Is the A-DATA S599 100GB SSD the new performance leader? That question really depends on what you are doing with the drive. If you are like most solid state drive users then your SSD is the home of your operating system. This is pretty much the established standard for SSD users with drives in either notebooks or desktops. With that point established, I am comfortable saying that when paired with Intel's latest SATA drivers the SandForce SF-1200 is the fastest consumer chipset currently available to consumers for general Windows tasks. If you didn't notice, there was a lot of direction in the above statements and anytime the author points you in one direction, you have to wonder what is going on outside the path you were just led down.
A good place to take a stroll through since it is used by nearly everyone is compressed data. The Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB drive is able to transfer (to and from the same drive) this kind of data at twice the speed of the A-DATA S599. In some ways this is like saying my Chevy Corvette will kick your minivans butt in a race. The 256GB C300 costs nearly twice as much as the 100GB A-DATA S599 and we have yet to test the 128GB C300. That data would really go a long way to help determine where your buying Dollar would best be spent. Keeping with the same theme, a minivan gets better gas mileage, costs less and has a wider range of uses than a 2 seat sports car. As it sits right now, the C300 is faster in some tests, but those are more purpose built when compared to the A-DATA S599. Both drives are going to get you to the finish line very quickly and being someone that uses different computers with different SSDs, I would say that in day to day tasks you aren't going to see a difference between the A-DATA S599 and the Crucial RealSSD C300.
The A-DATA S599 is not priced like the other SandForce SF-1200 drives from other manufacturers that we have heard from. We will get into the full pricing details in time, but since A-DATA has placed the S599 right smack in the middle of the new lower priced Indilinx Barefoot controlled drives and the SF-1200s from others, it is reasonable to say if the people looking to spend 425 - 450 USD on a product should look at the S599, then people looking to spend 325 to 350 should also be targeted in this article.
We have discussed in other articles that a new wave of Indilinx Barefoot drives are being prepared for invasion. Armed with the latest ECO variant of the controller and flash that costs less to manufacture, these drives are already hitting the 320 - 330 USD mark. The Corsair Nova 128GB drive that we reviewed last week is one of these products and is also close to the top of the benchmark charts you looked at today. With the A-DATA S599 being offered within 50 USD of that range, it may push the Indilinx Barefoot drives even lower which is very good for consumers, but might hamper the sales of 380 Dollar S599 drives. When it comes to performance there is no doubt that the S599 outperforms any Barefoot on the market in every test other than the compressed data transfer test. You will feel the performance difference between an Indilinx Barefoot controlled drive and the A-DATA S599.
Over the last year I've not had many good things to say about drives with 64 or even 80GB of capacity. This has come from personal experience while trying to use an 80GB drive in my daily use notebook. I was uploading content from my notebook to my NAS server every other day just to maintain room and drive performance. The 100GB A-DATA S599 is dangerously close to the capacity of the 80GB drives, but the extra 20GB should be just enough to keep a very large majority of users on notebooks satisfied with the capacity.
The A-DATA S599 is already heading to your favorite e-tailers and should show up as being in stock any day now. Hopefully these e-tailers do consumers a favor and don't take the opportunity to price the drive above MSRP. At 380 USD the S599 should cost less than most SandForce SF-1200 drives on the market at launch time; at least that is what we have gathered from companies that were willing to disclose their price structure to us. Many companies have yet to set or disclose a price so there may be some surprises, but right now the A-DATA S599 is the lowest cost SF-1200 drive we are aware of. At this price point I would have to steer you towards the S599 over Indilinx Barefoot drives that cost 320 USD or more since the performance is so much higher. If the Indilinx drives make it down to 290 USD or less for 128GB then that decision might be a little more difficult.
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