Intel SSD DC P4600 NVMe PCIe Review: Low-Latency TLC Storage For The Data Center

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Intel SSD DC P4600 - All You Need To Know

Last year, Intel updated its line-up of NVMe, PCI Express-based solid state drives, for cloud and data center applications, with a couple of different models tuned for different workloads. The Intel SSD DC P4600 we will be showing you here was among those drives. It features a fourth-generation Intel controller and performance-optimized firmware, along with 3D TLC NAND flash memory (384Gb per die). If you remember, the DC P3700 we looked at a few years back had an 18-channel controller and MLC NAND, so the P4600 may sound like a downgrade in some respects, but as you’ll see a little later, performance is still strong with this newer drive relative to its predecessor.

We’ve got the Intel SSD DC P4600’s main features and specifications outlined in the table below, along with a quick tour of the and-in card. Take a peek at the specifics and then we’ll dive in and see how the drive performs with a variety of benchmarks...

Intel SD DC P4600 Series2
Intel SSD DC P4600 NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive
Specifications & Features
Capacity 1.6, 2, 3.2 TB in U.2 form factor, 2, 4 TB in AIC form factor
Performance 4k Sequential Read/Write – up to 3280/2100 MB/s
4k Random Read/Write – up to 702,500/257,000 IOPS
Manageability Support for NVM Express* Management Interface (NVMe-MI)
NVMe SMART / Health and Log Pages
Reliability End-to-end data protection from silent data corruption
Uncorrectable bit error rate < 1 sector per 1017 bits read
Interface PCIe 3.1 x4, NVMe 1.2, Form Factors U.2 2.5in x 15mm (for serviceability, hot-plug, and density)
Add-in-Card: Half-Height Half-Length, low-profile (for legacy and mainstream server compatibility)
Media Intel 3D NAND, TLC
Endurance Random/JEDEC up to 2.9 DWPD (5 Years) / 21.7 PBW, sequential workload up to 4 DWPD (5 Years) / 29.2 PBW
Power Max sequential read/write 9.9W / 20.7W
Warranty 5 year warranty
Pricing 2TB - ~$1700, 4TB - ~$3399 - Find Them At Amazon

intel ssd dc p4600 angle 1
The top of the line DC P4600 series is rated for up to 702K/257K 4K random read/write IOPs, with sequential reads/writes topping out at up to 3.2GB/s and 2.1GB/s, respectively. Endurance is rated for up to 2.9 drive writes per day for five years, or 21.7 PBW (petabytes written) with a random/JEDEC workload.
intel ssd dc p4600 angle 2
The particular drive we’ll be showing you here is a 2TB Intel SSD DC P4600. The drive features the aforementioned 12-channel Intel NVMe controller, paired to IMFT 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drive is outfitted with a PCIe x4 electrical interface (max bandwidth up to 4GB/s) and it has a half-height form factor, though U.2 based models are also available.
intel ssd dc p4600 angle top
The Intel controller used on these drives in an 12-channel design. This particular 2TB drive is outfitted with 24 NAND packages (12 front, 12 rear), along with some DRAM cache. There are also an array capacitors on the PCB, which provide some measure of power-loss protection.
intel ssd dc p4600 angle chips
The Intel SSD DC P4600 is also outfitted with a large heatsink that covers the controller and all of the front-mounted NAND, but we found it hardly got warm to the touch, even after hours of testing. Unlike some previous PCIe-based enterprise SSDs we’ve looked at, which necessitated a robust cooling solution, the Intel SSD DC P4600 should be fine as long as there is moderate air-flow through the system.

Read/Write Power is rated for 9.9W / 20.7W and the drives carry a 5-year warranty. Let's setup and test...
Tags:  Intel, SSD, Storage, NAND, PCIe, nvme, p4600

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