ADATA, well known for their myriad storage solutions, has recently announced the release of their budget oriented SP600 SSD. The new drive will offer read write speeds of 360MB/s and 130MB/s respectively and deliver up to 40,000 IOPS. The SP600 will be offered in 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB variants priced at $49, $69 and $99 respectively.
Well, just when we thought the SSD industry was completely saturated, ADATA decides to release something of a wild card with their new SSD. What makes this product so unique is the incorporation of JMicron’s JMF 661 controller, which is something of an unknown at this point. Going from specs alone, it’s clear that the Taiwanese firm’s controller won’t be winning any benchmarks when compared to the likes of LSI Sandforce and Marvell, but that’s not really what this little ASIC is all about. The fact of the matter is ADATA’s new opus is all about price/performance and, as such, overall speed often takes a backseat to cost in order to be tailored to a specific market segment. This is what is demanded by many consumers and they’re willing to sacrifice some performance points so as not to empty their pockets completely.
Another point in favor of ADATA’s choice of hardware is one of perception. That is, the vast majority of consumers really won’t be able to tell the difference between the best LSI/Sandforce drive and a lower end offering such as this. The reason is that for general desktop use, anything above around 20,000 IOPS or so is like throwing pearls before swine and, for the most part, unnecessary. Simply moving to solid state storage, regardless of its absolute performance, will most definitely net you a super snappy system in which program loads and and general usage is nearly instantaneous. This really does bode well for ADATA’s new product because, depending on their specific needs, many users will actually be getting the best of both worlds. The only potential problem I can see with this solution has to do with JMicron’s spotty past when it comes to SSD controller performance. Though they seem to have banished most of their past demons, upcoming reviews will be able to tell us if everything is solid.
All in all, it appears ADATA has a very interesting product on their hands. By combining decent performance with bottom drawer pricing, they have satisfied the requirements of a very large portion of the SSD market. Of course, time will tell if they got the balance just right, but it does seem that they have provided a relatively painless way for many consumers to enter the solid atate storage market. If the new drives are able to provide a consistent experience for end users, I see no reason why the new drive would be anything but a runaway success. One other point is that this drive really does raise many interesting opportunities when it comes to rolling your caching solution. In general though, those looking for solid state performance without fundamentally altering the state of their budget should probably look no further than ADATA’s new creation.