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Intel DC S3700 800GB Enterprise SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Feb 11, 2013 1:48 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Intel

Intel DC S3700 Internals




The Intel DC S3700 SSD comes in a 7.5 mm Z-height metal alloy casing with the relevant branding information on the front. This 7.5mm form factor lends itself well to installation into slim applications, and for those applications which demand even slimmer installations Intel offers 1.8" DC S3700's.




The rear of the SSD is unpolished, but we can observe the SATA 6Gb/s connection. SATA does not feature some of the advanced features of SAS, but Intel's partnership with HGST will likely bring about a SAS SSD with this same controller technology.




Once dissembled, we can observe that the case has plastic spacers that help to keep the PCB snug in the case. One readily noticeable characteristic is that Intel has gone to BGA mounting for all components on the PCB.




The proprietary PC29AS21CA controller is a departure from Intel's previous enterprise-class SSDs, with an 8-channel architecture as opposed to the old 10-channel design.




The controller is flanked by two Micron DDR3-1333 DRAM packages. These are used for caching of the indirection table and not user data. The large amount of cache (1GB for 800GB model) provides ample room for the 1:1 mapping scheme employed by Intel with this new generation of SSDs.




The 25nm lithography 29F64B08PCMEI HET-MLC consists of 8 packages for each side of the PCB. With 8 x 8GB dice in each package, there is a total of 64 GB per package. This brings us to 1024GB of raw NAND, of which 800GB is user addressable.




The two capacitors occupy a cutout on the side of the PCB. This is a unique deployment of capacitors, with previous applications featuring capacitors mounted to the PCB itself. The 37V/47uF capacitors are rated for temperatures up to 105C, and will flush data to the NAND in the event of a power loss issue.

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