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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

SSD Testing Methodology

Solid State Drives have traveled a long winding course to finally get where they are today. Up to this point in technology, there have been several key differences separating Solid State Drives from magnetic rotational Hard Disk Drives. While the DRAM-based buffer size on desktop HDDs has recently reached 64 MB and is ever-increasing, there is still a hefty delay in the initial response time. This is one key area in which flash-based Solid State Drives continually dominates because they lack moving parts to "get up to speed".

However the benefits inherent to SSDs have traditionally fallen off once the throughput begins, even though data reads or writes are executed at a high constant rate whereas the HDD tapers off in performance. This makes the average transaction speed of a SSD comparable to the data burst rate mentioned in HDD tests, albeit usually lower than the HDD's speed.

Comparing a Solid State Disk to a standard Hard Disk Drives is always relative; even if you're comparing the fastest rotational spindle speeds. One is going to be many times faster in response (SSDs), while the other is usually going to have higher throughput bandwidth (HDDs). Additionally, there are certain factors which can affect the results of a test which we do our best to avoid.

SSD Testing Disclaimer

Early on in our SSD coverage, Benchmark Reviews published an article which detailed Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing. The research and discussion that went into producing that article changed the way we now test SSD products. Our previous perceptions of this technology were lost on one particular difference: the wear leveling algorithm that makes data a moving target. Without conclusive linear bandwidth testing or some other method of total-capacity testing, our previous performance results were rough estimates at best.

Our test results were obtained after each SSD had been prepared using DISKPART or Sanitary Erase tools. As a word of caution, applications such as these offer immediate but temporary restoration of original 'pristine' performance levels. In our tests, we discovered that the maximum performance results (charted) would decay as subsequent tests were performed. SSDs attached to TRIM enabled Operating Systems will benefit from continuously refreshed performance, whereas older O/S's will require a garbage collection (GC) tool to avoid 'dirty NAND' performance degradation.

It's critically important to understand that no software for the Microsoft Windows platform can accurately measure SSD performance in a comparable fashion. Synthetic benchmark tools such as ATTO Disk Benchmark and Iometer are helpful indicators, but should not be considered the ultimate determining factor. That factor should be measured in actual user experience of real-world applications. Benchmark Reviews includes both bandwidth benchmarks and application speed tests to present a conclusive measurement of product performance.

Test System

  • Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 EVO (Intel P67 Sandy Bridge Platform, B3 Stepping)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4 GHz Quad-Core CPU
  • System Memory: 4GB Dual-Channel DDR3 1600MHz CL6-6-6-18
  • SATA 6Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel P67 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 11.7.0.1013
  • SATA 3Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel P67 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 11.7.0.1013
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-Bit with Service Pack 1

Storage Hardware Tested

The following storage hardware has been used in our benchmark performance testing, and may be included in portions of this article:

Test Tools

  • AS SSD Benchmark 1.6.4067.34354: Multi-purpose speed and operational performance test
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46: Spot-tests static file size chunks for basic I/O bandwidth
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1a by Crystal Dew World: Sequential speed benchmark spot-tests various file size chunks
  • Iometer 1.1.0 (built 08-Nov-2010) by Intel Corporation: Tests IOPS performance and I/O response time
  • Lavalys EVEREST Ultimate Edition 5.50: Disk Benchmark component tests linear read and write bandwidth speeds
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage 1.02: HDD Benchmark Suite tests real-world drive performance

Test Results Disclaimer

This article utilizes benchmark software tools to produce operational IOPS performance and bandwidth speed results. Each test was conducted in a specific fashion, and repeated for all products. These test results are not comparable to any other benchmark application, neither on this website or another, regardless of similar IOPS or MB/s terminology in the scores. The test results in this project are only intended to be compared to the other test results conducted in identical fashion for this article.



 

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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