Intel SSD DC P3700 Enthusiast Report (800GB)


Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of highly compressible data (oFill/1Fill), or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Performance is virtually identical, regardless of data sample so we have included only that using random data samples.


Aa much as we believe the high sequential performance shown in this Crystal Diskmark result should be a bit higher, the low 4K write speed of 359MB/s is something we have been waiting to see with SSDs for some time.


The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance.  For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

After 17 hours on PCMark 8After 17 hours on PCMark 8 IOPSThis is what we hoped to attain from Crystal Diskmark.  Granted, the 4K random write performance is a bit lower, but the sequential read and write results on the left are definitely highlighted by the access time and Total Score.  Prior to this test, nobody could have ever convinced me that we could pull 400K IOPS from a single PCB/single controller SSD design.

Intel AS SSD Copy Bench

For those unfamiliar with AS SSD Copy Bench, it is fairly simple.  Three different files are created and moved from one place on a SSD to another, recording the maximum transfer speed in the move and time of the move.  Once again, the ISO result is amongst the best we have seen.  We will follow this result with ‘true to life’ file copy testing in just a bit.


Anvil Storage Utilities (ASU) are the most complete test bed available for the solid state drive today.  The benchmark displays test results for, not only throughput but also, IOPS and Disk Access Times.  Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.

NVMe INTEL SSDPEDMD80 SCSI Disk Device_800GB_1GB-20140709-0557

Our ASU results paint a decent picture, however, we were curious what we could do when we tried our own tests to maximize IOPS.

488K Anvil205k write anvilWhen testing the Intel SSD DC P3700, the first thing one realizes is that, the higher the QD, the higher the IOPs.  488K read IOPS is just below the listed specifications, however, 205K write is more than double that of the listed 90K.


The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications


It seems a bit odd running this test on the Intel DC P3700 NVMe SSD, but we couldn’t resist.  As expected, all eight tests landed in the SATA 3 range and the transfer speed high was 1.8GB/s while importing pictures with Windows Photo Gallery.  Still, we expected a few of the tests to be a bit higher and, if you are familiar with this program, you would typically see testing in Windows Media Center to be the fastest transfer speeds by a stretch. A Total Score of 158628 is amusing and the closest we have ever seen to this had to be our review of the Sony VAIO with the XP941 installed.

Intel Vantage


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    Instead of RAID controllers, won’t there eventually be a need for a flash controller, or flash accelerator card designed to work specifically with these NVMe drives?

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    Looking at the heat sinking on these units I have to ask if they have thermal shutoffs if things get too hot.

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    Is all data automatically encrypted when written to NAND on these units?

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    Many many thanks for this review! Espacially talking about how to make it bootable and Details like this “…there is no delay and this SSD boots in about 10-12 seconds flat in Windows 8?” make it really outstanding and very usefull for decision for daily-live Power-Workstation based computing 🙂

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      Thank you for this reply. I will be rebuilding our complete system around Win 8 and this P3700 this weekend. Perhaps I can post some more accurate boot tests and thoughts. Stay tuned.

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        this would be awesome!!

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        would be interesting too see how it compares to the samsung m2 941 and the evo 1gb in real life applications, like chrome compilation time, boot time (to be fair from start button press) , big game level load time etc…
        it s totally clear that in tnerprise use, this drive is awesome, as it is in benchmarks but it would be fun to see if for enthusiasts it translates into something else than bragging rights…

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        Hi Les -is there any news about this? I’m very excited 🙂

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        Yes in the release date of your further experience with P3700 “Perhaps I can post some more accurate boot tests and thoughts” 🙂

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        A release date would be great. Any idea when this and/or the P3600 family is going to be available?

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        The closest I can get to an answer is ‘Fall’ or Q4.

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        Thanks Les.
        I did see after posting the question that now have an expected date of 4th of August. I do hope that is true, I hate it when products are teased so far in advance. Mind you, I’m in the UK so may well have to wait longer anyway.

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        Hope you used our links and thanks!

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    This is a really amazing SSD. For the first time in a while it seems like my OCZ Revo 3 x2 has something to upgrade to – at a reasonable price point. I ran a quick test on my daily workstation so everyone can have a reference for exactly how fast this new intel offering is. keep in mind this is daily usage on a general purpose workhorse for the last 2 years.

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      Thanks for the input. Perhaps I should have included similar, but comparison of the 4 and 8KB results merits a definite look. I don’t think we would ever see from a PCIe what we will from the NVMe drive.

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    Reality of Truth

    Awesome stuff, now where can I get mine?

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    If I understand this correctly, NVMe is just a protocol, so will I be able to use the p3700 as a win 8.1 boot drive on a Rampage IV black edition mobo?

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      Yes this should work so long as you can install and then boot from UEFI. WE haven’t tried the board but have had success with a few now…same procedure in all.

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        Thanks for getting back to me… I am really looking forward to your extended article with more accurate boot times and thoughts

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        I was hoping to get it done this weekend but decided to hop on the motorcycle with the wife and head 12 hrs down the road to West Virginia… Give me until next week early. Thanks!

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    Can we expect to see fire sale pricing from the other PCIe SSD vendors when the Intel units start shipping?

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    When can we buy these?

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    Thank you for this and for many other awesome reviews! I might be in the lame minority here, but when it comes along, any reason not to recommend the 3500 in a Thunderbolt 2 PCIe expansion box as a video editing scratch disk for a new Mac Pro?

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      That is a great idea if you can find just the right TBolt2 external chassis. It is important to understand that the controller in that chassis will have a lot to do with the final speed reached by the intel card, ergo there might be a bit of overkill. Given the right match, however, this might be the most powerful combination available for this external design.

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    Thanks a lot for the review! I’m considering the DC P3600 800GB PCI-E for my next Workstation, but do you think I will notice the faster speed over, say, a Samsung 850 Pro? My work include photo editing on multiply raw files (fairly big, already compressed files) and using Lightrooms database etc.

    I’m fine paying for top class performance, BTW! 🙂

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      Yes, I believe for extensive media use jumping out of the SATA 3 realm is a definite benefit. In the day to day use, you won’t experience any difference whatsoever, but in media manipulation, it is key.

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        Thanks for your quick reply, Les. Much appreciated! I had some envy of the very fast SSD in the new Mac Pro, but this certainly looks even more impressive, although the wife won’t like the price one bit! 😉

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        Yes I understand that all to well right about now eheh.

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    Is there a full height pci bracket included in the package, so that it can be installed in regular cases?

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      No, it only come with Half Height bracket, if you install in a normal case, you need to take out the bracket and use electrical tape to fixed it

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    Just want to make sure this point is clear. UEFI/Win8.1 is required to use these drives as a boot drive, but they can be used as a data drive anywhere the Linux/Windows drivers supports it.

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    Very very interesting!

    I’m currently running an Areca 1882ix (4GB RAM) with 6 x 120GB Sandisk Extremes in RAID0 on my desktop/gaming computer.

    Performance of this 800GB version seems great. I’ll have to throw together some benchmarks as a comparison (obviously not apples to apples due to machine differences)…

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    Does this support Hibernate/Standby functions in Windows 8.1? Just curious, since most workstation/enthusiast users won’t be powered on 24/7.

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    Has anyone tried these or the 3600 in a RAID config? We have tried 3x 400GB 3600 in a windows RAID stripe and only getting ~2400MB/sec seq read, would have expected to see more

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    My OCZ Revodrive just took a crap after a year and I decided to purchase the 400GB P3700 as a replacement. It was easy to source locally and in stock for same day pickup (which really surprised me!) It works perfectly with my Asus Rampage Extreme IV – I turned off compatibility mode in the BIOS and switched over the UEFI. I was concerned when the drive didn’t show up in the BIOS at first – but don’t panic. Windows 8.1 setup will find it just fine. Make sure to boot the Windows installation media in UEFI boot mode (or USB drive in my case.) The 400GB model is slightly slower than the 800GB one reviewed, but I am still satisfied. I can post benchmarks if requested.

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      Forgot to add – thanks @Lee for this awesome review. I wasn’t sure what to purchase after the RevoDrive went out. I do not recommend OCZ products, their support is jerking me around on the warranty and they don’t seem to stand behind their products. I feel safe going with Intel even if it’s a higher priced enterprise product.

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    Is a Xeon processor required for maximum performance of this SSD? from the product description it specifically says so, I am confused.

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    Did your test sample come with an optional full height bracket? I’m asking because of your case and the fact, that some pics show the P3700 with a half-height bracket.

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