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

SERVER PROFILES

While synthetic workloads do a great job of testing the underlying technology and reporting easy to understand results, they aren’t always indicative of how the drive will be used by the end user. Workloads that simulate enterprise environments try to bridge that gap without being overly complex. 

IntelS3500-DB

The database profile is 8K transfers, and 67% percent of operations are reads.

The mixed workload in our database profile caused the SM843 some issues at lower queue depths.  Once we reached a queue depth of 32, the S3500 and SM843 were almost identical

IntelS3500-FS

The fileserver profile is based on an 80% read/20% write mix. Its made up of blocksizes from 512 to 64K, each making up a different percentage of the access pattern.

The pattern is: 512 bytes=10%, 1k=5%,2k=5%, 4k=60%, 8k=2%, 16k=4%, 32k=4%, 64k=10%.

We got an almost identical results with our fileserver workload.  The S3500 dominated the SM843, and kept close to the S3700 until the queue depth reached 32.

IntelS3500-Web

The webserver profile is similar to the fileserver profile, but has some additional 128K and 512K accesses thrown in for good measure. Additionally, the profile is 100% read.

While the S3500 actually scored better than the S3700, it still wasn’t enough to match the SM843.  Considering the workload, this should come as no surprise.  Without writes to get in its way, the SM843 won going away.

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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 The power protection caps look rather outdated compared to other enterprise SSDs.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.