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The SSD DC S3500 Review: Intel's 6 Gb/s Controller And 20 nm NAND

Results: 4 KB Random Performance And Latency

We expect an SSD that exists for the sole purpose of serving up reads to do this job well in a random 4 KB read test. Intel's SSD DC S3500 does not disappoint. It matches the S3700 at every queue depth, eventually hitting 77,000 IOPS. That's not enough to knock Seagate's 600 Pro off its perch at queue depths above 16. Peaking at 84,000 IOPS, the 600 Pro still dominates this test.

Random 4 KB writes are much harder to interpret. The 600 Pro we recently reviewed was of the 200 GB variety, and its extra factory over-provisioning boosts random write performance by 3x. That also pushes price per gigabyte up to ~$1.60/GB, which is 33% higher than Intel's SSD DC S3500. We still don't have any of the non-over-provisioned 600 Pros to review, but those drives are more in line with the S 3500's pricing and are rated at 11,000 IOPS. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. The 600 Pro family has an advantage in that you have an option to pay a little more per gigabyte and get a big boost in random write performance.

This made us wonder what would happen if we over-provisioned the SSD DC S3500 by an additional 20%? Would we see the additional gains that the 600 Pro achieves? The short answer is no. No matter what we did, we couldn't get much above 11,000 IOPS.

The average response time lines up perfectly with what we recorded for random 4 KB IOPS. And as with our IOPS measurement, the SSD DC S3500 trails the field by a fairly wide margin. A little more troubling was a maximum response time almost double that of the 600 Pro. Before we get too concerned, lets take a look at performance consistency and see if we have something to worry about.