Intel SSD DC S3500 Review (480GB): Part 1by Anand Lal Shimpi on June 11, 2013 6:10 PM EST
The Drives & Architecture
Architecturally, the S3500 looks a lot like the S3700. You get the same controller, similar firmware, AES-256 encryption and power loss protection. Where the two drives differ is in the type of NAND used. While the S3700 used 25nm HET-MLC (High Endurance Technology), the S3500 features high-grade 20nm MLC. As it's less focused on extremely write heavy applications, the S3500 also features less spare area than the S3700. You're still getting more than you would with a consumer drive, but far less than what we saw with its big brother. The result is lower endurance, lower sustained 4KB random write performance but a lower price as well.
|Enterprise SSD Comparison|
|Intel SSD DC S3700||Intel SSD DC S3500||Intel SSD 710||Intel X25-E||Intel SSD 320|
|Capacities||100 / 200 / 400 / 800GB||80 / 120 / 160 / 240 / 300 / 400 / 480 / 600 / 800GB||100 / 200 / 300GB||32 / 64GB||80 / 120 / 160 / 300 / 600GB|
|NAND||25nm HET MLC||20nm MLC||25nm HET MLC||50nm SLC||25nm MLC|
|Max Sequential Performance (Reads/Writes)||500 / 460 MBps||500 / 450 MBps||270 / 210 MBps||250 / 170 MBps||270 / 220 MBps|
|Max Random Performance (Reads/Writes)||76K / 36K||75K / 11.5K||38.5K / 2.7K IOPS||35K / 3.3K IOPS||39.5K / 600 IOPS|
|Endurance (Max Data Written)||1.83 - 14.6PB||45 - 450TB||500TB - 1.5PB||1 - 2PB||5 - 60TB|
|Power Safe Write Cache||Y||Y||Y||N||Y|
|Intel SSD DC S3x00 Endurance (Total Drive Writes)|
|S3700||-||1.825 PB||-||-||3.65 PB||-||-||7.3 PB||-||-||14.6 PB|
|S3500||45 TB||-||70 TB||100 TB||140 TB||-||170 TB||225 TB||275 TB||330 TB||450 TB|
Intel provided two MSRPs for the S3500: $115 for an 80GB drive and $979 for an 800GB drive. With a range of $1.22 to $1.43 per GB, the S3500 is clearly more expensive than consumer drives but it hardly feels like it's priced as an enterprise solution.
|Intel SSD Overprovisioning Comparison|
|Advertised Capacity||Total NAND on-board||User Acessible Capacity||MSRP|
|Intel SSD 710||200GB||320GB||186GB||$800|
|Intel SSD DC S3700||200GB||264GB||186GB||$470|
|Intel SSD DC S3500||240GB||264GB||223GB||~$320|
Like the S3700, the S3500 is available in both 1.8" and 2.5" form factors. The 1.8" version is limited to 80GB, 240GB, 400GB and 800GB capacities, while the 2.5" version is available in all of the capacities. Also like its bigger brother, the S3500 supports both 5V and 12V operation. Power consumption is a bit lower than on the S3700, but idle power is still too high for notebook use at 600mW. Intel really needs a consumer optimized version of this controller for use in the client space.
|Intel SSD DC S3x00 Power Consumption (5V, Max)|
My S3500 sample showed up shortly before I left for Computex, which unfortunately left me without much time to go through and do a thorough job of evaluating the drive. Thankfully I had enough time to get some of the basics done, so what I'm presenting here is the first part of our look at the S3500. We're also continuing work on building some of our own flagship enterprise SSD benchmarks in Johan's mini datacenter, so I'm hoping to be able to run some of those workloads on the S3500 in the not too distant future.