We're looking at the ADATA SX900 for the first time today. The SX900 hit the market with the SP900 last year, but the SP900 review didn't go as ADATA planned. Just days ago ADATA fixed their issue with TRIM by releasing new firmware for a number of SandForce SF-2000 based SSDs. The new firmware, 5.0.7a, is new to us. We expected ADATA to launch 5.0.6, but they leaped straight to this release, one that we didn't even know of prior to ADATA handing it out. TRIM is fixed, but the angels aren't exactly singing.
We've all seen notices that state products can change without notice. Most of the time we don't even pay attention, but the notices are on just about everything. Most of the time the changes are small, such as a new resistor from a different vender here, or a different diode or capacitor there. We've only seen a significant component changed a few times and the end results have always been pretty bad. How many Ford parts can you put on a Ferrari and still call it a Ferrari?
The ADATA SX900 we're looking at today is nothing like the SX900 from 12 months ago. The controller has changed, the new SX900 ships with LSI SandForce's new B02 stepping SF-2281 controller. B02 doesn't change performance at all on its own other than battery life. The B02 stepping uses less power so you get longer battery life - nothing to complain about there. I'll take an Enzo with the full horse power and the battery life of a Prius, sure thing!
The ADATA SX900 has another change, 20nm NAND flash. When the first SX900 hit the market, it shipped with Intel branded 25nm sync flash. AnandTech's review sample was a 128GB model just like ours, but it shipped with 16 NAND flash chips. Two months after the AnandTech review was published, another review went live at Legit Reviews. That sample, a 128GB again, shipped with just eight NAND flash chips that were not branded at all.
Today we have a new type of SX900. This unit has the SandForce B02 controller, eight unbranded NAND flash chips and we're told the flash is 20nm IMFT. ADATA started packaging their own wafers last year and they say the wafers are coming from Micron. Intel and Micron share the same manufacturing facility in a joint owned venture called IMFT. ADATA isn't the first company to buy wafers from IMFT so no issue there, the problem is we don't have a secret decoder ring to tell what the these chips actually are.
For most of us, it doesn't really matter. It's an SSD and we're only going to buy one of them. A few of us are a bit more brazen... little rascals we are. Ever since Intel released RAID 0 TRIM drivers, a fair number of people have bought one drive to start with and another later. With SSDs the trick is to buy two identical drives and with ADATA SSDs, well... good luck with that.
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