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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



Due to the potential damage that could be caused by removing the DC P3520's heat sink, we will not be doing so. We do know what is under the heat sink, so we will tell you. There are an additional 18 flash packages and three 512MB DRAM packages (one is dedicated for ECC) and of course the 18-channel Intel controller.




The drive ships in basic cardboard packaging.





Inside the cardboard packaging, the SSD is protected from shipping damage by a heavy-duty plastic clamshell container. A half-height bracket is included but not pictured.




The controller side of the PCB is covered by a full-length aluminum heat sink. Looking at the top left, we can see two large capacitors that provide host power-loss protection for data in flight.




The bottom half of the PCB has no shielding; the components are exposed. This half of the PCB houses 18 of the drive's 36 Intel 3D flash packages and two of the drive's five 512MB Micron DRAM cache packages. Four DRAM packages are dedicated for block placement and wear leveling data. The fifth DRAM package is dedicated for ECC further guaranteeing data integrity.




A view from the edge connector side of the drive.




There is a manufacturer label located on the top edge of the heat sink.



Specifications and Features




We are going to go over the 2TB DC P3520's specifications, for other capacities please refer to the above mfg. spec sheet. Intel's DC P3520 2TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD comes in a half-height, half-length, low-profile Add-in Card (AIC) form factor as well as a 2.5" U.2 (SFF-8639) variant. Factory performance specifications for both form factors are identical. The 2TB AIC requires 300 LFM airflow towards the IO bracket. The 2.5" model requires 650 LFM airflow towards the connector.


Features include a PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 interface, Intel 18-channel NVMe controller, and IMFT 3D NAND flash memory. End-to-End data protection featuring XOR parity and advanced LDPC bit correction on all internal and external memories in the data path for protection at every layer.


Intel DC P3520 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD steady-state factory specs:


  • Sequential 128KB Read (up to): 1,700 MB/s
  • Sequential 128KB Write (up to): 1,350 MB/s
  • Random 4KB Read (up to): 375,000 IOPS
  • Random 4KB Write (up to): 26,000 IOPS
  • Random 4K 7030 Read/Write (up to): 85,000 IOPS
  • Random 8K 7030 Read/Write (up to): 45,000 IOPS
  • Random Read/Write latency: 130/30us at QD1 (typical)
  • Sequential Read/Write latency: 20/20us at QD1 (typical)


Reliability: MTBF 2 million device hours, UBER: <1 sector per 10^17 bits read, T-10 DIF protection, End-to-end data protection, XOR, Temperature Protection, Enhanced power-loss data protection, SMART monitoring, Bad block management, Wear-leveling.


Endurance: PBW (Petabytes Written): 2TB = 2.49 PBW


Security: AES 256-bit Encryption


Pricing: Intel's DC P3520 retails for approximately 50 cents per gigabyte.

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