ADATA XPG SX900 256GB SATA 3 SSD Review – Expanded Capacity and SandForce Driven Speed

Back In February, we published an article with respect to LSI SandForce releasing code that would enable the production of ‘SandForce Driven’ SSDs with increased capacity, a whopping 7% additional capacity in fact.

In other words, the consumer would see LSI SandForce performance in 64, 128, 256 and 512GB drives vice the standard SF capacities of 60, 120, 240 and 480GB.  This was great news but the question of performance was definitely present in countless SSD forum threads.

In an attempt to answer a question brought forward in a comment at Anandtech, (as they were kind enough to quote our release) a very colorful conversation ensued with respect to where this space would be found and any performance implications that might result.  In the end, we are happy to revisit this topic and our report today is on the ADATA XPG SX900 256GB 6Gbps SSD, this SSD being the first release of a new generation ‘SandForce Driven’ SSD actually marketed in a 256GB capacity.  Grab a seat because you are going to be a bit surprised at the performance we think.

SPECIFICATIONS AND PACKAGING

The ADATA XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear) SX900 SSD is available in capacities of 64, 128, 256 and 512GB and is a SATA 3 SSD with listed performance as high as 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write transfer speeds.  Although there is no mention of IOPS, a feature noted on the site is ‘Max 4k Write IOPS’ so we would hazard to guess that this SSD will hit somewhere in the area of 80,000 IOPS at low 4k aligned random write disk access.

The exterior packaging contains the XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear) SX900 SSD, a 2.5″ to 3.5″ desktop adapter, screws, a Quick Start Guide in several languages as well as a free download of Acronis True Image HD for system migration.

XPG SX900 COMPONENTS

The casing of the SX900 is of black metal and its base plate is secured by four screws, one of which is covered by security tape and any damage to this tape would void the three year warranty.

The printed circuit board (PCB) contains the SF-2281 processor and 16 pieces of Intel mlc synchronous NAND flash memory (29F16B08CCME3), each module being 16GB in capacity for a total capacity of 256GB.

In a normal ‘SandForce Driven’ SSD, this is the point where we would explain that one module remains proprietary to the needs of over provisioning and firmware, but not with the SX900.  This is a full fledged 256GB (238GB formatted) SandForce Driven 6Gbps SSD and it is the first of it’s kind on any reviewers bench.

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