I haven't published this little tidbit of information before because I was never able to get a second confirmation, so just consider this way out there on the rumor mill. I was told that in a warehouse in China, IMFT 20nm flash is stacked up like 10 feet high because it's not SSD grade. We've published a few stories about the new 20nm flash and called it a shortage, which we hear all of the time from manufacturers, but the shortage might just be because most of it is crap (a technical term). We also keep hearing that the yields are awful, and if the Chinese warehouse story is in fact true, then we know where the flash is piling up. On the bright side, maybe we'll have really cheap large capacity thumb drives in time for Christmas!
Ever since we started testing IMFT 20nm flash, around 13 months ago, we weren't impressed. The results shown here are actually worse than our initial tests with early 20nm flash. For as long as I can remember, ADATA has used IMFT flash, but a review published by Hot Hardware of a new revision SX900 had SanDisk Toggle 2 flash. Our review sample arrived before the Hot Hardware review went online. Hopefully ADATA moved all of the SX products over to Toshiba / SanDisk flash. Our SX300 sample, the one we tested today, wasn't one of the lucky ones.
With Intel 525 Series drives still available with 25nm flash, but discontinued, it's difficult to tell you to buy the SX300 in this form. It's actually really easy to tell you to pass on the 20nm version. If you are lucky enough to find a SX300 with 25nm flash or better yet, Toshiba / SanDisk Toggle, you have my blessing to buy it, because it's a superior build.
The sad thing is ADATA keeps changing their builds without any notice or indication as to what an e-tailer is offering. Years ago, anytime a controller or flash changed, manufacturers would make a new model number. That doesn't happen as much anymore and it's a pain in the ass when shopping for a quality SSD. Come on manufacturers - slap a revision number on these things so people know what they are buying!
I do want to thank ADATA for sending the SX300 256GB without hesitation. ADATA sent us this drive knowing that we are one of the few review websites that spend the time to dissect the components and performance before telling our readers to buy a product or to pass on it. There are companies out there shipping products with 20nm flash and trying to keep the products away from reviewers.
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