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ADATA Ultimate SU800 SATA III SSD Review (Page 1)

ADATA Ultimate SU800 SATA III SSD Review

ADATA's Ultimate SU800 is the first third-party 3D TLC SSD on the market, but is it the "Ultimate"? Let's take a close look.

By Jon Coulter from Dec 30, 2016 @ 12:45 CST
TweakTown Rating: 89%Manufacturer: ADATA



ADATA's Ultimate SU800 (or SU800 as we will refer to it going forward) is the first SSD we've reviewed that is powered by SMI's recently launched SM2258 4-channel controller. We haven't been happy with SMI-controlled SSDs since back in the SM2246 days when everything was still MLC-based. We've tested a ton of SMI SM2256-powered SDDs, and none have earned a TweakTown recommendation, simply because none could sustain write transfers of more than about 125 MB/s, which is slower than a typical mechanical HDD.

We recently reviewed the SMI SM2260-powered Intel 600p NVMe SSD, and it had the same issue even though it is a Gen3 x4 PCIe NVMe SSD with 3D flash. We will go ahead and tell you up front that the SM2258-powered SU800 does not have this issue. Even the 128GB model delivers over 350 MB/s with our write transfer test.

ADATA's SU800 has a Micron 3D TLC flash array under the hood. This is the same 384Gbit 3D TLC flash that powers Crucial's MX300 and Intel's 600p. The SU800 will be competing directly with Crucial's popular MX300 for market share. They both have the same flash array but employ different controllers. Crucial's MX300 is powered by Marvell's 88SS1074 4-channel flash controller, the SU800, as mentioned, is powered by SMI's SM2258 4-channel controller. The SM2258 is armed with an advanced LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) ECC engine. LDPC error correction significantly extends the endurance of SU800's flash array netting the SU800 more than double the endurance of the MX300 at similar capacity points.

As with all modern TLC SSDs, the SU800 employs pSLC caching to boost burst performance. SMI calls the SLC caching scheme used by the SM2258 "Intelligent SLC Caching." We don't know a whole lot about the technical details of SMI's Intelligent SLC Caching technology, other than it seems to be dynamic in nature and that it functions far better than what we've seen previously from SMI-controlled SSDs. Unlike what we see from the MX300 series, the extra capacity that is inherent to Micron 384Gbit flash isn't rolled into extra user capacity or OP, but rather into the SU800's SLC cache capacity, which should be very good from a performance standpoint. Let's take a close look at that performance.




  • Sequential Read: up to 560 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: up to 520 MB/s
  • Max 4K Random Read Speed: up to 80,000 IOPS
  • Max 4K Random Write Speed: up to 80,000 IOPS
  • Endurance: up to 800TBW
  • MTTF: 2 Million Hours
  • Warranty: 3-Year Limited Warranty
  • TRIM
  • Garbage Collection
  • Software: SSD Toolbox, Migration Software

Current Pricing: 128GB = $49.99, 256GB = $69.99, 512GB = $129.99, 1TB = Unknown

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