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ADATA XPG SX8200 240GB & 480GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

ADATA XPG SX8200 240GB & 480GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review
ADATA, Micron and SMI team up to go from worst to first.
By: Jon Coulter | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: May 29, 2018 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 99%Manufacturer: ADATA

Introduction

 

When ADATA launched their first NVMe SSD, the XPG SX8000, it was one of the worst performing SSDs on the market. The SX8000 paired Micron first generation 32-Layer MLC flash with SMI's SM2260 NVMe controller. This unfortunate combination conspired to make the SX8000 overpriced and underwhelming on the performance front. True, the SX8000 was one of very few NVMe SSDs that utilized 3D MLC flash, but that contributed nothing to the mix other than driving up production cost.

 

adata-xpg-sx8200-240gb-480gb-2-nvme-pcie-ssd-review_01

 

The SX8000, like first generation 3D Micron flash and SMI's SM2260 controller was a learning experience for all involved. Silicon Motion's SM2260 controller is one that we are sure they would rather forget about, but it set the stage for redemption. Same goes for Micron who's first generation 3D NAND was the worst on the market.

 

Today is a new day - the day of redemption. ADATA's XPG SX8200 is a culmination of doing everything right. ADATA's XGP SX8200 pairs a Silicon Motion SM2262 controller with Micron 64-Layer 3D TLC flash and ADATA's firmware expertise. This time all parties involved brought their A-Game. Micron's second generation 64-Layer 3D TLC flash is the best in the business. SMI's SM2262 controller is one of the industries best, and ADATA's engineering team is on top of their game.

 

Let's take a quick look at Silicon Motion's potent SM2262 controller:

 

adata-xpg-sx8200-240gb-480gb-2-nvme-pcie-ssd-review_02

 

Silicon Motion's SM2262 controller comes in two versions, the SM2262 is the more moderate version and the SM2262EN is the all-out performance version. To date, we have only seen the non-EN version utilized. The SX8200 we have in the lab today utilizes the tamer SM2262 version but make no mistake the SM2262 controller is one of the best available. Both versions deliver similar random performance, but the EN version delivers substantially better sequential performance. Notable features include LDPC error correction (which greatly extends the endurance of NAND-flash), end to end data path protection, encryption, 8 NAND channels, NVMe 1.3 and best-in-class low lower.

 

ADATA's SX8200 Series pairs SMI's SM2262 controller with Micron's's 64-layer TLC (Triple Level Cell) 256Gbit 3D flash.

 

adata-xpg-sx8200-240gb-480gb-2-nvme-pcie-ssd-review_92

 

Micron's 64-layer TLC flash is based on floating gate technology with CMOS under array. Micron believes this is more efficient than competitive 3D NAND based on replacement gate technology. Advantages include higher areal density and better manufacturing efficiency, resulting in lower production cost per bit. We will point out that we feel IMFT 64-Layer 3D TLC is the best 3D flash currently on the market. Lowest cost, best random read performance.

 

 

Normally we don't spill the beans right off the bat, but ADATA's SX8200 gives us everything we are looking for. Most notable is unmatched low queue-depth random read performance for a flash-based SSD. This is where performance matters, and this is where the SX8200 is better than the rest. Combining performance where it matters most with a 5-Year warranty and a low price-point makes ADATA's SX8200 our current favorite SSD.

 

 

Specifications

 

adata-xpg-sx8200-240gb-480gb-2-nvme-pcie-ssd-review_03

 

ADATA's XPG SX8200 Series is available in three capacities: 240GB, 480GB and 960GB

 

  • MTBF: 2 Million Hours
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • SLC caching
  • LDPC
  • Data Shaping
  • RAID Engine
  • SMART
  • TRIM
  • Garbage Collection

 

Availability: The 240GB model is currently selling at Amazon for $99.99, the 480GB model for $189.99.

 

We will see if we can get a 960GB model in for future testing, which would be great because it is significantly faster than the lower capacity models when running moderate workloads.

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