ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SATA III SSD Review

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When considering the idea of purchasing a sports car, what are the main features you look for? I know for me, it is all about horsepower, torque, and top speed. Usable cargo room does not even cross my mind as a consideration in the same way, as if I was looking for a family friendly car. Don’t get me wrong, having cargo space is certainly a luxury that is appreciated, especially as a homeowner who needs to pick up random items to maintain their residence, but it just does not have the same attraction as power and speed do. People certainly have a desire for the next fastest thing. A high performance sports car can offer those thrills, traveling at 120MPH, on a closed track of course.

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD

 

When it comes to electronics and computers, we have the same desire for speed and responsiveness. Unfortunately, sometimes we need to sacrifice something to get the performance level we desire. When talking about SSDs we often sacrifice storage space for a higher performance drives. With the average SSD size ranging from 60GB to 512GB, sizes are far from those of mechanical storage devices, which at this point have reached 4TB in size. Opting for a mechanical drive is choosing storage over speed, considering the speed disparity between the two solutions.

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD

 

The ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD uses the SandForce 2281 controller, it is capable of read speeds up to 550MB/Sec and write speeds of 520MB/Sec. The ADATA XPG SX900 SSD series is designed to fit into ADATA’s Xtreme Performance Gear line of equipment, it offers top of the line performance in a sleek package. Utilizing a high quality NAND memory and new firmware the XPG SX900 SSD offers the full 128GB of storage space. The drive supports TRIM, NCQ, S.M.A.R.T, SATA III connectivity and is backwards compatible with SATA II controllers. The drives are available in two packages, a notebook package that comes with an external enclosure and a 3.5 inch drive adapter, and a desktop kit that only comes with the 3.5 inch adapter. Both come with a 3 year warranty. ADATA also bundles the Acronis True Image HD data migration utility to assist with moving information when upgrading drives.

 

 


 

 


Specifications

Model ASX900S3-128GM-C
Capacity 128GB
Dimensions 100 x 69.85 x 9.5mm
Weight 76g
Form Factor 2.5"
Read Speed Up to 550MB/sec
Write Speed Up to 530MB/sec
NAND Flash Components 2xnm Multi-Level Cell (MLC) Synchronous NAND Flash Memory
NAND Controller SandForce 2281
Shock Tolerance 1500G
MTBF 1,000,000 hrs
Interface SATA 6Gb/sec (SATA III)
Warranty 3 Years

 

Features

  • MTBF: 1,000,000 hrs
  • TRIM Support (requires OS support)
  • NCQ Support
  • Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) Support
  • Backwards compatible with SATA II
  • 3.5” desktop conversion bracket
  • Acronis True Image HD, Disk Migration Utility
  • 3-Year warranty
  • OS Compatibility: Windows 7 / Windows XP / Windows Vista / Mac OS X / Linux

 

 


(As of January 1, 2010) To test all Hard Drives, SSDs, Hard Drive Enclosures and Hard Drive Docks, Hi Tech Legion will use its suite of popular diagnostic benchmarks. In most benchmarks "Higher is Better" unless otherwise stated. Benchmarks will include HD Tune, Crystal Mark, AIDA64 (Disk Benchmark) and ATTO. The benchmarks used are easily accessible to the general public. Depending on the drive tested, benchmarks may or may not reflect comparisons to other drives. Hi Tech Legion will also try to provide comparisons in seconds on applications and games. (Initialization Times, when specified). For External Hard Drives, Enclosures and Docks, file transfer times will be benchmarked. Both test SSDs will be plugged into Intel AHCI SATA 6Gb/s port for the test.

Test System:

System Specifications

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3930K
  • Motherboard: MSI X79-GD65(8D)
  • CPU Heatsink: Phanteks PH-TC14PE
  • Heatsink Paste: Noctua NT-H1
  • Memory: 4x4GB G.Skill Ares 2133MHz DDR3
  • Video Cards: ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB (OS), OCZ Vertex 3 120GB, Patriot Pyro SE 120GB, ADATA XPG SX900 128GB (FW 5.0.2a)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Professional Series Gold 1200W
  • Optical Drive: LG Blu-Ray
  • Case: NZXT Switch 810
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

 

Benchmarks:

Read and or Write

  • AIDA64
  • ATTO
  • Crystal DiskMark
  • AS SSD
  • IOmeter
  • File Copy (1GB and 5GB)
  • Load times (Windows 7 boot and Photoshop)

 

 


AIDA64 is a diagnostic and benchmarking tool. AIDA64 will be used for its Disk Benchmark. We will use the read test suite. FinalWire is the producer of this software.

 

Comparison

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB AIDA 64 Random Read Benchmark

 

 


ATTO is a Hard Disk benchmark that that calculates both read and write times. You can download ATTO here.

 

Comparison

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD ATTO Benchmark

 

 


Crystal Mark is a disk benchmark software that features:

  • Sequential reads/writes
  • Random 4KB/512KB reads/writes
  • Text copy
  • Change dialog design
  • internationalization (i18n)
  • Download Crystal Mark

 

 

Comparison

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB CrystalDiskMark Benchmark

 

 


The AS SSD benchmark, by Alex Intelligent Software, is specifically written for SSD drive performance measurements. AS SSD measures sequential read and write, access time and 4K IOPS both single threaded and 64-threaded. The official download can be found at http://www.alex-is.de/PHP/fusion/downloads.php?cat_id=4.

AS SSD Compression Benchmark

AS SSD Copy Benchmark

 

Comparison

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB AS SSD Benchmark

 

 

 


As the name implies, IOmeter is a benchmark utility for the I/O subsystem, which is currently maintained and developed by Open Source Development Lab. IOmeter is set to use 4kb chunks with a queue depth of 32 I/O operations equally divided between read and write. Measurement is given in total IOPS in a two minute period. This particular script does not necessarily emulate real world conditions and has been known to favor the SandForce controller based SSD solutions.

Comparison

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB IOmeter Benchmark

*We have tested with multiple IOmeter scripts and have found that, based on the script, it favored one controller over the other. IOmeter is a popular SSD benchmark for its reliability, but a script written for the specific NAND tested will benefit that NAND. We have chosen to use a 4K file which will be used for all subsequent reviews, unless otherwise specified*

 

 


The 1 and 5 Gigabyte files are placed on the desktop then sent to the SSD. This allows the SSD to both read the file before transfer then write it to the SSD. Times are calculated in Seconds for the 1 Gigabyte file and Minutes and Seconds for the 5 Gigabyte file.

Comparison

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB 1GB and 5GB File Transfer

 

 


Other than the 5GB transfer test, a real-world assessment of an SSD's performance can be done by comparing application load times.  The first application test measured Windows 7 boot time from the boot loading screen until the Aero desktop has been fully loaded and there are no busy icons present.  All test drives had a cloned Windows image.  The second test measures Adobe Photoshop load times from the moment of launch by clicking on a desktop icon until all the modules have been loaded.

Comparison:

ADATA XPG SX900 128GB Application Load Times

 

 


Provided by: ADATA

No compensation was received for review of this product.

Price Point

Price: $119.99 USD @ Newegg.com

Class: Mainstream

The ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD is priced in the Mainstream Class of SSD Drives

Reviewer's Opinion

The ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD performs well in all tests and is available at price below $1 dollar per GB. At the price and size, the SSD is the perfect upgrade for a desktop machine, especially considering the included disk imaging software and 3.5” desktop bracket. With the price of SSDs continuing to fall and the increased speeds, inevitably they will be in every modern system as the boot drive. Unfortunately, with the size of most affordable SSDs space still needs to be conserved so a user needs to choose wisely what to install on the drive and what to put on a mechanical drive.

One of the beauties of SSDs is that they run cool, efficiently, and silently. This is a major plus, considering that temperature, energy usage, and noise are the enemies of most system builders. The ADATA SX900 using only 0.5 watts of energy idle and 1.2 watts under load proves to be energy efficient and thanks to that runs cool. Of course, since there are no moving parts, it also runs without adding any noise to the system.

In all tests, the ADATA SX900 performed at close to the same level or outperformed the comparison drives. In the tests where the SX900 was outperformed, the difference was such a minor amount that it would not be perceivable during normal use. The only test that produced an anomaly was IOmeter where the SSD scored less then expected. Unfortunately, the IOmeter test can favor certain drives based on the different controllers and NAND used in SSDs. In this case, we believe this is what caused the lower numbers. In the real world file transfer tests and application load tests, the drive performed very well, speeds were significantly higher than mechanical drives and on par with other SSDs.

Overall, the ADATA SX900 series SSD is priced well and has the performance to compete in the high performance market. The exterior of the drive is aesthetically pleasing with its black brushed aluminum finish and casing is solidly built. Efficiency, temperatures, and silence have been a focus of system builders and enthusiasts alike. The SX900 meets these demands by running cool, using very little energy, and maintaining peace and quite. The ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD earns the HiTechLegion Gold award, thanks to its price to performance ratio and bundled accessories.

*update* We have been made aware that there is an issue with the SandForce controllers and some firmware revisions, where the TRIM function of the drive can fail and the drive will degrade over time. In our three weeks of testing, we did not experience any degradation that could be attributed to TRIM. In future testing, if we do experience degradation, we will update the review.

 

Likes

  • Excellent Read/Write Speeds
  • Solid Casing
  • Shock Resistance to 1500G
  • TRIM Support
  • Excellent 4k Performance
  • Included 3.5" Adapter
  • Price
  • Included Disk Imaging/Cloning Software
  • 3 Year Warranty

 

Dislikes

  • None

 

 

HTL Gold Award

 

 

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