Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review

Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review

Intel's first 64-layer TLC Enterprise SSD, the DC P4510, is set to invade datacenters everywhere.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Wed, May 2 2018 10:30 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 99%Manufacturer: Intel

Introduction and Quick Specs

64-layer TLC paired with NVMe for the datacenter has arrived with the promise of more capacity, lower cost and better performance than ever before. Intel's DC P4510 improves on Intel's DC P4500 Series that pairs 32-layer TLC flash with the NVMe interface.

Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 43 IMAGES

NVMe is architected from the ground-up to remove legacy layers of hard drive interfaces, taking full advantage of the speed and parallelism of solid state nonvolatile memory. NVMe lowers overall CPU overhead because NVMe has a simplified command set which minimizes the number of CPU clocks per I/O which increases QoS in comparison to AHCI.

NVMe is designed to be future-proof, with a protocol built for current and future non-volatile storage solutions. Previous AHCI interfaces supported only one SQ/CQ (Submission Queue/Command Queue), NVMe supports up to 64K separate SQ/CQ's.

Intel's 64-layer TLC NAND technology enables the DC P4510 to offer double the capacity of the DC P4500 Series and quadruple the capacity of Intel's DC P3520 Series.

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Higher density enables cloud service providers to increase the number of users per rack, improve data service levels, and at the same time greatly reduce power usage and datacenter footprint.

In addition to doubling the capacity of the DC P4500, the DC P4510 powered by Intel's Gen2 64-layer 3D TLC flash offers vastly improved performance.

Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 03 | TweakTown.com

Comparing the DC P4500 to its successor the DC P4510, reveals a 90% improvement in sequential write bandwidth at the 2TB capacity point. The DC P4510 delivers up to 2x better write IOPS per TB of flash and Quality of Service (QoS) is up to 10x better than its predecessor.

The DC P4510's management and serviceability are both greatly improved over previous generations. For serviceability, Intel spent a lot of time and resources to get LED light management right. This allows for quick and easy identification of drives that need servicing. The DC P4510's U.2 form-factor also enables hot-swap capabilities that are not possible with other NVMe form-factors.

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Improvements made possible by Intel's 64-layer flash technology enable the datacenter to do more per server. The DC P4510 delivers 12x the IO workload scaling of the DC P4500 at the same QoS.

Enhanced SMART monitoring and a power-loss imminent (PLI) protection scheme minimize service disruptions. End-to-end data path protection guards against silent data corruption. Additionally, the DC P4510 has onboard host power-loss protection via an integrated capacitor that provides enough power to flush in-flight data to the NAND array in the event of host power-loss.

On the data security front, the DC P4510 Series provides TCG Opal 2.0 and AES 256-bit hardware encryption features.

Intel's DC P4510 Series is built for cloud storage architectures where read-intensive performance is the most critical consideration. Armed with 64-layer TLC flash, the DC P4510 delivers more bandwidth, better QoS, and overall performance than its predecessors.

Since the introduction of NVMe, Intel has really been driving home the importance of low queue-depth performance.

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This chart shows the distribution of queue depths for a few sample datacenter workloads measured in the Intel environment to illustrate examples of the operating region. Random Mixed workload represents common enterprise use case.

Performance at low queue depths is the most important performance metric in the majority of usage scenarios in both the consumer and enterprise space. The DC P4510's performance reflects this focus as you will see when we get into the numbers.

Intel's DC P4510 is the first TLC-based NVMe enterprise SSD that we've had a chance to test, let's see if it can keep up with its MLC counterparts.

Quick Specs

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The Intel DC P4510's we have on the bench today sport the following hardware and steady-state performance specifications: 4K Random Read / Write = up to 637K/189.5K. Sequential Read/Write = up to 3,200/3,000 MB/s. Power consumption = 12-16W Active/5W idle. Controller = Intel NVMe controller. NAND = Intel 3D 64-layer 3-bit. Data DRAM Cache = 1GB per TB. Onboard Power-loss Protection = Yes. Intel warrantees the DC P4510 for 5-years or TBW threshold, whichever comes first.

Intel DC P4510 U.2 PCIe NVMe SSD-Photos and Specs

Photos

Due to potential damage that could be caused by a teardown, we will not be opening the drive's.

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 06 | TweakTown.com

This side of the drive features a familiar looking manufacturer label.

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The bottom of the drive's enclosure is a heavy-duty cast aluminum piece that serves as a heat sink.

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A small label is located on this end of the heavy-duty cast aluminum enclosure.

Specifications and Features

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We are going to go over the 2TB DC P4510 and 8TB DC P4510 specifications, for 1TB & 4TB capacities please refer to ark.intel.com.

Intel's DC P4510 Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD is a 2.5" x15mm U.2 (SFF-8639) SSD. Features include a PCIe Gen 3.1 x4 U.2 interface, Intel NVMe controller and Intel 64-layer 3-bit 3D NAND. 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 P4510 U.2 PCIe NVMe SSD steady-state factory specs:

  • Sequential 128KB Read (up to): 3,200 MB/s
  • Sequential 128KB Write (up to): 3,000 MB/s
  • Random 4KB Read (up to): 637,000 IOPS
  • Random 4KB Write (up to): 189,500 IOPS
  • 4K Random Read/Write latency: 100/30us at QD1 (typical)
  • 4K Sequential Read/Write latency: 10/12us 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 = 2.61 PBW, 8TB = 13.88 PBW

Hardware Encryption: AES 256-bit

Pricing: Intel's DC P4510 retails for approximately 60 cents per gigabyte.

Test System Setup and Testing Methodology

Jon's Enterprise SSD Review Test System Specifications

  • Motherboard: ASRock Rack EPC612D8A-TB (Intel C612 chipset) - Buy from Amazon
  • CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2699 V3 18 Core 36 Thread - Buy from Amazon
  • Cooler: Supermicro Air Cooling
  • Memory: 64GB Samsung DDR4 ECC 2133MHz - Buy from Amazon
  • Video Card: Onboard Video
  • Power Supply: Seasonic Platinum 1000 Watt - Buy from Amazon
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 64 Bit - Buy from Amazon
  • Drivers: Intel Proprietary NVMe driver

We would like to thank ASRock Rack, Crucial, Intel, Samsung, Seagate, and Seasonic for making our test system possible.

TweakTown's Enterprise SSD testing methodology replicates typical enterprise workload environments as closely as possible. Our test systems employ enterprise-based hardware. Enterprise chipsets, Intel Xeon processors, ECC DRAM, and standard air-cooling. Storage drivers are Windows standard drivers, except as otherwise required for the test device to operate as designed.

TweakTown strictly adheres to industry-accepted Enterprise Solid State Storage testing procedures. Each test we perform repeats the same sequence of the following four steps:

  1. Secure Erase SSD
  2. Write entire capacity of SSD a minimum of 2x with 128KB sequential write data, seamlessly transition to next step
  3. Precondition SSD at maximum QD measured (QD32 for SATA, QD256 for PCIe) with the test-specific workload for a sufficient amount of time to reach a constant steady-state, seamlessly transition to next step
  4. Run test specific workload for 5-minutes at each measured Queue Depth, record results

We chart workload preconditioning IOPS or MB/s and latency for each specific test. We plot workload preconditioning using scatter charts with each recorded 1-second data point represented on the chart, allowing us to see some of the performance variability exhibited by our test subjects. We chart workloads using line charts plotting average workload IOPS or MB/s and latency at each measured QD. Utilizing line charts provides a good visual perspective of the test subject's performance curve.

To summarize, we test with Enterprise hardware, Windows Server Operating System, and we strictly adhere to industry-accepted Enterprise SSD testing procedures. Our goal is to provide results that are consistent, reliable, and repeatable.

Benchmarks - 4K Random Write/Read

4K Random Write/Read

Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 10 | TweakTown.com
Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 11 | TweakTown.com

We pre-condition the drive for 16,000 seconds, or 4.44 hours, receiving performance data every second. We plot this data to observe the test subject's descent into steady-state. We plot both IOPS and Latency. We plot IOPS (represented by blue scatter) in thousands and Latency (represented by orange scatter) in milliseconds.

We observe steady-state for the 2TB model is achieved at 4,000 seconds of preconditioning. Average steady-state write performance at QD256 is approximately 87K IOPS. We observe steady-state for the 8TB model is achieved at 11,000 seconds of preconditioning. Average steady-state write performance at QD256 is approximately 149K IOPS.

Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 12 | TweakTown.com
Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 13 | TweakTown.com

With our configuration, we are able to exceed Intel's 4K random write factory specifications. 4K QD1 is arguably the most important random performance metric and this is where the DC P4510 obliterates the contenders in our test pool. At QD1, the DC P4510 is delivering 2-3x the performance of any flash-based NVMe SSD that we've tested to date. This is where it matters most, and this is where Intel's DC P4510 dominates the competition.

Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 14 | TweakTown.com
Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 15 | TweakTown.com

Again, the DC P4510 dominates the competition at QD1. In-fact this domination extends all the way up to QD32. This performance confirms that the DC P4510 delivers the best random read performance of any enterprise SSD we've ever tested. The 8TB model holds a slight advantage over the 2TB model at midrange queue depths. The 2TB model holds a slight advantage at QD1-2 and at QD256.

Conclusion (TL;DR): The DC P4510 demonstrates Intel's commitment to low queue depth random performance. The DC P4510 delivers the best low queue depth random performance of any enterprise SSD we've tested to date.

Benchmarks - 8K Random Write/Read

8K Random Write/Read

Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 16 | TweakTown.com
Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 17 | TweakTown.com

We pre-condition the drive for 16,000 seconds, or 4.44 hours, receiving performance data every second. We plot this data to observe the test subject's descent into steady-state. We plot both IOPS and Latency. We plot IOPS (represented by blue scatter) in thousands and Latency (represented by orange scatter) in milliseconds.

We observe steady-state for the 2TB model is achieved at 4,000 seconds of preconditioning. Average steady-state write performance at QD256 is approximately 44K IOPS. We observe steady-state for the 8TB model is achieved at 11,000 seconds of preconditioning. Average steady-state write performance at QD256 is approximately 77K IOPS.

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 19 | TweakTown.com

Here again, we see the DC P4510 delivering double the random write performance of all the non-Intel contenders in our test pool at QD1. Both models lead the competition at QD1-QD2. Micron's 9100 MAX is a juggernaut at higher queue depths, but it could be argued that QD1-2 is a more important performance metric.

This means that depending on the workload, the DC P4510 likely delivers better write-heavy mixed workload performance at operating region queue depths than the write centric 9100 MAX. In fact, that's exactly what our mixed workload testing shows.

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 21 | TweakTown.com

Just as we saw with our 4K testing, none of the competing SSDs in our test pool can match the DC P4510 until well after the majority of the typical operating region (QD1-9) has been exceeded. This means that even if the competing SSDs in our test pool exceed the performance of the DCP4510 at queue depths above 9, it doesn't really matter - the DC P4510 still wins.

Conclusion (TL;DR): Larger file size, same result. Intel's DC P4510 easily outperforms the competing SSDs in our test pool within typical operating region.

Benchmarks - 128K Sequential Write/Read

128K Sequential Write/Read

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 23 | TweakTown.com

We pre-condition the drive for 6,500 seconds, or 1.8 hours, (12,600 seconds or 3.5 hours for the 8TB model) receiving performance data every second. A sequential steady-state is achievable in a much shorter span of time than a random steady-state. We plot both MB/s and Latency. We plot MB/s using blue scatter and Latency using orange scatter. We observe that steady-state is settles in at 1,000 seconds of preconditioning for the 2TB model and at 0 seconds for the 8TB model.

The 2TB DC P4510 is performing above its factory sequential steady-state write specification of 2,000 MB/s. Average steady-state write performance at QD256 is approximately 2,100 MB/s. The 8TB DC P4510 is also performing well above its factory sequential steady-state write specification of 3,000 MB/s. This is not surprising as Intel tends to be on the conservative side when dishing out factory performance specifications.

Comparing the above charts, we see the 8TB model delivering a much tighter, more consistent sequential write pattern than the 2TB model. You could say this is a visual representation of QoS.

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 25 | TweakTown.com

As dominating as the DCP4510 was with our pure random workloads, it gets even better for the DC P4510 with pure sequential workloads. The 2TB model leads the field at QD1 and it, like the DC P3520 delivers full performance at QD1. Comparing the DC P4510's performance at the all-important QD1, we find that it is outperforming the non-Intel contenders by up to 3.5x. That is massive, and that is where it matters most.

The 8TB DC P4510 reaches its full performance at QD4, hitting a massive sequential write speed of 3,200 MB/s. 3,200 MB/s is by far the best sequential write performance we've ever seen from any SSD bar-none. And as we saw from our preconditioning chart, the 8TB DC P4510 is doing it with class-leading quality-of-service.

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 27 | TweakTown.com

The DC P4510 dishes out more domination at QD1, where it is delivering at least 4x the performance of the non-Intel SSDs included in our test pool. Both the 2TB model and the 8TB model lead the field at all measured queue depths. Both models also exceed factory sequential read specs by a considerable amount, coming in at over 3,350 MB/s at QD32 and beyond.

Conclusion (TL;DR): The DC P4510 delivers the best sequential performance of any SSD that we've tested to date.

Mixed Workload Benchmarks - Email Server

Email Server

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 29 | TweakTown.com

We precondition the drive for 16,000 seconds, or 4.44 hours, receiving performance data every second. We plot this data to observe the test subject's descent into steady-state. We plot both IOPS and Latency. We plot IOPS (represented by blue scatter) in thousands and Latency (represented by orange scatter) in milliseconds.

We observe steady-state for the 2TB DC P4510 is achieved at 4,000 seconds of preconditioning. Average steady-state workload performance at QD256 is approximately 70.5K IOPS. We observe steady-state for the 8TB DC P4510 is achieved at 13,000 seconds of preconditioning. Average steady-state workload performance at QD256 is approximately 116.5K IOPS. The tight preconditioning patterns with few to no outlying IO's we see in the above charts is testament to the high QoS delivered by the DC P4510.

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 31 | TweakTown.com

An Email Server workload is a demanding 8K test with a 50 percent R/W distribution. This application gives a good indication of how well a drive will perform in a write-heavy workload environment.

The results of this test harken back to what we said earlier. Even though the 9100 MAX delivers far higher random write performance at queue depths of four and greater, performance at QD1-2 is much more important. This is why we see the DC P4510 delivering much better performance than the 9100 MAX within the typical operating region of QD1-9 even though this is a write-intensive mixed workload.

Conclusion (TL;DR): Performance where it matters. This is what Intel's DC P4510 is all about.

Mixed Workload Benchmarks - OLTP/Database

OLTP/Database

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 33 | TweakTown.com

We precondition the drive for 16,000 seconds, or 4.44 hours, receiving performance data every second. We plot this data to observe the test subject's descent into steady-state. We plot both IOPS and Latency. We plot IOPS (represented by blue scatter) in thousands and Latency (represented by orange scatter) in milliseconds.

We observe steady-state is achieved at 5,000 seconds of preconditioning for the 2TB DC P4510. Average steady-state workload performance at QD256 is approximately 90K IOPS. We observe steady-state is achieved at 15,000 seconds of preconditioning for the 8TB DC P4510. Average steady-state workload performance at QD256 is approximately 144K IOPS. Both drives exhibit quality consistency with very few IO's that could be considered outliers.

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 35 | TweakTown.com

An On-Line Transaction Processing (OLTP) / Database workload is a demanding 8K test with a 66/33 percent R/W distribution. OLPT is online processing of financial transactions such as credit cards and high-frequency trading in the financial sector. Database workloads are challenging for any storage solution.

It's all about performance in the operating region and again, this is where we find Intel's DC P4510 delivering the goods. Micron's 9100 MAX comes closest to matching the 2TB DC P4510 at the edge of the operating region but compared with the 8TB model it's no contest. The 8TB DC P4510 annihilates the competing SSDs that comprise our test pool because its low queue performance is so good. At QD1-2 both of our test subjects are delivering almost double the performance of the 9100MAX and more than double the performance of the Techman XC100.

Conclusion (TL;DR): It's clear by this point that Intel's DC P4510 series not only lives up to its read-centric nature, but it also delivers the best-mixed workload performance of any SSD we've tested to date.

Mixed Workload Benchmarks - Web Server

Web Server

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We precondition the drive for 16,000 seconds, or 4.44 hours, receiving performance data every second. We plot this data to observe the test subject's descent into steady-state. We plot both IOPS and Latency. We plot IOPS (represented by blue scatter) in thousands and Latency (represented by orange scatter) in milliseconds. We precondition for this test with an inverted (all-write) workload, so no relevant information can be gleaned from our preconditioning charts.

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Intel DC P4510 2TB & 8TB Enterprise PCIe NVMe SSD Review 39 | TweakTown.com

The Web Server workload is a pure random read test with a wide range of file sizes. Our test consists of the following file sizes and corresponding percentage of the overall 100 percent workload file size: 512B = 22 percent, 1KB = 15 percent, 2KB = 8 percent, 4KB = 23 percent, 8KB = 15 percent, 16KB = 2 percent, 32KB = 6 percent, 64KB = 7 percent, 128KB = 1 percent, and 512KB = 1 percent.

Although our Web mix does not represent a completely accurate modern web server workload, it is a very taxing workload that does give us a realistic representation of how well an SSD handles an all-read mixed workload. This time Techman's XC100 is the closest competitor for the DC P4510 but it doesn't match or surpass the performance of our test subjects until well outside of the typical operating region of QD1-9. The DC P4510's performance get's surpassed by the 9100 MAX and the XC100 at high queue depths, but it's too little to late as we've seen throughout the entirety of this review.

This completes our battery of testing and cements our opinion that the DC P4510 is the best all-around performing flash-based enterprise SSD we've tested to date.

Conclusion (TL;DR): The DC P4510 was designed to flourish in a read-centric environment and the results of this test clearly show Intel hit the nail on the head.

Final Thoughts

When we first heard of TLC flash for the datacenter we could not envision that it would be able to handle write-heavy workloads or provide sufficient endurance comparable to MLC. Man, were we wrong. Intel's 64-layer TLC flash has turned out to be game-changing. As we've seen it emerge in the consumer space, and now the enterprise space, we've been astounded at the performance it delivers. The performance delivered has us wondering if it could be the best TLC flash solution on the planet.

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So far, we've noticed a pronounced pattern from 64-layer IMFT flash. It's the most cost-effective 64-layer flash, and at the same time, it delivers the best random read performance at low queue depths of any TLC flash we know of. If we were to pick two attributes we would most want to see from a flash solution; these two would be it.

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Others have moved to replacement gate technology, but Intel has chosen to stick with proven floating gate technology for their 3D flash. So far, this is looking like a good strategy. Floating gate technology gives Intel 3D flash the industry's highest areal density available, and CMOS under array keeps the footprint compact - lending itself to a more efficient array. All this efficiency translates to lower cost for the end-user.

The DC P4510 employs Intel's newest controller. This new controller allows for far greater density than the 2TB maximum offered previously. Increased density translates to more TB per rack and less power required per TB of storage. Lower power consumption per TB of flash, along with greater density per rack, means that TCO is greatly reduced. Ultimately a low TCO is the overriding goal of any datacenter operation.

Throughout our testing, we took notice of the DC P4510's exceptional low queue depth performance. It is 2-4x better than any enterprise SSD we've tested to date. 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, for most workloads, the operating region for enterprise SSDs is from QD1-9 with QD1-2 being the majority.

Our mixed workload tests show that because the DC P4510 performs so well at low queue depths, whether it be read or write, it can out easily outperform SSDs with higher read or write specifications. Intel's TLC-based DC P4510 costs less, performs much better and offers greater density than any enterprise SSD we've tested to date. This is why we are awarding Intel's DC P4510 our highest recommendation.

The DC P4510 is by far the best performing enterprise SSD we've tested to date and is well deserving of a TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.

Pros:

  • Best Form Factor
  • Low Cost
  • Low QD Performance
  • Density

Cons:

  • None
TweakTown award
Performance99%
Quality98%
Features98%
Value99%
Overall99%

The Bottom Line: The combination of low price point and class-leading performance make Intel's DC P4510 stand out from the rest.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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