With the fastest AHCI SATA 3 drives performing reads in the middle 500’s MB/s, it’s hard to fault any drive that approaches that range. The 2.5″ Drives with SATA 3 interfaces are effectively capped at around 600MB/s in a perfect world. Given operating system overheads and delays due to cables and motherboard/chipset SATA implementations, that drives regularly hit the mid-500’s is pretty amazing. This also means that unless a manufacturer really makes a horrible mistake, 2.5″ SATA attached drives should all perform within a few MB/s of each other.
Now, there are variations due to NAND choice and controller choice, but even then, one TLC drive should perform pretty much like any other, as should one MLC drive. Differentiation at this time in the 2.5″ SATA SSD market has to come with price, packaging and extras.
ADATA has delivered a couple of drives that are worthy successors to previous ADATA drives. And frankly, they haven’t made any critical mistakes. The XPG SX930 is targeted at gamers and people willing to pay a premium for appearance and a longer warranty. Its performance is solid if not earth shattering, and it looks quite nice in a windowed case. Its appearance screams “fast”, and the drive performs really well in reads, and reasonably well in writes. ADATA would appear to have hit their target. Street price appears to be a little high at around $110, but the MLC NAND, 5 Year Warranty and Accessories, might make it worth it if you are anticipating keeping this drive for awhile.
The SP550, while having a shorter warranty and using TLC NAND delivers where it counts, and that’s price and performance. With a $80 street price and performing close to as fast in reads and slightly better than the SX930 at writes, this drive is targeted at up-graders and the budget conscious buyers who don’t care about sexy enclosures, but want a fast drive for a reasonable price. The SP550 delivers that in spades. And frankly, while it doesn’t set the world on fire in terms of looks, it’s well made and visually appealing nonetheless.
In all honesty, this is my first experience with ADATA SSD’s, and I’ve come away favorably impressed. As a manufacturer that has to buy NAND from other manufacturers, ADATA has to deliver a compelling package to compete with those same manufacturers who also make SSD’s and have the advantage of making their own NAND. This is a tough market, and I have to say ADATA has delivered.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of these drives to users looking for an upgrade for their system, be it as a boot drive, or a data drive.
So, with that said, both the XPG SX930 and Premier SP550 Solid State Disks have earned the Pure OverClock Great Hardware Award!