The markings on the connectors are expected because all the SSD’s go through functional testing before packaging.
The best way to tell if it is new is to look at the Host Writes SMART attribute.
Thanks for replying to my question. However, I would like for you to elaborate on the "Host Writes Smart Tribute".... This is a terminology that I have never heard of. I would assume this is some sort of "tally of writes to the drive", am I correct? If not, can you please tell me what this is/means? And lastly I also assume this is available to me through some sort of Intel test software?
I am sorry for not including such information.
The SMART attribute Host Writes (E1) reports the total number of sectors written by the host system.
You can take a look at it by clicking on SMART Details from the Intel® SSD Toolbox.