SSD makers have been busy churning out numerous iterations of drives, mostly aimed at enthusiasts and home users, for some time now. As such, the market saturation is reaching the point where margins aren’t as attractive as they once were and user adoption begins to level off. It doesn’t hurt that NAND prices continue to drop while traditional platter drive prices have spiked. Now that SSDs have been around long enough to gauge reliability in the real world and manufacturers are hitting their stride, eyes are beginning to turn to the business world where lies a great deal of opportunity to move units to fill corporate PCs. We just had a look at Kingston’s V+200 for business users and now Micron is another such company to look to take advantage of that opportunity with their new P400e RealSSD line. They sent us over a 200GB version drive to bang away on to see what we thought.
In Micron’s video below, they describe the P400e as their entry level enterprise SSD. Given what Micron deems as a low total cost of ownership (TCO) and outfitted with consumer grade flash NAND, it fits the bill. They currently offer capacities of 50GB all the way up to 400GB. They are powered by the Marvell 9174 controller (which is no stranger to Micron drives), feature a SATA 6Gbps interface, a 256MB cache and 25nm MLC NAND flash. This bring modest yet reliable performance numbers of up to 350MB/s reads and 140MB/s writes along with 50k IOPS and 7.5k IOPS read/writes.
Those more familiar with SSD specifications may be scoffing at the ostensibly low specifications but as you’ll see with the benchmark scores, Micron is very conservative in their specification listings and for most business applications, the speeds are more than adequate. Users booting, firing up MS Office, documents or even web browsers will still feel the immediate responsiveness not offered by spinning platter drives.
The business end of the drive has the usual SATA power and data connectors. The latter being 6Gbps capable but backwards compatible with 3Gbps. The exterior on the drive we were sent is comprised of simply a textured gray aluminum shell with a plain white label. The retail version of the drive may have a different design.
The drive thickness is only 7mm which makes it compatible with small form factor laptops and other enterprise hardware. Let’s have a closer look at the inside.