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Micron P400e 400GB Enterprise-Grade SSD

Last updated 2015-12-05 - Send Feedback
Related: Storage, SSD
Micron P400e 400GB Enterprise-Grade SSD

Get Micron P400e 400GB SSD at OWC for about $119 (originally $699.99, stock likely to run out shortly after this review was written). Model MTFDDAK400MAR-1K1A.

Drive was purchased at OWC on sale at $99 intended to replace a hard drive in a MacMini. The blowout price was a strong motivation.

Build your own 1.6TB SSD solution with four P400e SSDs in the OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini for about $825 ($349 for the TB4 Mini, the rest of the cost for the SSDs). Prices/availability as this review was written.

The 400GB Crucial / Micron P400e is an enterprise-grade solid state drive (SSD) with generous overprovisioning. That is, it utilizes 512GB of flash, but 112GB of that amount is reserved for longevity (to replace failed flash blocks). The MLC flash memory used in the P400e allows its price to be much lower than other enterprise solutions, but it also may have lower lifespan than considerably more expensive enterprise solutions. Still, few consumers or even businesses are likely to wear out the P400e with its overprovisioning, which is far greater than most SSDs, including those Apple ships in its Macs.

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7mm height

Installation in some laptops or computers may require a 2mm shim to fit a 9mm drive bay, since the P400e is a 7mm-thick drive.

Sequential large transfers

Micro P400e tested using the OWC Drive Dock via Thunderbolt.

Graph created by pasting the results of disktester fill-volume into the supplied spreadsheet. DiskTester is part of diglloydTools.

The drive became noticeably hot during the test (as felt by hand), and so cooling will be important in applications that hit the drive with high workloads.

The P400e firmware is optimized for read-intensive operations. Read speed is excellent but not as fast as solutions like the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD.

Write speed is good, but not nearly as fast as many SSDs, and there are regular performance dropouts (see downward spikes) that suggest some kind of wear-leveling firmware behavior. Thus this drive is not suitable for continuous video capture or similar. On the flip side, few applications perform this kind of sustained write activity for anywhere near this length of time.

disktester fill-volume drive speed across the drive capacity
Micro P400e SSD

Speed vs transfer size

Micro P400e tested using the OWC Drive Dock via Thunderbolt.

Graph created by pasting the results of disktester run-sequential-suite into the supplied spreadsheet. DiskTester is part of diglloydTools.

Write performance varies only a little with transfer size. Speed is respectable, but tops out at slightly more than half the speed of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD.

Read speed is considerably faster than write speed, but only about 80% of the speed of the speed of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD. Read speed for small transfers is not very fast, indeed it is less fast than the Hitachi Ultrastar He8 hard drive (albeit with sequential reads; random would run strongly in favor of the P400e).

Conclusions

While supplies last at the blowout price of $119 (was even lower at $99), the Micro P400e looks to be a terrific deal for very good performance with an expected long lifespan, at a very low price. It would make an excellent low-cost choice for upgrading any laptop or MacMini or MacPro boot drive from a hard drive.

Build your own 1.6TB SSD solution with four P400e SSDs in the OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini for about $825 ($349 for the TB4 Mini, the rest of the cost for the SSDs). Prices/availability as this review was written.

On the other hand, drives like the 1TB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD offer much higher write performance and moderately higher read performance, albeit with a higher cost per terabyte (about $429). MPG strongly prefers higher-capacity SSDs for long-term usage and would therefore much prefer the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD series when building a 4-drive solution, unless lowest cost is the highest priority. OWC is also likely to offer a fully-supported solution with the Extreme Pro 6G.

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