ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED)

ADATA's XPG Gammix S70 Blade is the first SSD to sport an InnoGrit IG5236 controller with a 176Layer Micron TLC flash array.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Thu, Sep 9 2021 8:53 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Sep 16 2021 5:09 PM CDT
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: ADATA (AGAMMIXS70B-2T-CS)

Introduction & Drive Details

UPDATED 9-15-21: Please note ADATA has issued a firmware update (3.2.F.2A) for its S70 Blade that completely changes our outlook on the drive. With this firmware update the 2TB S70 Blade has gone from an average performer to TweakTown Elite. We've updated all images, charts and upgraded its award to reflect the massive change for the better. All charts will show before and after the FW update.

Normally we would not care enough to do an update, but the magnitude of this performance increase compels us to do so. We will not be changing our original wording throughout the review, as it has already been published, so some of what you may read no longer applies. The important thing is with its new firmware it is certified TweakTown Elite and Editors Choice.

It seems as though everyone is jumping on the PS5 storage expansion bandwagon lately. It's not hard to imagine why, with millions upon millions of PS5 consoles in desperate need of more internal storage. ADATA has revamped its S70 series, making it very PlayStation 5 friendly. ADATA's newest S70 iteration is called the S70 Blade. The S70 Blade sans the oversized heat sink that came preinstalled on its original XPG Gammix S70 model for something much thinner and more compatible with a variety of devices, including the PS5. ADATA has verified that the S70 Blade meets all requirements for PS5 internal storage expansion, and we see it as potentially a very good fit indeed for that purpose.

ADATA has also made some changes to the S70, including sticking a 176Layer Micron TLC flash array behind its InnoGrit IG5236 PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe controller. In fact, the S70 Blade represents our first look at this particular controller/flash pairing. ADATA states the S70 Blade is capable of delivering sequential read/write speeds of up to 7400/6800 MB/s. We ran a quick CDM on our AMD system to verify this claim:

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 33 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 33 IMAGES

We had no problem exceeding claimed sequential read speeds, and in fact, we nearly hit 7,500 MB/s. We fell a bit short of ADATA's claimed 6,800 MB/s sequential write claim, but we got close enough that we will call it good. Now, those sequential speeds are eye-catching, to be sure, but we have our eye on something we find far more intriguing; 4K Q1T1 random read as it is hovering at record levels. This is what 176Layer flash, along with new firmware, is bringing to the table. Additionally, this new flash/firmware combo is said to enable much-needed lower operating temps.

Now let's dive in and take a close look at ADATA's XPG Gammix S70 Blade.

Drive Details

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 01 | TweakTown.com

The S70 Blade is currently priced at what we feel is a massive bargain. Pricing like that is almost unheard of for a hyper-class SSD like the S70, and you get the full 1024GB or 2048GB.

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The drive comes naked with an optional heat sink. Just the way we like it. The included heat sink is pretty thin, and there is some question whether it can cool the drive effectively in certain scenarios.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$329.99$329.99$329.99
* Prices last scanned on 10/17/2021 at 6:51 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 07 | TweakTown.com
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The S70 Blade comes out swinging, delivering a lab record for this hardware /software configuration for the highest sequential read speed. Additionally, and certainly surprisingly, the drive ties with Samsung's 980 Pro for the highest 4K Q1T1 random read numbers we've ever seen from a flash-based SSD. Typically, this bodes well for real performance that matters, so this is encouraging to see.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 12 | TweakTown.com
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Well, this certainly runs contrary to what we hoped to see from the S70 Blade with its new 176Layer flash array. We know that the IG5326 controller is capable of delivering much more under the right conditions, as exemplified by our newly crowned performance leader, the Plextor M10P 2TB. Then we find the S70 Blade again running contrary to our expectations by delivering a lab record 1 million read IOPS. This is exactly why synthetic results cannot be used as the sole basis for performance rankings. Synthetic numbers can only be used for verifying stated throughput claims.

ATTO

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 16 | TweakTown.com
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Sequential speeds at QD4 128K are not improved with the upgrade to 176L flash, as you can see from its older S70 sibling.

Real-World Testing: Transfers, Gaming, PCM10

Transfer Rates

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 19 | TweakTown.com
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Performance that matters, and the S70 Blade steps up and delivers one of the best transfer rates we've seen from any SSD we've tested to date. This is encouraging.

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Again, the S70 Blade steps up to the plate and delivers blistering performance where we want to see it.

Game Level Loading

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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. The S70 Blade places near the top of our chart, demonstrating that it is an excellent choice for gaming duties.

PCM10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.

The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

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This particular test writes over 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

A storage bandwidth of 512 MB/s is respectable for sure, but it is, however, the lowest result we've seen from an IG5236 controlled SSD running on an Intel-based system.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

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ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 30 | TweakTown.com

We see below-average performance here and again, the lowest we've recorded for any IG5236 controlled SSD running on an Intel platform. Oddly enough, the upgrade to 176Layer flash is not translating into a better user experience.

Final Thoughts

The S70 Blade is kind of a mixed bag as we see it. The drive has shown itself to be one of the better gaming SSDs available, even beating out the likes of Samsung's 980 Pro and ADATA's own gaming juggernaut S50 Lite. Superior gaming performance is primarily what ADATA has set out to do with the S70 Blade, and in that respect, they have come through with flying colors. On the other hand, upgrading to 176L flash has done nothing to improve the drive's consumer workload performance.

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 31 | TweakTown.com

We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage tests. We consider a user experience score of over 7K to verify an SSD as TweakTown Elite. Although the S70 Blade has proven itself a competent SSD worthy of consideration for your next build or PS5 storage expansion, it's not showing itself to be TweakTown Elite.

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB SSD Review (UPDATED) 32 | TweakTown.com

While the S70 Blade isn't the absolute best performer we've had come across our test bench, it does present an extreme value for a Hyper-Class SSD. Less than 15 cents per gigabyte for a superior PCIe Gen4 x4 gaming SSD capable of more than 7,400 MB/s throughput is something that should not be overlooked. The excellent gaming performance and value pricing have earned the ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB one of our highest awards.

As clearly demonstrated by our updated charts and screenshots the ADATA XPG S70 Blade 2TB with FW 3.2.F.2A and 176Layer flash is one of the best performing SSDs ever made. We have certified it TweakTown Elite and bestowed it our highest award. We will also add that as currently priced, it may present the highest value in its class. Awesome job ADATA!

Pros

  • 7,400 MB/s Throughput
  • Gaming
  • Pricing

Cons

  • None
Buy at Amazon

Performance

97%

Quality

97%

Features

99%

Value

100%

Overall

98%

The Bottom Line

Certified as a TweakTown Elite performer and less than 15 cents per gigabyte. You do not want to miss out on ADATA's awesome S70 Blade 2TB.

TweakTown award
98%

ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$329.99$329.99$329.99
* Prices last scanned on 10/17/2021 at 6:51 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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