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ADATA XPG SX930 120GB, 240GB and 480GB SATA III Gaming SSD Review

ADATA XPG SX930 120GB, 240GB and 480GB SATA III Gaming SSD Review
ADATA's XPG SX930 SSD is replacing its SX900. Unlike most SSDs in the value segment, ADATA is fortifying the XPG SX930 with high quality, binned MLC flash.
By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jul 23, 2015 1:34 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: ADATA

Introduction

 

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The "Value" segment of the SSD market is beginning to emerge as the majority market share of the SSD market as a whole. Although solid-state storage has come down considerably in price over the last year or so, an SSD remains a premium component demanding a premium price. As enthusiasts, we tend to want the fastest available SSD's and price is a secondary concern to us. However, the mainstream user does not see things as we do. Price is the mainstream user's primary concern and this is why we are seeing an explosion in the value segment of the overall SSD market.

 

ADATA is a long time purveyor of solid-state storage, and as a brand, they are one of the best out there. ADATA is looking to bridge the gap, if you will, with the best of both worlds. ADATA's goal with the XPG SX930 Series is to deliver premium performance and endurance in a low-cost package. ADATA feels there is a market for an SSD that can both compete with the pricing of value SSD's and the performance of premium SSD's. We tend to agree with ADATA in that respect.

 

ADATA is a fabless company, so they don't have the benefit of a proprietary controller, or access to an in-house pool of flash. What they do have is a good name and a reputation for quality, high performing solid-state memory solutions. ADATA has paired up with JMicron for the SX930. The SX930 is the first drive to market powered by the JMicron JMF670H controller. The JMF670H is a 32-bit single core ARM based 4-channel controller. The JMF670H employs an advanced BCH ECC error correction engine for high reliability and superior endurance. One of the benefits of going with a 4-channel controller is a lower power requirement, which in turn leads to increased notebook battery life. This all sounds a lot like a controller we are very familiar with, Silicon Motion's SM2246EN.

 

On the NAND front, ADATA is utilizing Micron 16nm 128Gbit MLC synchronous flash for the SX930 Series. We like the choice; 16nm Micron MLC flash is a proven performer. ADATA is taking things a step further and utilizing binned flash for the SX930. ADATA is calling this binned flash "Enterprise-grade MLC plus NAND Flash". To be clear, this is not actual enterprise quality flash, it is instead select MLC 3K P/E consumer flash that carries a five-year warranty. To further boost performance, the SX930 is employing a pseudo SLC (pSLC) acceleration layer. This acceleration layer is facilitated via the drive's JMF670H controller. JMicron calls this acceleration layer programming Write Booster. The size of the drives Write Booster layer varies by capacity; 4GB for the 120GB SX930, 8GB for the 240GB SX930 and 16GB for the 480GB SX930.

 

ADATA feels that their XPG SX930 will be very appealing to gamers and markets the drive as a "Gaming SSD". In an effort to appeal to enthusiast's ADATA has revamped the look of the SX930 series. Gone is the passive looking humming bird logo, instead we now have flames for a more aggressive looking SSD. Personally, I find the new look more appropriate for the gaming community. The XPG 930 comes with an extensive accessory package that includes a 3.5" to 2.5" drive tray, 9.5mm stick-on spacer and an Acronis key for drive cloning.

 

On paper, the XPG SX930 looks like it will be a good performer; now let's see for ourselves what these SSD's have under the hood.

 

 

Specifications: ADATA XPG SX930 120GB, 240GB and 480GB SATA III SSD

 

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ADATA's XPG SX930 SATA III 2.5" FF SSD is available in three capacities: 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB. Sequential read performance via ATTO, varies slightly by capacity, 560 MB/s for the 120-240GB and 540 MB/s for 480GB. Sequential write performance also varies by capacity, 460 MB/s for 120-240GB and 420 MB/s for 480GB. Looking at ADATA's listed AS SSD performance, we find an obvious error with the sequential read speed. 550 MB/s isn't going to happen running AS SSD on any SATA III SSD. We believe ADATA is actually referring to CDM, not AS SSD.

 

4K Random Read is spec'd as 70,000 IOPS at 120GB and 75,000 at 240-480GB. 4K Random Write is spec'd as 45,000 IOPS at 120GB, 70,000 at 240GB and 75,000 at 480GB. LBA addressing is handled by a single DDR3 DRAM package that varies in density by capacity. Slumber power consumption is listed correctly at .14W however, active power consumption is not listed correctly.

 

ADATA backs the SX930 with a five-year limited warranty. No TBW or endurance rating is given.

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