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Intel DC P3520 2TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 16, 2017 4:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Intel

Final Thoughts




Intel's 3D flash-powered DC P3520 makes NVMe goodness much more affordable in the enterprise space. At 50 cents per gigabyte, the DC P3520 has a lot to offer. The read-centric DC P3520 fills the need for a mainstream performing enterprise SSD that has more to offer than SATA can deliver. One of the biggest assets the DC P3520 has going for it is a significantly lower power envelope than we've become accustomed to seeing from non-M.2 NVMe enterprise SSDs. Lower power consumption means that TCO is greatly reduced and ultimately a low TCO is the overriding goal of any datacenter operation.



Throughout our testing, we took notice of the DC P3520's exceptional performance at QD1. More often than not, the DC P3520 outperformed the DC P3700 at QD1 or QD1-4. The importance of low queue performance in the enterprise space is becoming more apparent as time goes on. Purveyors of enterprise SSDs generally like to trumpet the performance of their products at unrealistic queue depths of 64 and beyond. The fact is, 99% of the time the vast majority of datacenter workloads don't exceed QD32. In fact, the only reason we test up to QD256 is to verify that the test subject is capable of delivering advertised performance.


Intel's DC P3520 fills the need for a mainstream read-centric device in the datacenter by delivering what you need and nothing more. This keeps the initial cost and operational costs over the life of the drive to a minimum. Additionally, the goodness of NVMe means that QoS (Quality of Service) is much better than what SATA has to offer.


We feel that the DC P3520 delivers exactly what Intel intended and that it is worthy of a TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.




  • Available as HHHL AIC and U.2 versions
  • Low Cost
  • Read Performance
  • Performance at QD1




  • 2TB Capacity Limit

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance Consistency98%
General Features98%
Value for Money99%
Quality, Design, Build and Warranty98%
Overall TweakTown Rating97%

The Bottom Line: We believe that Intel's DC P3520 fills the need for a low-cost mainstream performing NVMe datacenter SSD better than anything we've seen to date.

    We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.

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