Sandforce-controlled SSDs have long been delivered in capacities that are usually lower than their rivals hosted by a different controller from Marvel or Intel. This is by design for maximum performance and optimization but ADATA has seen it fit to disable RAISE: the feature that Sandforce drives use to store parity data and data loss protection. All 120GB+ SSDs have RAISE enabled by default and that consumes one whole NAND package.
ADATA feels that most consumers would probably not need RAISE for daily use and the new ADATA XPG SX900 series of SSDs have. We’ve seen plenty of Sandforce SF-2281 drives in the labs and today we add the ADATA XPG SX900 to that list. Will the extra space really make the drive worth it?
Closer Look – ADATA XPG SX900
ADATA packages their XPG line-up in dark colors in contrast to their mainstream white. The box has a clear window showcasing the SSD inside. Details of the drive are highlighted in the back.
Inside the package we have nice starter kit bundle which includes a 3.5″ tray, an 9mm brace and documentations that includes a guide to download a free copy of Acronis True Image HD cloning software.
The ADATA XPG SX900 is clad in a dark aluminium body with a brushed metal texture. The 7mm thick body is intended for low-footprint devices such as thin notebooks but can easily be mounted on average tower cases via the 3.5″ tray.
Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z87X-OC
Memory: Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-2400
Storage: ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD
PSU: Seasonic X-760W
ATTO Disk BenchmarkÂ benchmarks a drive’s read and write speeds with increasing file sizes and graphs them.
For potential write testing,Â HD TuneÂ was used to measure the drive’s write performance. Again, we focus on the average results for real-world relevance.
Crystal Disk MarkÂ is storage benchmarking software was developed by â€œhiyohiyoâ€ of Japan, and is available for free. Crystal Disk Mark measures sequential, and random read/write speeds of storage devices.
AS SSDÂ is a benchmark tool that determines the performance of Solid State Drives but can also be used to measure hard drives, it just takes longer. The tool contains six synthetic and three copy tests .
Weâ€™ve taken our compression test files, a collection of images, documents and other files ranging from 1KB to 50MB amounting to 3,310 files for 3.34GB.
To measure boot-up time we usedÂ BootRacer. BootRacer is a free program that measures Windows boot-up times.
We hook-up a meter to our SSD and see how much it pulls from the PSU during idle and full write operation.
One thing about SSD manufacturers is that they give the consumers some sort of false image of what their products can do. Solid-state drives by their very nature tend to go down a few levels after some usage and settle at a certain performance point which will be it’s “steady” state. What this means for you, the consumers, is that even though this drive is rated, for example, at 550/450MB at the box it will not do that after you’ve used the SSD over time. To simulate extensive usage, we’ve filled the drive with data 10 times. After which the drive is allowed to rest for TRIM to kick in and then another 10 full write cycle is performed. This is repeated until we have written 4-5TB of data.
The ADATA XPG SX900 bashes head to head with the Kingston HyperX 3K in our tests. At nearly the same price range, both SSDs are in the a highly competitive space. The ADATA XPG SX900 outweighs the competition though by its extra storage space. But is the bonus NAND really worth it? Let’s break down the score before we give the final verdict.
Performance.Â As mentioned, the ADATA XPG SX900 ranks in the same league as the other Sandforce SF-2281 powered drives in our charts. Average maximum potential write though stands out the most, topping our chart and beating out the fresh M550.
Build Quality.Â ADATA has shifted its SSDs to 7mm bringing down size and of course the same goes for the internal components of the SSD. Whilst the tin can feel of the main body feels cheap, the overall performance shows just how good ADATA is with their stuff.
Functionality.Â The ADATA XPG SX900 is a good all-rounder but with an overall focus on being a consumer drive with its lack of RAISE. The extra space maybe negligible if you are penny pinching you want the most out of your dough.
Bundle.Â A far better bundle than what we saw on the Crucial M550 with ADATA providing a 9mm bracket, a 3.5″ mounting tray and a free copy of Acronis True Image HD for easy data migration.
Value.Â Most e-tailers list the ADATA XPG SX900 for a great markdown than that of release prices. That means you can easily grab the ADATA XPG SX900 128GB Â for around $90. This is a great price range and if you’re not too particular about maximum performance, you can fork out a bit more and get the 256GB variant.
The XPG SX900 was a risky move for ADATA, removing a feature others would’ve considered invaluable. Regardless, the performance didn’t take a hit and compared to launch, prices have dropped significantly since then. That said, with all the new models filling up the stack and displacing the older models.
The ADATA XPG SX900 is a good starting point for upgraders who want an SSD to boost their system’s disk performance easily and painlessly without breaking the bank.
The ADATA XPG SX900 is backed by a 3-year warranty. We give the ADATA XPG SX900 ourÂ B2G Recommended Award.