Adata Premier SP550 SSD Review (240GB)

Early last month we reviewed Adata’s newest SATA 6Gb/s contender in the enthusiast market segment, the XPG SX930. Utilizing a JMicron controller and premium MLC NAND, it delivered good performance at a decent price point.  Today we are going to shift gears and take a look at their latest entry level SATA 6Gb/s SSD, the Premier SP550. The Premier SP550 is the first retail product we have come across with the Silicon Motion SM2256 controller since our initial preview back in February. Furthermore, it boasts SK Hynix TLC NAND, which is also a first for us. We are hoping to see an improvement in the SM2256’s performance now that the firmware has been finalized, so today’s results may be quite interesting to see. Can the Premier SP550, utilizing this new controller and TLC combo, deliver? Let’s find out.

Adata Premier SP550 240GB Main

SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY

The Premier SP550 is a SATA 6Gb/s 2.5″ 7mm form factor SSD. It is currently available in capacities of 120GB ($60), 240GB ($80), and 480GB ($170). A 960GB model will be coming however. Its performance is rated for up to 560MB/s read and 510MB/s write for both the 240GB and 480GB models, however, the 120GB model is only rated for up to 410MB/s write. In terms of IOPS the 240GB and 480GB models are rated for up to 75K IOPS read and write while the 120GB is rated for up to 60K read/70K write.

It features LDPC ECC Technology as well as a RAID Engine & Data Shaping to help extend the flash endurance. The 120GB and 240GB models are rated for up to 90TBW while the 480GB is rated for up to 180TBW and the 960GB model doubles that for a rating up to 360TBW. It has SLC caching to help with performance and supports DevSleep. Besides that, it comes with a 2.5mm disk bay spacer you can use if needed.

Overall warranty length is 3 years, which is standard of their drives.

ADATA SP550 toolbox

Also, just as for their other SSDs, you can download Adata’s SSD toolbox to quickly and conveniently configure, optimize, and monitor your drive. Also, you can download Acronis True image HD off their website as well to aid in migrating your OS to your new SSD.

PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS

As this is an entry level product, the packaging is pretty bland compared to its higher-end brother, however, there is still a see through window that allows you to see the drive on the front.

Adata Premier SP550 240GB Packaging Adata Premier SP550 240GB AccessoriesWe can see that once opened that it comes with the drive, the spacer, and a quick start guide. Adata Premier SP550 240GB Front and BackThe shell has a nice matte black finish accented by their logo on a silver reflective sticker.

Adata Premier SP550 240GB Disassembled Adata Premier SP550 240GB PCBOnce disassembled we can see that they did not included a thermal pad to help distribute heat into the shell off the controller. During our testing runs the controller reached up to 63C, which isn’t too bad considering the drive is fully stressed.

Overall, there are 8 NAND packages on our 240GB model with room for another 8. The NAND is supplied by SK Hynix. Each package is 32GiB in capacity for a total RAW NAND capacity of 256GiB. Since the usable capacity is 240GB, we can see that it is over provisioned by ~7%. The total usable capacity once formatted in our system is 223GiB.

Adata Premier SP550 240GB NANDAdata Premier SP550 240GB Controller

There is also a single DRAM chip and controller. The DRAM chip is a Samsung made 256 DDR3 chip. The controller is the new SM2256 controller as we mentioned before. Specifics on this controller can be read in our controller preview analysis here.

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Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

80MB/s write on TLC area ?

Thats really really bad. That means 120GB model would only achieve 40MB/s at best.

Looks like hynix TLC isn’t really on par with micron or toshiba flash.

Dan
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Dan

That fourth ‘Performance’ star is more than a little bit generous.

Sean Webster
Guest

To be fair, look how well it does in PCMark 8. Sure, large transfers aren’t great past the cache buffer and are slower than the Samsung EVO, but in PCMark it is on par with it. In most consumer workloads you have short bursts of writes. For the given use and market segment, the performance, while slower than the competition in large write transfers, is still decent.

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

I wounder how endurance fairs, given this clearly isn’t the best TLC out there.

Sean Webster
Guest

Well, we are guaranteed what the specs state. The 120GB and 240GB models are rated for up to 90TBW, the 480GB is
rated for up to 180TBW and the 960GB model is rated up
to 360TBW. If it wears before then within 3 years one can RMA.

Nirjhar Mistry
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Nirjhar Mistry

Hello, I have been using this drive about 1 month, I found out that Reallocation event count RAW value is 7 from the first day and drive temperature is around 36C- 42C. Is that normal?

Mike
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Mike

What are the top 5 consumer ssds for large file transfers in your opinion?

Sean Webster
Guest

Why type of drive are you looking for? PCIe, SATA, M.2, etc?

Mike
Guest
Mike

SATA. I have an old motherboard. M3a78pro

HERETIC
Guest
HERETIC

Your only going to get around 200 MB on that MB-
Restricted by it’s 3Gb Sata ports.
Modern MB have 6Gb ports that max out around 500 MB.
But in answer to your question
Samsung 850 pro.
Sandisk extreme pro.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Tanks for the suggestions. I have a Asus g74sx laptop also. I know the Samsung pro and sandisk pro are good but I am looking for the 5 best ssds at large transfers not just the top two. So I can get the best deal on price.

Sean Webster
Guest

Well, there are still many mainstream drives that can do that, you don’t need to buy the best of the best. The BX 100 and Samsung 850 EVO can sustain write speeds and are usually popular choices. Just stay away from the dirt cheap value segment, especially TLC if it isn’t 3D.

HERETIC
Guest
HERETIC

Hi Mike, Forgot to mention in earlier post-Capacity of the drive plays
a big part in the write speed.
Example-If you wanted only a 120/128GB size then your almost
totally limited to Samsung pro.
If your considering 480/512GB then most MLC drives will be fine.

Personally I will only buy drives where the flash has been cut and
binned by the manufacturer-So that cuts out the likes of A-Data
and Kingston-This is only personal preferance-Remembering
that this was what gave OCZ a 60% failure rate on some of their
drives.

Dan
Guest
Dan

All of those qualifiers don’t get reflected in that Performance star rating. Perhaps an additional category like ‘Price:Performance Within the Consumer Value Level Peer Group’ is needed.

Sean Webster
Guest

I have been thinking about this and will consider this highly for our future reviews. Thanks for the suggestion!

Mike
Guest
Mike

Smaller drives may not need fast transfer speeds ( OS ) 120gb 240gb ,but the larger drives are used for ( backup, storage, large transfers ) 480gb 960gb. these larger drives need more write speed after the buffer.

Sean Webster
Guest

I agree completely.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Good thing you guys test these ssds for us consumers. thanks for the reviews! Some or maybe more than it should be of these new ssds are slow. 80 mbs transfer speed for a 30gb file I think that’s terrible, when these ssds are advertised for 560 read / 510 write max. hdds are faster than that. If not for the slc caching and the dram buffer how slow would this new nand really be. These new controllers with their slc caching and there dram buffers paired with inferior nand hide their true speed and give some new ssds a… Read more »

Holt
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Holt

Please change: “Overall, there are 8 NAND packages on our 240GB model with room for another 8. The NAND is supplied by SK Hynix. Each package is 32GB in capacity for a total RAW NAND capacity of 256GB. Since the usable capacity is 240GB, we can see that it is over provisioned by ~7%. The total usable capacity once formatted in our system is 223GB.” To: “Overall, there are 8 NAND packages on our 240GB model with room for another 8. The NAND is supplied by SK Hynix. Each package is 32GiB in capacity for a total RAW NAND capacity… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
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The initial statement is correct. This is a value oriented consumer drive. Utilizing GiB that the consumer has no understanding of is pointless. There is no mistake in the statement made.

Stephen Rimington
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Stephen Rimington

If you are not using your laptop for gaming our any thing that intensive like rendering these ssds will do the high end ssds are costly

Lloyd Dunamis
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Lloyd Dunamis

I beg to differ, at least for the gaming part.
This seems like a nice little SSD for entry-level SSD game loading speeds. And since games don’t write much, save for installation and updating/patching, the slow-ish writes won’t matter as there won’t be “frequent” Gigabytes of writes for games.

Also, if you don’t mind, you could use some punctuation in your sentences. I had to read that several times to get it.

Stephen Rimington
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Stephen Rimington

And before you say it i live out in out back Queensland and a lot people out here are cattle people so there funds are restricted so they dont have the money for they high end stuff but they want something that works and will do the job ssds are more responsive faster but the high end ones can be a bit costly for what they want them for

HERETIC
Guest
HERETIC

And that is why people read SSD Review.
So we can get good value for our money.
In USA Crucial seems to be the go to drive for value-but here in Aus(Perth) they
tend to be overpriced in comparison.
I find Sandisk and Transcend 370 to be the best value drives here.

Stephen Rimington
Guest
Stephen Rimington
Stephen Rimington
Guest
Stephen Rimington

there read write ? are good tend to use them for customer laptops

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