With the SF-2281 era grinding down and the SF3700 series late to market, companies have turned to competitor Marvell to breathe new life in the consumer SSD market. We first tested the new Marvell 88SS9189 in the Crucial M550 just weeks ago, now it's ADATA's turn to show the world what they can do with the new controller.
Unlike LSI SandForce, Marvell leaves final firmware development to the companies selling the final product. That fact, paired with the different types of flash on the market, means we see larger differences between Marvell based SSDs than we do from LSI SandForce based drives.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The ADATA Premier Pro SP920 pairs the Marvell 88SS9189 controller with Micron 20nm 128Gb die size flash in all four capacity sizes. This works out well for the two largest capacity sizes, 1TB and 512GB, but the smaller two models, 128GB and 256GB, are slower due to the loss in parallelism when reading and writing to the flash. We'll talk about this more in the SP920 128GB review that will follow this review.
ADATA sent pricing over via MSRPs for the Premier Pro SP920 series. The 128GB should launch at $89.99, 256GB at $159.99, 512GB at $334.88, and the massive 1TB model at $529.99.
The SP920 1TB is the same price as the Crucial M550 1TB at Newegg at the time of writing. These two drives are very similar in construction, warranty (3-years), and performance. In the years before the Samsung 840, ADATA was always a value leader with products that ran with the best in both performance and price. Now that the market has shifted and the fab companies are getting aggressive, it will be interesting to see how ADATA competes as a flash customer SSD manufacturer.
With a drive that is nearly identical to the M550, ADATA needed to deliver in other areas, and that is what they did. The SP920 includes a nice accessory package, an area where Crucial's M550 falls short. The SP920 includes a desktop adapter bracket, Acronis data migration software to clone your existing drive, and ADATA even developed a SSD toolkit.
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