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Old 12-05-15   #1
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ADATA Premier Pro SP920SS SSD Review


Introduction:

It was only a few years ago when SSDs had just come in and there was a lot of buzz about their great performance, reliability and high price/GB. As with almost everything in technology, today’s SSDs are much better of. They are far more performant, reliable and cheaper than before. With a plethora of SSDs to choose from, it can be a touch decision to make. ADATA have been in the SSD business for a while now and today we will be taking a look at their Premier Pro SP 920SS 256GB SSD. It has been around for a while, so while it might not be the fastest SSD right now, it sure can be a great value deal.

Its my first ever SSD review, so my methods might not be fully ‘industry standard’, feel free to post your suggestions on what benchmarks you would like to see. The benchmarks I will include today will mostly be synthetic, which I can tell with my experience with the Seagate momentus XT, its not always about the numbers. I will try to include some more real world as well as SSD consistency benchmarks in the future reviews.For now, here is the list of benchmarks that I will be using:

Synthetic Benchmark – CrystalDiskMark

Synthetic Benchmark – Atto Disk Benchmark

Synthetic Benchmark – HD Tune

Real World Benchmark – File Transfer

I have also included benchmarks for 2 other drives, one is my trusted Seagate Momentus XT 750GB, which should give you an idea of a traditional HDD and the other is a budget SSD, the Transcend SSD340 128GB.

So next up, we will be taking a look at whats inside the box and then over to the more interesting bits.


Bundle And Packaging:

The packaging is fairly standard and simple. Its got a lot of branding and features laid out in front and some (very limited) technical details behind. According to ADATA, the SSD can perform reads at speeds up to 560MB/s and writes at 360MB/sec, now how true that is, we will need to see.


Inside, we find a bunch of useful stuff. We have a 3.5″ HDD mounting adapter, a 2.5mm spacer for using in laptops, a bag of screws and a quick start guide.

A Closer Look:

The ADATA Premier Pro SP920SS uses 8 32GB chips, to give a total of 256GB. These chips are 128Gbit Synchronous NAND chips from Micron and are the same ones used in the 512GB and 1TB variants of this SSD.




Unlike a lot of the SSDs in the market, this one does not use a Sandforce controller. This SSD uses Marvell 88SS9189 controller, in fact the whole assembly is said to be nearly identical to the Crucial M550.


The SSD also uses a DDR3 buffer, which in this case is also made by Micron (FBGA Code: D9QNP). Its 256MB DDR3 memory with an effective clock of 1600MHz.


That’s pretty much all the talk, now lets take this thing for a spin!

CrystalDiskMark:

One of the most straight-forward tests, which tests a drive’s sequential and random, Read/Write performance.


Those numbers seem pretty close to the rated figures.


Compare to the other drives, there is no doubt the ADATA is the winner here. The Transcend SSD340 does match the ADATA in sequential reads but lags behind in the writes.

A little bit about what the benchmark means:

Seq – Sequential reads and writes. Easiest for the drive as the drive does not need to get a new write position after every chunk is written.

512K – Random reads and writes with 512KB blocks of data. This is obviously more difficult as after every block is written, a new (random) write point is chosen.

4K – Same as above, but with 4KB blocks, this is much more difficult as the drive has to do more ‘seeks’. This is an indicative of worst case performance for any drive.

4K QD32 – Same as the 4K test, but with a queue depth of 32. This should increase the performance as it would benefit from controller’s I/O algorithms.

In all cases, higher the numbers, the better.

Atto Disk Benchmark:

A pretty neat tool used by a lot of people to get an accurate read on hard drive performance. It gives you different options with respect to the type of load in the benchmark. For our tests, I chose overlapped I/O with a queue depth of 10. The block size ranged from 4KB to 2MB, which should give a fair representation of real life loads.


As you can see, the sequential reads come close to 560MB/s and the writes at 360MB/s.


The ADATA SP920SS outperforms the traditional and budget competitors too.

HD Tune Pro Benchmark:

HD Tune Pro provides a bunch of functionalities such as hdd error checking, health checking, monitoring, etc. It also comes with some pretty nifty benchmarks which let you test your drive under various kinds of loads.


Pretty much the same story here, sequential reads of 500MB/s and writes at 348MB/s.


The read/write IOPS look decent for an SSD in this price range. If you have a lot of reads and writes, something like a database sort of load, you should pay attention to these numbers.

Real World Tests:

For our real world tests, I decided to check some file transfer speeds.I used a 4GB RAM disk which was pretty much the limit as I had just 8GB. We use a RAM disk so that the other drive does not become a bottleneck. I used a 3.5GB compressed file for these tests and measured the time to transfer. These are not perfect tests as its too short a test, but the times should give you an idea of things.


Again, do suggest some more real-world tests that you would like to see.

The Verdict:

Overall I think the ADATA Premier Pro SP920SS is an interesting option. It performs well and as advertised, its got all the essential features and with 256GB it provides a comfortable size, enough for the OS and most apps. Its performance might not be bleeding edge, but as benchmarks show, its far better than regular HDDs and even last gen budget SSDs. The recommendation of this SSD really depends on its price, which sadly, I could not confirm. I think it will be a decent but at a price of around Rs 7000 but anything above that I think it would be worth spending a little extra for something newer like the Samsung 850 EVO. I will rate it 7/10, its a good SSD that will surely but a great buy if found at the right price. You can read the original review at :ADATA Premier Pro SP920SS SSD Review | Tech Verdict

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Old 12-05-15   #2
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Re: ADATA Premier Pro SP920SS SSD Review

Good To see you Rajan, this seems nice but ther are other options that are also competition to this..
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Old 12-05-15   #3
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Re: ADATA Premier Pro SP920SS SSD Review

Yeah, plenty of faster alternative out there, just that this can be a good deal if someone has some kind of clearance sale going on.
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