Micron M600 128GB SSD review

It has become clear that simply conducting
endless benchmarks on SSD drives is pointless. Real users may run a few
benchmarks when they first fit their SSD drive, but most users just want a
drive that performs well in the real world. They want their drive to work
"out of the box" and work fast and smoothly.

Most of the latest SSD drives can deliver
very fast sustained reading and writing speeds, but these alone tell you very
little about how the drive will perform in the real world.

If you intend to use your SSD as your
primary system drive, with an operating system and applications installed and
running from the drive, real world performance becomes much more important than
just fast sequential read and write speeds, in this case I felt that it was
time to move into a different method of testing.

From now on I will only use the log files
from the Event Viewer to measure the start-up and shutdown of the system, and
also use filecopy to measure all my copy tests from a RAM disk to the selected
storage drive that I will be testing. For these tests I will also enable all
power savings features that are available, since I believe that this is the way
that the majority of the users will have them set on their PC.

Real
world copy tests


I will now conduct some real world copy
tests so that you can have a much better view of how the drive will perform. In
these simple tests I try to simulate what a real user does with their drives. I
will be copying some mp3 files, various picture and MKV files, and finishing by
installing MS Office 2007.

As I said earlier from now on all my test
files will be stored in a RAM disk and copied/pasted to the destination drive
using filecopy. The filecopy utility will be used from now on for all my tests,
and I’ll be using it this way to measure the time that it takes to copy the
files.

Before I move on to the test, I want to
give you an idea on how fast your RAM is. Below you can find the results.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

As
we can clearly see speed isn’t going to be an issue in these tests.

Copy tests – 259 MP3 song files (1.36GB total)

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

I will start this set of tests by copying
259 MP3 files from the RAM disk to the destination SSD, the Micron M600 SSD
gave a very impressive result, only 3.52 seconds.

Copy tests – 3,377 JPEG picture files (2.56GB total)

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

Continuing my set of tests, and this time I
will be copying 3.377 picture files that are stored in the RAM disk to the Micron
M600 SSD. Less than 11 seconds to copy 2.54GB of data is again a very good
result.

Copy Tests – 1 MKV and 1 SRT file (3.46GB)

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

Copying a movie is very common task, in
this test there are two files, an MKV and an SRT file to be copied to the Micron
M600 SSD. The M600 again delivers a very impressive performance.

WinRAR – Compressing and extracting a full DVD

For this test, I copied the contents of the
‘Iron Man’ movie to the hard drive, then used WinRAR to compress the movie, and
also to decompress it. In WinRAR I used the store setting. Now let’s see how
the tested SSD performs.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

The Micron M600 was not the fastest drive,
but the result is still very good.


Windows start-up and closedown based on the Event Viewer
Logs

Start-up & Shutdown time

The next two screen shots were taken after I’d
installed all the drivers and software that I use every day. Below are the
results.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

The
best result so far for the Micron M600 SSD.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

Used
state shutdown, again measured in milliseconds.

The Micron M600 manages an average
performance when it comes to start up and shutdown times, but this is something
that will change, most time for the worst, and something even the fastest drive
that I have tested will also suffer from.

Installing applications


Installing applications is possibly
something you don’t do that often. But should you replace your system disk,
then you will most likely have to re-install your applications. Most of the SSD
drives I have tested up until now are quite slow at installing applications,
most likely because their I/O performance was quite limited.

For these tests, we picked some popular
applications and copied the entire contents of the CD or DVD media to the RAM disk.
We did this to make sure that the reading speed of our CD/DVD reader would not
hamper the performance of the target drive.

We then installed these applications onto
our comparison HDD drives, which were all running mirror image installations of
our Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installation, and timed the amount of time
taken to install the application with a stopwatch on each of the drives.

MS Office 2007 Enterprise (full install)

Now let’s see
how the
Micron M600 SSD performs
with the installation of MS Office 2007 Enterprise Edition.

The procedure
followed was very simple. I copied all the files from the CD to the RAM disk and
used the virtual drive as a source for the installation files.

 

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

148 seconds is not the fastest result,
however you will only have to wait that long only once, and as we can see the
Micron M600 SSD is in the middle of the chart again.


Speed degradation after heavy testing

On this page I will measure how the SSD
performs after heavy testing and usage.

I will run an AS SSD benchmark test when
the OS is freshly installed so that we can get a good view of how the drive
performs with the OS. After that I will fill the drive up to 50% of its
capacity, use the drive for a few days, and then re-run the AS SSD benchmark.
The same procedure will be followed once again, but this time the drive will be
filled close to 90% or higher of its capacity. To finish this test, I will
simply delete all the extra data and leave the PC idle for a few hours so that
the controller has the time to perform any necessary cleaning, then see how the
drive performs.

In the picture below you will find all the
applications that were installed for this test using Ninite, and I have also
installed Microsoft Office 2007.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

Now let’s start our tests.

 

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

Here is the first run of AS SSD for the Micron
M600 SSD. The overall score is slightly higher, which is a good way to start these
tests.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

Filling the drive with data and leaving
less than 4GB of free space is a scenario that can happen on a 128GB SSD, in
that case you will face a drop in performance, mainly when you benchmark the
drive, because in real usage the drive was very snappy. As I said when you
benchmark the drive you can see that there is a drop in performance.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

Leaving the drive filled with data up to
50% has a positive impact when I comes to benchmarking, again in real usage the
drive continued to feel very fast.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

After removing all the unnecessary files,
the drive is able to reach a state that was very close to the result that I got
when the drive was first tested.


Before I close
this review I would like to take a look at the performance of Dynamic Write
Acceleration
. To demonstrate how Dynamic Write Acceleration works
I’ll be using HD Tach RW. This way we can get a clear visual indication of
how the Micron M600 copes with read/write speeds.

Micron M600 128GB SSD review

We can see that
the Micron M600 and its Dynamic Write Acceleration technology is able to give a
very high write speed (SLC mode)  for almost the first 60GB, after that the drive
goes back to MLC mode and very shortly you have a speed degradation. A very
impressive result, but more impressive was the fact that in real usage you
never get the feeling that the drive slows down.

 

This concludes our review. To read the final
thoughts and conclusion, click the link below….