Introduction and Specifications
Intel has pushed out many SSDs over the years, and unlike many manufacturers, they have never stopped heavily pushing SSD in the enterprise. They did so with their very first push of the X25-M / X25-E, where they seemingly came out of nowhere and just plunked down a pair of very heavy hitting SSDs. What was also interesting was that back then they seemed to blur the lines by calling their consumer offering 'mainstream', and considering it good enough for even some enterprise applications. Even though the die-hard stuff was left to the SLC-based X25-E, that didn't stop some consumers from placing them into their home systems. The X25-E used in this review came from a good friend of mine, who previously had it installed in his home PC.
With several enterprise class models out there, we figured it was high time we put them all alongside each other to see where things are at, and that's the goal of this particular piece. We were motivated to group them together by the recent releases of the DC S3500 and DC S3700 drives, both using Intel's new Intel 8-channel controller.
|X25-E||SSD 320||SSD 710||SSD 910*||DC S3500||DC S3700|
|Capacity||32, 64GB||40, 80, 120, 160, 300, 600GB||100, 200, 300GB||400, 800GB||80, 120, 160, 240, 300, 480, 600, 800GB||100, 200, 400, 800GB|
|Write (4k)||3.3k||23k (8GB span)||2.7k||18.7k||11k||32k|
- Since the SSD 910 is subdivided into 4 or 2 (depending on capacity) physical 200GB volumes, we chose to test just one of those physical units. Scaling can then be compared to other units placed into various RAID configurations. 910 specs were corrected to that of the single physical unit tested.
- All other listed specs are specific to the tested (bold) capacity point.
Starting with the good old X25-E, which pretty much started it all, is Intel's original SATA 3Gb/sec 10-channel controller. Despite minor tweaks, this same controller was used in the X25-M, X25-M G2, SSD 320 and SSD 710 Series. Prior to Intel releasing their own 6Gb/sec SATA controller, they filled some of those voids by introducing Marvell and SandForce controllers with the 510 and 520, respectively, but those two were consumer-oriented drives. For the enterprise, Intel filled this same gap with the 910 Series - a PCIe LSI Falcon SAS RAID controller driving 2 or 4 6Gb/sec SAS Hitachi Ultrastar SSDs. Finally (and most recently), Intel introduced their own SATA 6Gb/sec controller in the form of the DC S3500 and DC S3700. Both are essentially the same 8-channel controller driving 20nm or 25nm IMFT flash, respectively.
More to follow on the next page, where we dive into the guts of each unit.
Subject: Storage | January 17, 2013 - 12:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DC S3700, Intel, ssd, HET MLC, enterprise ssd
Before getting into the speed of the new Intel DC S3700 SSD, take a moment to consider the expected lifespan of the HET MLC flash, it was described to hardCOREware as "10 full drive writes per day over the 5-year life of the drive". Now that will not have a big impact on home users, but Enterprise and image/video editors will certainly take note as moving that much data is a common occurrence for those businesses and the questionable lifespan of some flash memory has been contributed to the slow pace at which SSDs have been taken up by large businesses. With the Intel name behind these drives, an assurance of long term usability and the impressive steady state performance they provide you may soon see these in a server room near you.
"The Intel SSD DC S3700 introduces a new Intel SSD controller for the first time in years. With a heavy emphasis on consistent performance, these drives bode well for the future of Intel SSD products. It may also refresh your opinion on some current SSDs that don't perform as consistently as others once they enter a steady state."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD @ SSD Review
- OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review @ Techgage
- Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SSD Upgrade Kit Review @ NikKTech
- OCZ Vector 512GB @ Legion Hardware
- Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD @ AnandTech
- Micron P320h PCIe Enterprise SSD @ Tweaktown
- oshiba THNSNF 512GB SSD review: with proprietary controller @ Hardware.info
- Western Digital RE 4TB HDD @ TechwareLabs
- ICYDock MB981U3N-1SA SATA/IDE Hard Drive Adaptor @ PCSTATS
- Patriot Gauntlet (PCGTW320S) @ Bjorn3D
- EonNAS 1100 NAS Network Storage Server @ Benchmark Reviews
- Synology DS413j NAS Designed for Home & Offices Review@ Madshrimps
- ADATA DashDrive UD310 Jewel-Like Flash Drive Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator 512GB @ Kitguru
- Patriot SuperSonic Rage XT 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Kingston DataTraveler HyperX USB 3.0 64 GB @ techPowerUp
- Kingston DT Elite USB 3.0 64GB Thumb Drive Review @ XtremeComputing
- Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
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