Micron Storage Executive, Conclusion, and Final Thoughts
Micron Storage Executive:
Micron has recently introduced their Storage Executive software:
This is essentially Micron's take on 'SSD Toolbox' software. It provides all of the necessary basics as far as secure erasure, reading SMART data, firmware updates, and usage monitoring (flash life remaining). You may see in the slide above that the interface runs in a browser, which may be cumbersome for users accustomed to the self contained apps supplied by other SSD vendors. I tested it out for myself and found it sufficient at getting the job done. The software installs a service that runs in the background, communicating with the SSDs and serving as a web host (defaulting on port 8080) for interacting with the HTTP-based GUI.
- Great overall performance
- Increased write performance at smaller capacities (over previous generation)
- Introductory cost/GB is *very* competitive
- Write performance at lower capacities still not as high as some competing SSDs
Pricing and Availability:
- 120GB – $68 ($0.57/GB) Amazon – BHPhoto.com
- 250GB – $95 ($0.38/GB) Amazon – BHPhoto.com
- 500GB – $180 ($0.36/GB) Amazon – BHPhoto.com
- 1TB – $380 ($0.38/GB) Amazon – BHPhoto.com
Those prices are impressively low, especially at the commonly purchased 250GB and 500GB capacity points. The 500GB model seems perfectly for use in a $360 RAID-0 pair, effectively doubling the performance and saving $20 over the single 1TB SSD (just remember to back up!).
The Crucial BX100 line carries a 3 year warranty, rated at a total of 72 TB written (regardless of capacity).
The Crucial BX100 is absolutely a worthy lower cost successor to the MX100. The use of a Silicon Motion controller helps bring the unit price down further while remaining performance competitive with the Marvell solution used in prior models. Tweaks to Micron's flash performance netted a ~20% increase in write speeds at the lower capacities when compared to the MX100 or even other Silicon Motion controlled SSDs. The BX100 is a great performing no frills SSD that comes in at a cost sure to keep the other SSD makers scrambling to compete. I would never be opposed to an SSD price war, and this one is sure to start one!