Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
Intel’s new datacenter SSD packs a serious punch in a *very* small space!
What's better than an 18-channel NVMe PCIe Datacenter SSD controller in a Half Height Half Length (HHHL) package? *TWO* 18-channel NVMe PCIe Datacenter controllers in a HHHL package! I'm sure words to this effect were uttered in an Intel meeting room some time in the past, because such a device now exists, and is called the SSD DC P3608:
The P3608 is essentially a pair of P3600's glued together on a single PCB, much like how some graphics cards merge a pair of GPUs to act with the performance of a pair of cards combined into a single one:
What is immediately impressive here is that Intel has done this same trick within 1/4 of the space (HHHL compared to a typical graphics card). We can only imagine the potential of a pair of P3600 SSDs, so lets get right into the specs, disassembly, and testing!
Power consumption pushes 40W (but can be dialed back with Intel's Datacenter Tools), and the rated endurance ranges from 8.76 PBW (1.6TB) to 21.9 PBW for the 4TB capacity.
We did note that the IOPS random write performance *decreases* at higher capacities for this model. Normally a given SSD line contains the same level of Over Provisioning. With the P3608, Intel has chosen to dial back the OP at the higher capacities, which results in the decrease seen here. Intel is pushing the 1.6TB capacity for more intensive random write workloads and recommending the higher capacities for more read-centric operations and applications.
Standard Intel brown box OEM / server product packaging. Note the full height bracket is included and tucked into the box cover fold (bottom right corner).