|ADATA XPG SX900 Solid State Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 05 September 2012|
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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.
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.
+ Outstanding 558/532 MBps read/write speed with ATTO
- Limited company support
Final Score: 9.2 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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