ADATA SP920 SSD Review – Capacity, Speed, Value and Something Unexpected

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have may or may not have been optimized depending on the motherboard base configuration. Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

TSSDR-Test-Bench

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac EATX MotherBoard
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz Quad Core
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100 High Performance Liquid
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600Mhz Memory
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

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BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, PCMark Vantage, and Anvil Storage Utilities.  In consumer reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

MARVELl SS9189 CONTROLLER

The Marvell 88SS9189 controller is Marvell’s newest release and come at a time just before the influx of PCIe M.2 SSDs.  It is an eight channel controller that improves upon the performance of the previous generation 88SS9187 in both throughput and IOPS.

ADATA SP920 Premier Pro 1TB SSD Marvel Controller.png

Marvell has come a long way in the SSD industry and has traditionally been the largest competitor to LSI SandForce controller based SSDs.  This particular release is very well-timed as we have not seen anything from LSI in quite some time and  it does push us closer to the limits of SATA 3.  Include the fact that growth in SSD sales is best accomplished through frequent and well-timed SSD releases and we expect that you might see this controller in the hands of more than just a few third-party manufacturers before long.

 CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER 5.5.0

 Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, product information, ‘power on’ information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. We can see that the SSD is capable of TRIM as it is not grayed out as with AAM.

ADATA SP920 Premier Pro 1TB SSD CDI

The abundant SMART attributes, along with firmware identification, show just how similar this SSD is to the Crucial M550.

ADATA SP920 Premier Pro 1TB SSD Disassembled

This photo of the ADATA SP920 depicts the SSD disassembled and brings a few other things to light.  Not only can we see how the branding sticker is on the base plate, rather than main shell, but we also see a pink padding present in the shell.  This padding is a thermal conductor and, when the drive is assembled, sits on the Marvell controller.  Heat travels from the controller to the outer shell, via the pad, where it is dissipated.

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iCrunch
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iCrunch

Does the ADATA also come in the mSATA format? I need a 128GB drive for my Drobo and my Plextor M5M died. 🙁 (but under warranty :D)

Sam Nicko
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Sam Nicko

Excellent review Les ^_^ always nice bargain with additional package from ADATA Premier Pro SP920 with that price 🙂

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

Looks like Adata is using 128Gbit die flash across all the capacities. This would also explain lower write speeds on smaller capacities.

One thing does come to mind though. Considering m550 and s920 are basicly the same drive and have the same firmware, to which 3rd party are these companies outsource firmware ?

In either case, this looks like a nice drive. Lets just hope street prices will be low 🙂