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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

ADATA XPG SX900 SSD Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

LSI/SandForce SSDs have had a huge impact on high-performance storage, but consumer's have never appreciated the 'over-provisioning' technology that reduced their capacity. Thanks to new firmware developments, companies like ADATA can now offer products that compete gigabyte-for-gigabyte with the competition. Not only are these SandForce-driven solid state drives extremely fast, but more importantly they're capable of SLC-level operational performance I/O and NAND durability. The ADATA XPG SX900-series builds from the powerful SandForce SF-2281 solid state processor, which brings innovation to the SSD industry by prolonging MLC NAND flash module lifetime and delivering RAID-like data redundancy.

Our performance rating considers how effective the ADATA XPG SX900 solid state drive performs in operations against direct competitor storage solutions. For reference, SandForce specifies the SF-2281 controller capable of 500 MB/s maximum read/write speeds, which ADATA increases to 550/530 MB/s read/write for uncompressed data and 510/320 MB/s read/write for compressed data on this 256GB model. In our storage benchmark tests, the 256GB ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State Drive performed at or above this speed, and competed with the fastest products previously tested. Our test results proved the ADATA SX900 was good for delivering 558/532 MBps peak read/writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark. Linear testing with Everest Disk Benchmark produced 488/471 MB/s, placing the ADATA SX900 in the top three for SATA SSD results.

The retail kit (ASX900S3-256GM-C) that ADATA sent us for testing advertises up to 90,000 maximum combined IOPS, although it is unclear what tools were used to produce this figure. Using a SandForce-provided configuration for our own Iometer operational performance tests, we used a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O's per target that measured 79,820 combined IOPS performance. In this test, the ADATA XPG SX900 SSD performed well and positioned itself among the highest-I/O products. In the 4K 32QD tests with AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark, the ADATA XPG SX900 SSD continued to match up to enthusiast storage solutions like the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS Edition. Considering the entry-level pricing attached to ADATA's XPG SX900 series, it performed more like competing premium-level storage products.

ADATA-XPG-SX900-SSD-Corner.jpg

Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, Solid State Drives are meant to place function before fashion. Anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is already more than what's expected in terms of the appearance. ADATA has created a back-to-basics look with the anodized black textured finish on their XPG SX900-series SSDs. As solid state storage controllers become faster and more advanced, heat dissipation through the enclosure walls may demand that chassis designs become more beneficial than they previously needed to be. This isn't the case yet, and a metal chassis suits SandForce SSDs nicely.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product segment, and ADATA believes their XPG SX900-series is no exception. The ADATA XPG SX900 SSD is covered by a three-year limited warranty. ADATA recommends that you register your product to receive warranty support. Unfortunately, there are no online discussion forums/chat or local telephone service numbers available for technical support.

With so many SandForce products being physically identical to each another, the overall value tends to focus on price, warranty, and customer support. If you're price shopping, a quick stroll through our Storage Section reviews will reveal how other SSD options compare. As of September 2012, the ADATA XPG SX900 SSD is available online in the following capacities and prices:

During benchmark testing I noted that the performance results matched those of ultra-premium SSDs, yet ADATA's XPG SX900 series is presently among the least expensive solid state drives available in each capacity. For an entry-level price, consumers are getting a full upgrade kit with 2nd-generation LSI/SandForce SF-2281 SSD that performs among the fastest SATA-based storage solutions. On top of performance, you're also getting back 7% of the storage capacity previously 'lost' to provisioning. Together, these three reasons give the ADATA XPG SX900-series a formidable lead ahead of competing SSDs that lack speed, capacity, and price. I highly recommend the ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State Drive, as it's earned our Golden Tachometer Award for excellence.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Outstanding 558/532 MBps read/write speed with ATTO
+ Produced 80,000 combined 4K IOPS
+ Among the most affordable SSDs available
+ TCG OPAL security with 256-bit AES encryption
+ Uses synchronous NAND flash components
+ SandForce SF-2281 processor supports TRIM, SMART, and RAISE
+ DuraWrite technology extends NAND lifetime
+ Enthusiast-level operational I/O performance
+ 3-Year ADATA product warranty support
+ Available in 64/128/256/512GB storage capacities
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life

Cons:

- Limited company support
- Expensive enthusiast-level product

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.75
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 8.25

Final Score: 9.2 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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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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