@Blake123 I am sorry for the delay in reply, but I thought I would get you some of the answers we have on this.
1) What are the differences between the MTFDDAK2T0TBN-1AR12AB and the CT2000MX500SSD1. I see that the Crucial SSD has higher write endurance, why is that? How does the firmware of the drives differ? MX500 is an newer drive and has a longer warranty period. The Micron 1100 drives is a very similar drive to our MX300.
2) How do the drives differ in regards to security e.g. ATA standards? Both drives have TCG/Opal 2.0-compliant self-encrypting drive (SED), they are both compatible with Microsoft eDrive®, and Hardware-based AES-256 encryption engine
3) Does the CT2000MX500SSD1 and MTFDDAK2T0TBN-1AR12AB have a Default MASTER ATA PASSWORD or is it blank? They do not have a default ATA Password.
4) How does setting up Over-Provisioning in Storage Executive differ in the two drives? They are both exactly the same.
5) Is the Sanitize/Secure Erase function of the Crucial drive the same as the Micron drive? I.e. does it perform a block erase action where the cells experience an increase of voltage and release bits simultaneously or are they over-written one by one? How long does it take? Are over provisioned cells included in the Sanitize/Secure Erase Function? They both perform the secure erase/ sanitize feature the same way. For more information on some of the key features see this article.
6) Can the Host Protected Area (HPA) be made to zero via the Storage Executive Client in both drives? I will check with engineering on this.- Engineering has replied and says that HPA has been obsoleted in the latest SATA spec, so neither the Micron 1100, nor the Crucial MX300/MX500 support HPA.
7) Does Sanitize/Secure Erase on HPA areas in both drives? I am checking with engineering on this.- Engineering has replied and says that sanitize will clear the entire drive, with the exception of firmware copies, bad block mapping information, and SMART data. This includes any over-provisioned space which may be inaccessible to the user… it’s all erased.
**Edited to add Engineering info
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Actually, I think it is possible to update the firmware over USB. Believe I've done it with at least one Crucial SSD. This shouldn't be taken as a recommendation to update the firmware over USB however, it is riskier than doing it over SATA.
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Well, you can improve the amount of wear by over-provisioning the drive, that is correct. However you're not going to be able to increase the TBW. Crucial has set the TBW for the MX300 2TB at 400TB - that is not going to change. I'm pretty sure that they're basing TBW on Host Writes and not actual wear. This means that you could technically write 401TB at a wear amplication of 1 and it would not be covered by the warranty. But if you instead write 399TB at a wear amplication of 5 it would be covered by the warranty despite that it is definitely the one with the more wear. Something also important- the amount of data to actually wear out the drive is not necessarily the TBW set by the manufacturer sets - that may happen both before and after reaching the TBW depending on the write amplification. Have experienced both myself. Something that may be more informative about how worn the drive is would be looking at the SMART-value for the attribute Average Block-Erase Count. The MX300 is specified for 1500 P/E so if Average Block-Erase Count is starting to approach that then the drive is close to being worn out. It's not entirely perfect since you don't know the difference in wear between least and most worn cells but it should probably be fairly accurate as long as it gets some time to rest once in a while. Of course even after reaching 1500 P/E does not mean it will just die but rather that under specific conditions it should be able to retain data for one year if powered down. So you'd still be able to use it as long as you accepted that for example the retention worsened. Finally, why are you so worried that endurance is going to be an issue for you? Like, I don't know if the MX300 would be my first choice for a drive supposed to be able to take a lot of wear but it should be more than enough for most consumers - especially a 2TB one.
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Here is my other MX300 750GB installed in different system. There is nothing we should worry about, I believe. Average read speed of 501 MB/s is not the best possible for SATA SSD but it still strong for this kind of drive with TLC NAND imho.
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