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ADATA Ultimate SU900 SSD Review (512GB) – 3D MLC, But At What Cost?

REAL WORLD FILE TRANSFER

We also wanted to see how performance was in a real-world use when transferring large files to the SSD. For this test, we are going to simply stress write performance by transferring over a 30GB folder of movies off of a 512GB Samsung 950 Pro to the test SSDs and time how long it takes. Once complete we can calculate the average speed.

ADATA SU900 30GB Transfer

The result here is identical to that of the SU800. The SU900 achieved an average of 530MB/s write during our 30GB transfer. This performance is actually a bit better than the rated specification of 525MB/s and places it amongst the many other good performing mainstream SSDs in this test.

HDTUNE

HD Tune is a Hard Disk Utility with many functions from error checking, health testing (S.M.A.R.T.), and of course benchmarking. To build upon our real world write test we also looked to see where the write speeds leveled off to by using HD Tune Pro. If SLC caching is being utilized, this test will typically show it.

ADATA Ultimate SU900 512GB HDTune

Again, just as we saw with the SU800, the SU900 has a drop-off point as well when it comes to write performance. The SU900’s write buffer, however, is much larger. During a full span write test, it wasn’t until over 260GB of writes that performance dropped off to 100MB/s. Previously the SU800 dropped off to 50MB/s at just over 60GB.

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

ADATA Ultimate SU900 Components

Over the course of testing, the SU900 did well for itself. It achieved 563MB/s read and 530MB/s write in our various benchmarks. It did score slightly lower than the SU800 in AS SSD, Anvil, and PCMark 8, but by a really small margin and, overall, we’d be more inclined to say they offer essentially the same performance for most users. There were noticeable improvements, however. Firstly, in PCMark 8’s extended test the SU900’s results showed lower latency and higher throughput throughout the phases. Also, it maintained its write performance in HDTune for much longer than that of the SU800 and when the SLC buffer ran out it dropped to 100MB/s, which is double that of the SU800.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The SU900 is a mild evolution of the SU800. ADATA added on a longer 5-year warranty, swapped the lower performance 3D TLC for slightly faster 3D MLC, and expanded the capacity range to 2TB. Additionally, the SU900 comes with a few accessories, a 2.5″ to 3.5″ drive adapter as well as a 7mm to 9.5mm spacer and migration software. Thus, ADATA is giving you most of the tools you could need for either a clean desktop or laptop upgrade.

ADATA Ultimate SU900 Main

Performance very good for consumer workloads and is nearly the same to that of the SU800, except that the new SU900 offers better sustained write performance. So, those of you who will be transferring around large files shouldn’t see a slowdown during most write transfers and based on PCMark 8, it will deliver a good user experience when used as an OS drive. Furthermore, the endurance figures are very good and are enough for most, if not all, end users.

We give kudos to ADATA for increasing the warranty to 5-years for this product, along with the accessories, it definitely helps to increase its overall value. However, with that said, price kills it. We are currently going through a NAND shortage, so as a consumer we are seeing higher prices on all NAND based products now. Prices are not going down from what we had seen a few months to a year ago, if anything they are higher here and there. But, even with it affecting almost all products, at prices of nearly $0.40/GB on Amazon, the ADATA SU900 just doesn’t compete. Not only against the competition’s products but even against the older SU800. Additionally, the 2TB model is not even readily available on Amazon. At 500GB and 1TB capacity range we feel that the ADATA SU900 is overpriced. The Crucial MX300, Samsung 850 EVO, WD Blue, and even the M.2 form factor, NVMe Intel SSD 600P are all much better deals at this time.

So, with that said, we are going to award the SU900 with our Silver Seal. While it is an improvement over the SU800 we reviewed last year, ADATA’s Ultimate SUXXX series fell short of earning our Gold Seal once again.

Check Out the ADATA Ultimate SU900 at Amazon.

TSSDR-Silver-Seal-Opt

Last year, we reviewed ADATA's Ultimate SU800. It was the second SSD in the market to utilize Micron's 3D TLC NAND and paired with an SMI SM2258 controller, it made out to be a fairly good performer. This year we now have the Ultimate SU900 in hand. Just as the name suggests, it does rank above the SU800. The ADATA Ultimate SU900 features Micron's 3D MLC rather than TLC and boasts a 5-year warranty rather than the SU800's 3-years warranty. This is the first time we get to see how Micron's new 3D MLC performs in a consumer product, so…

ADATA Ultimate SU900

Performance
Price and Availability
Build Quality and Specifications
Features and Accessories
Warranty

Mainstream Performer

Utilizing an SMI 2258 controller and Micron's latest 3D MLC NAND flash, the ADATA Ultimate SU900 offers decent mainstream performance. The included accessories and 5-year warranty add a lot to its value, but its price holds it back. At nearly $0.40/GB, we can't recommend it over most of its competition. If you do find it on sale, however, it's a good drive and won't disappoint.

User Rating: 3.05 ( 2 votes)
  • mike

    Is this the same as the crucial bx300?

    • Rados?aw Or?owski

      does not look like it in performance tests. Do you think they modded the driver ?

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