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ADATA Premier Pro SP910 512GB SSD Review

ADATA Premier Pro SP910 512GB SSD Review

Today Chris spends time telling us all about ADATA's Premier Pro SP910 SSD in the 512GB capacity. Should this be your next drive? Read on and find out.

@ChrisRamseyer
Published Wed, Nov 5 2014 9:04 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:33 PM CDT
Rating: 81%Manufacturer: ADATA

Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

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VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES

The ADATA Premier Pro SP910 released in four capacities like, many of ADATA's releases this year, and features the SP910 sports synchronous MLC flash and a Marvell 88SS9187 controller. The claimed performance for the 512GB model we're testing today is 560 MB/s sequential read and 460 MB/s sequential write. Maximum random reads are 91K IOPS, while random writes are 77K IOPS.

The Premier Pro SP910 series ships with a full accessory kit that includes a desktop adapter bracket, 7mm to 9.5mm adapter, access to Acronis True Image HD, and ADATA's SSD Toolbox software.

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The usual U.S e-tailers sites don't list the SP910 as available at the time of writing, but we managed to find all capacities available in Italy, and the two smallest capacities are available in the UK. The 512GB model from Italy is 259.70 Euro, which comes out to roughly $331.40 USD. Italy has a strict VAT, so we suspect that price is higher than what it would be in the U.S., or any other country that doesn't nickel and dime residents from the cradle to the grave.

ADATA SP910 512GB SSD

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ADATA put together an attractive package for the Premier Pro SP910 series. The window on the front allows us to see the drive inside, and the text on the front of the package shows the features.

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ADATA lists some performance information and some general information about the SP910 on the back of the package.

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The drive is well packaged, with the accessories in a separate compartment in the package.

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The accessory package includes a desktop adapter bracket, screws for mounting the drive, two paper manuals, and a 7mm to 9.5mm adapter (not pictured). Users will need to go online to download ADATA's SSD Toolbox and Acronis True Image HD; both downloads are available on ADATA's website.

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Here we get our first look at the Premier Pro SP910 512GB SSD.

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The back of the drive lists the model number, serial number, and a key for Acronis.

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This is the 7mm z-height SSD, so it will fit in the latest Ultrabooks that require a thin drive.

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Inside we found eight ADATA labeled NAND flash packages, a DRAM package, and a Marvell controller.

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The controller is a Marvell 88SS9187 eight-channel model that's been on the market for several years now.

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The DRAM is DDR3-1600 in 512GB density. That's an unusually small DRAM buffer for a 512GB SSD.

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The flash was packaged by ADATA, and is synchronous MLC.

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All of the surface mount components are on one side of the PCB, so there isn't much to look at on the back of the drive.

Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance

Desktop Test System

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Lenovo T440 - Notebook Power Testing with DEVSLP and Windows 8.1 Pro

Nearly all of the performance tests run on the desktop system, but we use a Lenovo T440 to run the power tests. The T440 is the latest addition to our client SSD test lab, and allows us to test the notebook battery life offered by an SSD with advanced features like DEVSLP enabled.

ATTO - Baseline Performance

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34

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In ATTO, we measured the maximum performance at just over 560 MB/s read and 465 MB/s write. The numbers are spot on to the claimed performance from ADATA.

Benchmarks - Sequential Performance

HD Tune Pro - Sequential Performance

Version and / or Patch Used: 5.50

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The ADATA SP910 512GB doesn't have the same high sequential read performance levels as the top-tier drives on the market right now, but does compete against the mainstream / value products in this category.

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Most of the products in the mainstream / value category suffer from low write performance. Many of the same drives use SLC like layers in the flash management programing to increase short duration performance, but those speeds quickly drop off. The ADATA SP910 doesn't use special programing to give the illusion of high write performance, it just delivers. There are drives that are faster when writing sequential data, but the SP910 does well against other products in the same price range.

HD Tach - Sequential Write Performance after Random Writes

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0.4.0

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The previous tests were run to wear the flash. We also write some random data to the test drive before running HD Tach to gauge sequential performance outside of a FOB state. The SP910 manages to achieve high levels of sequential reads and writes. The sequential write section shows some deep dips in performance, but nothing under 150 MB/s.

Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities

Anvil Storage Utilities

Version and / or Patch Used: RC6

So, what is Anvil Storage Utilities? Well, it's a storage benchmark for SSDs and HDDs where you can check and monitor your performance. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test, or just the read or the write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16.

Anvil Storage Utilities is not officially available yet, but we've been playing with the beta for several months now. Anvil has been updating the software steadily on several international forums, and is adding new features every couple of months.

We can use Anvil several different ways to show different aspects for each drive. We've chosen to use this software to show the performance of a drive with two different data sets. The first is with compressible data, and the second data set is incompressible data. Several users have requested this data in our SSD reviews.

0-Fill Compressible Data

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Incompressible Data

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The ADATA Premier Pro SP910 handles compressible and incompressible data the same.

Low Queue Depth Read IOPS

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High Queue Depth Read IOPS

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With high queue depths, the SP910 delivers a lot of IOPS performance, but down low, the SP910 lacks the same punch as more well-known mainstream drives.

Low Queue Depth Write IOPS

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High Queue Depth Write IOPS

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The random write performance scales well as the load increases, but overall, the SP910 is slightly behind products like the Ultra II, 840 EVO, and MX100.

Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads

Sequential Mixed Read / Write Workloads

In this series of tests, we measure mixed workload performance. We start with 100% read and then add data writes to the mix in 10% increments until we get to 100% writes. We believe this will be the next major area SSD manufacturers will address, after performance consistency.

Sequential Mixed Workload Bandwidth

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Our new sequential mixed read / write workload test with the drives in steady state highlights a weak point in SATA devices. The ADATA SP910 is weak in this area; only the SanDisk Ultra II is slower in steady state.

Sequential 80% Read / 20% Write Bandwidth

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Here we see the drives at 80% read / 20% write, a metric Intel says is reasonable for consumer workloads. Here, the ADATA SP910 is the slowest model in our chart.

Random Mixed Workload Response Time

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In the random mixed workload test, we use 50% read / 50% write data. Again, with mixed workloads, the SP910 is the slowest drive on the chart.

PCMark 8 Consistency Test

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended - Consistency Test

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.0.228

Heavy Usage Model:

Futuremark's PCMark 8 allows us to wear the test drive down to a reasonable consumer steady state and then watch the drive recover on its own through garbage collection. To do that, the drive gets pushed down to steady state with random writes and then idle time between a number of tests allows the drive to recover.

Precondition Phase:

1. Write to the drive sequentially through up to the reported capacity with random data.

2. Write the drive through a second time (to take care of overprovisioning).

Degradation Phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for ten minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, eight times, and on each pass, increase the duration of random writes by five minutes.

Steady state Phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 50 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, five times.

Recovery Phase:

1. Idle for five minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, five times.

Storage Bandwidth All Tests

PCMark 8's Consistency test provides a ton of data output that we use to judge a drive's performance. Here we see the three states of performance for the select SSDs, light use, consumer steady state, and worst case.

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Storage Bandwidth All Tests

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Typical Consumer Bandwidth

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Things only get worse from here. In the final chart, we see the averaged performance from several typical consumer applications in typical performance states of a consumer SSD. The ADATA SP910 again trails the other SSDs on the chart.

PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued

Total Access Time

The access time test measures the total latency across all 18 tests. This is one of, if not the most important of the tests we run at this time for consumer SSDs. When your latency is low, your computer feels fast; it's just that simple.

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Typical Consumer Latency

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These charts show the combined latency of all tests. The first chart shows all of the performance states, from extreme use to light use. The second chart shows the typical consumer states that most of us are in a majority of the time. The SP910 has far more latency than any other drive on the chart.

Benchmarks - Power Testing

Bapco MobileMark 2012 1.5

Version and / or Patch Used: 2012 1.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

Test Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

MobileMark 2012 1.5 is an application-based benchmark that reflects usage patterns of business users in the areas of office productivity, media creation, and media consumption. Unlike benchmarks that only measure battery life, MobileMark 2012 measures battery life and performance simultaneously, showing how well a system design addresses the inherent tradeoffs between performance and power management.

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As we mentioned, things are going downhill rapidly. The ADATA SP910 only delivers two more minutes of notebook battery life over our baseline hard disk drive (Seagate Momentus Thin 500GB is the orange bar at the bottom).

Power Limited Performance

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The SP910 512GB did deliver better performance with the system in a limited power state.

Final Thoughts

ADATA has several 2.5" SATA III SSDs on the market. The product line reminds me of what OCZ Technology tried to do before going belly-up. The problem with so many products is customers don't know the difference between one product and the other. I work with SSDs every day and couldn't tell you why one drive would perform better than another without research. Luckily, I own nearly every drive on this list, short of the Server SX1000L. If I didn't have the drives I wouldn't know what was faster, what was slow, what had lower performance with incompressible data, and what works best with each application.

Since I do know these things, I have to wonder where ADATA come up with this list. The SP610 with a Silicon Motion 2246EN controller should be slower than the SP910 we tested today, going by ADATA's product naming scheme. The truth is, the SP610 is faster in some tests, and it's a better rounded SSD for consumer use.

In our testing, the SP920 performed really well with the higher capacity models. The SP920 512GB walks all over the SP910 512GB. That's most likely why the SP920 is readily available, and the SP910 is an unseen ghost when shopping for new 512GB SSDs.

Performance65%
Quality including Design and Build90%
General Features85%
Bundle and Packaging93%
Value for Money70%
Overall81%

The Bottom Line: Limited availability and poor performance mean you should look for something else when shopping for a new SSD. The SP920 has better performance at a lower price when you can find it.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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