Specifications, Pricing and Availability
If you frequent TweakTown enough then you know I'm not a big fan of low cost, low capacity SSDs. My personal name for them is low value SSDs and for good reason. SSDs perform best when able to read and write to the flash in parallel. When you start removing the number of physical flash chips you reduce the number of parallel channels and performance is reduced. Often times these products are able to show good peak performance in synthetic tests, but falter in real-world use. It's like you are only getting half of the SSD experience. Would you jump with only half a parachute?
The other half of the SSD experience comes from access times. This is what users feel when working with their computer. An old computer can feel fast with an SSD. My trusty Lenovo T61p only supports SATA 1.5 and is at least four years old, but feels faster than most new computers being sold today thanks to the solid state drive inside of it.
The ADATA S396 is only being released in a 30GB capacity size at this time. The SandForce SF-2141 controller can scale up to 64GB so at a later time we may see a larger version, but for now this is a one capacity product number. The drive itself is a standard 2.5" form factor, so you won't have an issue installing the drive in your notebook or desktop with the included desktop adapter bracket.
The claimed speed is 280MB/s read and 250MB/s write. ADATA doesn't list IOPS performance. Unlike the other second generation SandForce controllers we've looked at, the 2141 controller is limited to SATA II. That doesn't mean you can't use it on a SATA III port, the port will drop down to SATA II specifications and speeds.
The S396 30GB SSD should be priced at around $60 here in the US. At the time of writing Newegg didn't have the drive listed and Google Shopping came up empty as well. When it comes to value added accessories ADATA spared no expense, their low cost offering ships with the same accessories as their flagship SSD. Included is a three year warranty, desktop adapter bracket and a screw package for installing your drive. Actonis Drive Cloning software is also included with the drive via a digital download. The key is included on the label of the drive itself.