Today, we have two Micron 5100 series drives gracing our testbench, a 960GB 5100 MAX and a spacious 1920GB 5100 ECO. These can both be considered the economical cousins of Micron’s 9100 MAX NVMe speed demon we reviewed last year. The 9100 MAX costs north of $1.00 per GB, however, while the 5100 ECO and MAX register at around $0.45 and $0.59 per GB, respectively.
Unlike the 9100 Series, which is built on MLC NAND flash, the 5100 Series utilizes cheaper 3D TLC NAND controlled by a 4-channel Marvell controller. TLC NAND is not typical in enterprise grade drives due to its tendency to wear out more quickly than MLC or SLC NAND. On the other hand, TLC NAND does facilitate higher capacities. So, what has Micron done to make their TLC drives enterprise ready? The answer is abundant over-provisioning...