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ADATA SE730 Portable USB 3.1 SSD Review - Taste of USB 3.1 performance

ADATA SE730 Portable USB 3.1 SSD Review - Taste of USB 3.1 performance
We take USB 3.1 for a performance test drive with ADATA's DashDrive Elite SE730, a new portable external SSD.
By: Tyler Bernath | Enclosures/Externals in Storage | Posted: Jun 2, 2015 2:13 am
TweakTown Rating: 85%Manufacturer: ADATA

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Since the release of USB, it has been the most universally accepted methods of connecting devices ever, and not just for PCs. Nearly every modern device has some sort of USB port to allow connectivity of that device. With the launch of USB 3.0 in 2010, performance and several storage technologies were added allowing users incredible performance for their external solutions. Now just five short years later, USB 3.1 is here and is sure to catch on quick.

 

Several motherboard vendors including ASUS, who graciously sent us a motherboard so we could test future products, and even Apple, have released products enabling USB 3.1 devices. With that said, today we take our first look at USB 3.1 with the ADATA DashDrive Elite SE730 Portable SSD.

 

The ADATA SE730 is part of the DashDrive Elite lineup, and while you won't find this product in store just yet, ADATA will be showing this solution off at Computex 2015 in Taipei this week. Our sample was delivered in the 512GB capacity featuring a Type C connection on the drive, while the cable offers the translation between it and the standard Type A we are used to seeing on today's solutions.

 

At this time, ADATA hasn't published and MSRP or warranty information for the drive.

 

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As our sample was a preview solution, we had no retail packaging. With that said, our SE730 was delivered with a Type A to Type C cable.

 

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Above, we have a closer look at the cable. The reversible or Type C connection is on the left with the standard blue colored connection on the right.

 

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Looking over the drive, the enclosure is similar to the SE700 that was shown off at CES. The front edge of the drive houses a small LED and Type C connection.

 

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The internals of the drive house a Silicon Motion powered SSD with NAND branded as ADATA.

 

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Here we have an image of the USB 3.1 to SATA Bridge from Asmedia the ASM1351.

 

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For a baseline measurement, I decided to see what the SE730 did over USB 3.0. As you can see, we managed pretty good numbers with 412 MB/s read and 411 MB/s write.

 

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Switching over to USB 3.1, we did get a slight boost in performance with read coming in at 466 MB/s and write at 431 MB/s. By far the largest increase in performance came with random data where previously we reached 27 MB/s in write operations, and now touched 85 MB/s and adding in a queue depth of 32 bumps it to 100 MB/s.

 

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With those initial results, I couldn't wait to see how well the SE730 was going to stack up against the competition. As you can see, it's certainly the quickest portable SSD we have tested in our charts.

 

While the ADATA SE730 wasn't able to take full advantage of the new freedom that USB 3.1 now allows, it was able to squeeze a few more MB/s out of the device. While our unit was a pre-production sample, it seemed to be built well, but of course with units like these, we don't full heartedly know what the retail sample will have internally.

 

Performance of the drive was top notch and even took over top honour in our charts as the quickest external SSD tested to this point. In testing, we were able to reach some rather good read and write numbers upwards of 466 MB/s read and 430 MB/s write, but out of all testing, the most impressive is the ability for these devices to now take advantage even more so than what we saw with USB 3.0 with command queuing. In our random testing this really showed up as the drive was only able to produce 27 MB/s write under USB 3.0, while moving it to USB 3.1 boosted those numbers upwards of 100 MB/s.

 

Overall, the ADATA SE730 is a solid solution for those wanting the very latest technology, as of this time there is no concrete data on the product, but we are sure after Computex this week, more will emerge.

 

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Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance90%
Quality including Design and Build84%
General Features87%
Bundle and Packaging80%
Value for MoneyN/A
Overall TweakTown Rating85%

The Bottom Line: ADATA's DashDrive Elite SE730 promises to be part of the first wave of USB 3.1 products to hit the market, with performance and reliability leading the way.

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