjaws Z-Series (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 @ DDR3-1600, 1.5 V
System Drive
Intel SSD 320 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
Host Bus Adapter
LSI SAS 9300-8e
Tested Drives
Micron M500DC 800 GB
Comparison Drives
Micron P400m 200 GB
Intel SSD DC S3500 480 GB
Intel SSD DC S3700 800 GB
SanDisk Optimus Eco 400 GB
Seagate 600 Pro 200 GB
Graphics
AMD FirePro V4800 1 GB
Power Supply
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700 W
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriverGraphics: AMD 8.883
Benchmark Suite
Iometer v1.1.0
Four Workers, 4 KB Random: LBA=Full, Span Varying Queue Depths
ATTO
v2.4.7, 2 GB, QD=4
Custom
C++, 8 MB Sequential, QD=4
Enterprise Testing: Iometer Workloads
Read
Write
512 Bytes
1 KB
2 KB
4 KB
8 KB
16 KB
32 KB
64 KB
128 KB
512 KB
Database
67%
100%
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
100%
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
File Server
80%
100%
10%
5%
5%
60%
2%
4%
4%
10%
n/a
n/a
Web Server
100%
100%
22%
15%
8%
23%
15%
2%
6%
7%
1%
1%

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a working group made up of SSD, flash, and controller vendors, has a testing procedure that attempts to control as many of the variables inherent to SSDs as possible. SNIA’s Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification (SSS PTS) is a great resource for enterprise SSD testing. The procedure does not define what tests should be run, but rather the way in which they are run. This workflow is broken down into four parts:

  1. Purge: Purging puts the drive at a known starting point. For SSDs, this normally means Secure Erase.
  2. Workload-Independent Preconditioning: A prescribed workload that is unrelated to the test workload.
  3. Workload-Based Preconditioning: The actual test workload (4 KB random, 128 KB sequential, and so on), which pushes the drive towards a steady state.
  4. Steady State: The point at which the drive’s performance is no longer changing for the variable being tracked.

These steps are critical when testing SSDs. It’s incredibly easy to not fully condition the drive and still observe out-of-box behavior, which may lead one to think that it’s steady-state. These steps are also important when going between random and sequential writes.

For all performance tests in this review, the SSS PTS was followed to ensure accurate and repeatable results.

All tests employ random data, when available. Micron's M500DC does not perform any data compression prior to writing, so there is no difference in performance-based data patterns.

For comparison purposes, we evaluated the M500DC against similar products from Micron, Intel, SanDisk, and Seagate.

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7 comments
    Your comment
  • stuckintexas
    Building on the desktop-oriented M500, Micron is announcing its enterprise-focused M500DC. We got a chance to run the 800 GB model through an updated test suite to gauge whether this Marvell-powered SSD keeps up with the best-known enterprise solutions.

    Micron M500DC 800 GB SSD Review: Cloud And Web 2.0 Storage : Read more
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  • ParrLeyne
    Good article/review!

    Only one _small_ problem. According to the Micron product page (http://www.micron.com/products/solid-state-storage/enterprise-sata-ssd/m500dc-enterprise-sata-ssd) the M500DC is a SATA device, not SAS!
    0
  • drewriley
    Thanks - We go that fixed!
    0
  • tripleX
    The author obviously does not understand the subject matter. SAS lumped in with SATA? read-centric SSD isnt meant for read workloads? etc. numerous errors, too many to list.
    0
  • tripleX
    Author does not understand what "corner case" is. corner case testing? are you doing lab validation work?
    0
  • drewriley
    In SSD testing, it is common to call the mix in testing between read/write and random/sequential as '4 corner' or 'corner case' testing. And yes, this is lab verification work, that is kind of the point of the review. Also, SAS and SATA do compete for applications. The point was to put different product that had similar specifications against one another.
    1
  • tripleX
    Anonymous said:
    In SSD testing, it is common to call the mix in testing between read/write and random/sequential as '4 corner' or 'corner case' testing. And yes, this is lab verification work, that is kind of the point of the review. Also, SAS and SATA do compete for applications. The point was to put different product that had similar specifications against one another.


    The fact you are claiming this is anything even remotely near lab validation exposes your tremendous lack of knowledge on the subject.
    No one refers to 4-corner testing as corner case testing. One link to a reputable site that does so? Instead of arguing an indefensible point you should be attempting to learn exactly what corner case means. Most would have had the good sense to do that before posting.
    SAS v SATA is like Formula 1 compared to Go-Karts. Another example of your lack of understanding. SAS is meant for users who require certain features, and the price demands that users are aware of those features. They do not compete against each other, they are two entirely different classes of hardware.
    1
  • tripleX
    The fact you are claiming this is anything even remotely near lab validation exposes your tremendous lack of knowledge on the subject.
    No one refers to 4-corner testing as corner case testing. One link to a reputable site that does so? Instead of arguing an indefensible point you should be attempting to learn exactly what corner case means. Most would have had the good sense to do that before posting.
    SAS v SATA is like Formula 1 compared to Go-Karts. Another example of your lack of understanding. SAS is meant for users who require certain features, and the price demands that users are aware of those features. They do not compete against each other, they are two entirely different classes of hardware.
    0