ADATA Premier Pro SP900 256GB SSD
Here we get our first look at the new ADATA Premier Pro SP900 256GB drive. On the front we see the capacity size and the model name.
On the back is where you will find the model number, ASP900S3-256GM, the warranty code and SKU. Your Acronis True Image key is also listed on the back of the drive, a feature we like since you will be able to find the code easily when you need it.
All of the mounting points are located where they should be on both the bottom and side of the drive. This will make it easy to install the SP900 in your notebook or desktop with the included adapter bracket.
The included adapter bracket offsets the drive to the side so the offset SATA data and power connectors will line up with your existing drives and backplane if you have one.
We are finally to the flash, the area that has kept me up for the last couple of days. There are sixteen chips, eight on each side. They are labeled as 29F16B08CCME3. We've seen this flash before on several SSDs like the Vertex 4 and other known synchronous flash drives.
The last number at the end of the string indicates the generation. 1 was used on synchronous flash. Drives like the ADATA S511 used Intel flash that ended in 1. 2 is the second generation and it was found on several asynchronous flash drives like the ADATA S510. Now we have the third generation and from what we've gathered it is "bironous". We just made that word up, but it looks like it can be installed as either synchronous or asynchronous.
Looking at the PCB, both the ADATA SX900 (advertised at synchronous) and the SP900 (advertised as asynchronous) use the same PCB. There is one surface mount component change on this side of the drive and that is in position R70 or resistor 70. The SP900 256GB that we are looking at today does not have a resister in the R70 position, but the SX900 256GB has a surface mount resister in that position.
There is not going to be a pencil mod trick to turn your SP900 into a SX900 though. On this side I counted at least eight changes to the surface mount components. Also note that I didn't measure the values of the surface mount components. All of the surface mount component changes are at the top, middle of the PCB, just to the right of the upper most flash. The SP900 has a resister at R135, a piece not found on the SX900, but nothing at C23, C24, C22, R25, R25 and R28. Two other components are missing at L5 and U5.
That still leaves the flash issue. If third generation IMFT flash can run as either synch or async, why would anyone choose to make a drive in an async configuration? This is an area we'll have to research in the coming weeks.
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