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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State Drive
Closer Look: ADATA XPG SX900 SSD
Features and Specifications
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
ADATA XPG SX900 SSD Conclusion

Closer Look: ADATA XPG SX900 SSD Series

SSDs are quickly gaining popularity because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computers. Likewise, they easily install into both desktop and notebook platforms without modification. For this article Benchmark Reviews is testing the ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State Drive, which is specified to reach speeds of 550 MB/s for sequential reads and 530 MB/s sequential writes. The 256GB model we received for testing is built using the LSI-SandForce SF-2281 SSD controller and 25nm synchronous Intel-Micron NAND flash components. The ADATA XPG SX90 uses synchronous NAND flash components, which offers higher performance when compared to the asynchronous NAND flash inside other SSDs.

ADATA offers several capacities for their SX900-series solid state drives: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Performance specifications improve with capacity and peak at 256GB, which will help drive consumers to the larger models. The ADATA XPG SX900 measures 3.94"/100mm long, by 2.76"/70mm wide, by 0.37"/9.5mm tall.

ADATA-XPG-SX900-SSD-Retail-Package.jpg

The ADATA XPG SX900 SSD is best suited for performance-orientated personal computers, but could also work well for SOHO computer workstation systems. LSI-SandForce SF-2200 series SSDs have been designed with a focus on high-performance operational and data transfer speeds, and includes 256-bit encrypted data protection and improved NAND wear-leveling through their proprietary DuraWrite technology.

Although ADATA XPG SX900-series SSDs do not offer an integrated USB Mini-B port, which appeared on some early-generation SSDs, the retail market offers several different 2.5" SATA enclosures that utilize the SuperSpeed USB-3.0 standard for high-performance portable file transfers.

ADATA-XPG-SX900-SSD-Top.jpg

ADATA recognizes that once installed, the SSD will be hidden away from view inside a notebook computer or desktop workstation, so they've remained conservative towards the design of their solid state drive's appearance. Each half of the drive enclosure is given a textured brushed aluminum finish, which does not show fingerprints or smudges like a glossy painted surface would. ADATA branding is marked at the top of the SSD enclosure, with a label attached to the bottom that denotes model and capacity.

ADATA-XPG-SX900-SSD-Angle.jpg

Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded into the ADATA XPG SX900 SSD chassis, which allows for quick upgrade or addition into any existing notebook and other compact computer system. Using a universal 3.5" to 2.5" tray adapter (included with this kit), the SSD fits easily into desktop computers. The mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes I was booting from a restored Windows 7 System Image with ease.

ADATA-XPG-SX900-SSD-Side.jpg

Unlike most Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are nearly impervious to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. ADATA utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for their ADATA XPG SX900-series SSDs, which reveals the internal components after removing four small counter-sunk screws located along the sides of this solid state drive. On the underside a screw is covered by a 'Warranty Void' label that is attached to warn consumers against taking apart their product. By removing the SSD cover it will also remove your consumer protection with it.

ADATA-XPG-SX900-SSD-Bottom.jpg

LSI-SandForce introduced their new second generation solid state drives to both consumer and enterprise segments, with seven different processor models to choose from. On the consumer (retail) side you've got models using the older SATA 3Gb/s interface as well as the latest SATA 6Gb/s interface, while all enterprise drives utilize the 3rd-generation SATA 6Gb/s interface. More than any other factor, it's the Flash Channels/Byte Lanes configuration that these separate models. LSI-SandForce's SF-2000 series of SSDs continue to feature up to 8 data channels organized into 16 Byte lanes; similar to the previous generation of SF-1222/SF-1565 series SSD controllers, but now some models are scaled down for usage scenarios not requiring massive IO activity.

On second-generation LSI-SandForce-driven SSDs, a new SATA 6Gb/s LSI-SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC processor is part of their SF-2200 family of retail SSD controller chips, although and identical SF-2181 processor exists for older SATA 3Gb/s connections. Offering 8 flash channels with 8 Byte lanes configured (one lane per channel), the SF-2281 maintains a BGA-256 package whereas the top-end SF-2282 delivers two lanes per channel on a BGA-400 package. More detail is available in our LSI-SandForce SF-2000 Series SSD Processor Overview article.

SandForce_SF-2281VB1-SDC_SSD_Processor.jpg

LSI-SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC Controller

All LSI-SandForce SSD controllers offer native TRIM garbage collection in supporting Operating System (such as Microsoft Windows-7), Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slots, and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set. LSI-SandForce built the SF-2200 series to produce 500 MB/s sequential read and write bandwidth with 60K (burst)/20K (sustained) IOPS random write (4K transfers). The firmware controls the performance variables on LSI-SandForce SSDs, and some manufacturers have licensed custom firmware to unlock additional performance for their products.

The SF-2200 SSD processor provides enhanced ECC with BCH data protection, and also includes LSI-SandForce's unique RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology. RAISE provides the protection and reliability of RAID on a single SSD drive, thanks to flash architecture, without the significant write overhead of parity. The LSI-SandForce DuraClass technology automatically stores data using Trusted Computing Group (TCG) OPAL security with 256-bit AES encryption and automatic, line-rate double encryption with a drive-level password, preventing data extraction directly from the physical flash memory modules.

Micron-29F128G08CFAAB-NAND-Flash.jpg

Micron 29F128G08CFAAB Synchronous NAND Flash

LSI-SandForce processors enable support for advanced 30nm- and 20nm-class NAND flash from all leading flash vendors with synch/asynch/ONFi1/ONFi2/toggle interfaces that offer data transfer rates up to 166 Mega Transfers per second. Their latest generation of controllers also offers advanced ECC engine correcting up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector to assure high data integrity and support for future generations of flash memory. On the 256GB ADATA XPG SX900 SSD, sixteen multi-layer cell Intel/Micron Flash Technology (IMFT) 29F16B08CCME3 synchronous NAND Flash modules are joined to the LSI-SandForce SF-2281 controller..



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State DriveServando Silva 2012-09-06 22:30
I'm using a pair of SX900 on RAID 0 mode with my P8Z77-I Deluxe and it's a total pleasure.
Maximum Read for seq. files is around 1,100 MB. I couldn't be happier. Before those, I had an Agility 2, and before Intel X-25M, G Skill Phoenix Pro and OCZ Agility 1.

Thank you for the review, Olin.
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# RE: ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State DriveDavid Ramsey 2012-09-10 12:24
Holy crap! Newegg's selling the 512G version for $339!
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# Eggzactly!RealNeil 2012-09-11 07:01
They do have some outstanding sales at the Egg, but that's usually ~after~ I've spent all of my monthly mad money.
I have an ADATA 120GB SATA-II SSD on my old i7-870 Lynnfield system that is still damn fast. I've had no problems with it and have been using it for a long time. The price was good when I bought it too.
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# RE: ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State Drivev1ewr 2012-09-12 01:43
Why doesn't anybody test the Mushkin Chronos 240GB SSD [MKNSSDCR240GB] to compare the others with?
Maybe because it rates as high or higher than most SSDs of same capacity? ;-) And it's also cheaper than most:
##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226237
I got 2 of these, and I'm very happy with their performance.
CrystalDiskMark: 508, 238, 463, 223, 35, 17, 128, 57
AS SSD Benchmark: 516, 236, 22, 17, 125, 41, score 380
Testbed PC [relevant parts]:
CPU: Intel i7-3960X @ 4.2GHz
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 liquid cooled
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1866 CMZ16GX3M4X1866C9R XMP Profile 1
AHCI enabled in BIOS.

HTH [hope this helps]
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# RE: RE: ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State DriveDavid Ramsey 2012-09-12 07:41
Probably because Mushkin hasn't sent out any review samples.
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# RE: RE: ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State DriveOlin Coles 2012-09-12 07:42
Good to hear you found a bargain on SSDs in the Mushkin Chronos series. Unfortunately, Mushkin's marketing team is given very few product samples, and they only ship them to sites that give favorable reviews. We're not on the top of their list.
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# Raid 6mikeinnyc 2012-09-12 20:23
Read - 791 mb/s Write - 813.2 mb/s in Raid 6 Configuration(Don't use 0)

I have a SuperComputer(micro) Intel E7-8860 with 4 CPUS. I needed faster speeds for my VMs. In the VM world spindles are garbarge even in raid 0. Multitasking and opening up 10 in a row is now no problem. Easily detected in BIOS and configured 123 with external backup.

I use 10 VMs for algo development and replication of results in D:\ drive.

Smoked my OCZ Vertex 3 Badly which is fast and is my C drive... for now.

Note: install SSD with proper harddrive casing (if Raid)otherwise the 3 1/2" casing won't fit. Holes are off by 2cm. It will work in regular computer not in enterprise. The SSD were an exact fit of my Raptors so I was able to install it in hdcasing no problem. So far so good. All 5 drives tested ok. Also this is my first Adata purchase... never heard of them but I guess you all will. Fastttttttt.
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# I need this!!!Anthony Moore 2012-09-18 14:48
Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Borderlands 3...They take up a lot of space. I need one of these badly!
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