The A-DATA S599 100GB SSD SSD
Here we get our first look at the A-DATA S599 100GB solid state drive. All of the information is presented on the top label like the model name and the capacity size.
The casing for the S599 is made of black anodized brushed aluminum and we get a good look at it on the back of the drive.
On the side we found the standard mounting locations, but there are two screws in other holes that keep the drive together. These are not recessed all of the way and stick out just a little. You should still be able to install the drive in your notebook, adapter or drive sled, but may need to jiggle it a little in very tight spots.
On the back we found the data and power SATA connectors to be in the correct spot. We have yet to run across a SandForce controlled drive with a built in USB port and the S599 follows that trend.
After removing the PCB from the drive we learned that the A-DATA S599 does not use the same PCB layout that we have seen from Crucial and OCZ Technology. I am surprised by this since it is so early in the SandForce game to see custom PCBs. This pretty much means that A-DATA engineers have been putting in some serious overtime getting this product ready and to market.
The custom PCB may have been a way for A-DATA to reduce the cost of the build of materials list. I can only speculate since I am not really qualified in making such determinations, but I can look at the situation from a historic point of view and say that for the first few products we review, the PCBs are usually always the same.
On the front we see the SandForce SF-1200 controller in the middle. SandForce controllers do not use DRAM cache to buffer user data coming to or going from the drive. There are sixteen Intel NAND flash chips on the S599; eight on each side.
On the other SandForce drives we have tested there has been an area for a large capacitor on the back side of the PCB. Without this knowledge I most likely would have just taken a peek at the inner workings and moved on, but as you can see, the large area for the optional capacitor that is used on the enterprise SF-1500 drives is not present. This could be a case of OCZ and Corsair just using PCBs designed for the SF-1500 products (which I would bet adds to the cost) and A-DATA is using a SandForce SF-1200 specific PCB.