Intel DC S3500 Data Center SSD Review (480GB x 4) – Speed, Great Features and Rock Bottom Prices

INSIDE THE INTEL DC S3500 DATA CENTER SSD

Compared to the Samsung SM843 offering, opening up the DC S3500 was a breeze.  Once the cover is off, you see the same black plastic spacers that are in the DC S3700.

IntelS3500-OPEN

On the top side of the PCB, you are presented with an 8-channel Intel controller (PC29AS21CA0).  This is the same controller that drew our praise in the S3700.  In fact, most of the components in the S3500 are shared with the S3700.

IntelS3500-DRAM

Next to the controller are two Micron DDR3 DRAM packages. Each one houses 512MB, for a total of 1GB.

INTELS3500-Controller

Finally, the 480GB S3500 comes with 16 NAND packages totaling 528GB.  That number wasn’t a typo; just like the S3700, some capacities have odd amounts of NAND.  This version comes with 14 x 32GB, 1 x 16GB and 1 x 64GB packages.

IntelS3500-NAND

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dravo1
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dravo1

Two things concern me with this SSD. The power protection caps look rather outdated compared to other enterprise SSDs. Secondly, the SSD label indicates a +12V line is required along with the usual +5V. My OCZ SSDs only required +5V . What’s the +12V being used for?

Ben Chase
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Ben Chase

dravo1 – The S3500/S3700s can operate on both the 5 and 12V rail. 12V is useful in enterprise rack systems where it may be more readily available than 5V. All of our testing was performed in systems using only 5V, so don’t worry too much.

Sam Brown
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Sam Brown

what about the SM843 with tantalum caps? or the SM843T with super caps and e-mlc?

Ben Chase
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Ben Chase

We can’t say much about products that are not released, but if the 843 had power loss caps, it would be much more attractive to enterprise. If they add a high endurance option, that would put it in a difference price/performance class, so it’s hard to tell how it would stack up,

Sam Brown
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Sam Brown

they are just sold through oem like samsung was before their consumer SSD. Used to be microcenter was the only place to get samsung hard drives. SM843T is the same as the 840 pro as far as they are concerned the factory OP is higher. the 840 Pro only worked after we moved to 30% OP with some megascu love to the LSI 9266

Takeshi Yashima
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The write endurance seems to be pretty low though! 450000GB/800GB = 562 cycles. Others do something like 2-3000!

benjamin
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benjamin

You need to the into account the WA aswell, especially becouse it uses no compression, it will always be more than 1.

Ben Chase
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Ben Chase

Yes, with the JESD standard, the write amplification is 5-7X, from my experience. If you are looking at a workload where WA=~1, you are looking at slightly over 3000 PE cycles.

Amos
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Amos

Does it work with macbook pro early 2011, core i7, 500gb? looking to upgrade to SSD.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Of course it will.