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ADATA XPG SX930 SSD Review (120GB/240GB/480GB)

ADATA has memory products for all sections of the market, from consumer to industrial. As of late they have released a new consumer SSD, the XPG SX930. It is marketed towards the gamer and overclocker crowd at a pretty competitive price point. With a revamped package and aesthetic design the SX930 should stand out much better than with their typical styling. The XPG SX930 features a new controller by JMicron and what they state is enterprise-grade MLC+ NAND. So, today’s review is going to be quite interesting as we get to see what this new combination has in store.

Adata XPG SX930 SSD Family

SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY

The ADATA XPG SX930 is a SATA 6Gb/s 2.5″ 7mm form factor SSD. It is available in capacities of 120GB ($64.99), 240GB ($109.99), and 480GB ($199.99), however, there isn’t a 960GB variant. This leaves something to be desired because most other companies have a 1TB class SSD in their enthusiast level product lines. The lack there of a 1TB class model isn’t their fault entirely, it is really due to the new controller’s limitations.

The XPG SX930 is the first SSD in the market with the JMicron JMF670H controller, which is a 32-bit single core ARM9 based design and supports 4 channels. If you recall, another value oriented controller, the Silicon Motion SM2246EN, is a 4 channel controller as well and it supports up to 1TB capacity.  So why doesn’t this one? The issue lies with the amount of DRAM it can address. Current NAND mapping tables require about 1MB of DRAM per 1GB of NAND. This controller can only support up to 512MB of DRAM, therefore it can only support up to 512GB of NAND. It won’t be until their next generation controller that we will see support for up to 2GB of DRAM or 2TB.

On the bright side, however, similar to many other SSDs nowadays, this new controller and NAND combo enables ADATA the ability to implement a pseudo SLC cache for better performance. The SLC cache sizes are as follows: 4GB (120GB model), 8GB (240GB model), and 16GB (480GB model). Overall, performance figures are relatively mainstream with the 120GB and 240GB models offer sequential speeds of up to 550MB/s read and 460MB/s write while the 480GB model offers up to 540MB/s read and 420MB/s write. In terms of IOPS the XPG SX930 is capable of up to 75K IOPS read and 72K IOPS write.

Adata SSD toolbox

All the standard features such as TRIM, SMART and NCQ support, and garbage collection are here. This SSDs deploys BCH ECC of 72 bits per 1KB in case you were wondering as well. The MTBF rating is 1.5 million hours and it weighs in at just 68g, which is a bit lighter than a lot of other drives. ADATA also has a toolbox you can use to monitor the drive, diagnose it and even run system optimizations with. You can even go to their website and download Acronis True Image HD to migrate over your old drive to this new SSD for free!

PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS

Before we begin our testing we shall take a quick look at what this product has to offer. Looking at the packing it is obvious that they are orienting this SSD around the gamer crowd with its black packaging and fire orange decal.

Adata XPG SX930 Packaging Front and BackAdata XPG SX930 Accessories

Included with the SSD is a 2.5″ to 3.5″ desktop adapter and a 2.5mm spacer to use in laptops if required. Besides that, there is also a set of screws and a quick start guide.

The overall design is quite pleasing to the eye. It has a black lacquer brushed metal finish that could win any enthusiast over.

Adata XPG SX930 Front and Back

Once disassembled we can see that the SX930 doesn’t have thermal pad on the controller to help dissipate heat as many other SSDs do, so we will monitor the temps as we test to ensure that it doesn’t get too hot. We can see that it features a single controller and DRAM combo along with four packages of NAND across a half sized PCB per all capacities.

Adata XPG SX930 InsideAdata XPG SX930 PCB Front and Back

Speaking of NAND, ADATA bins and packages their NAND in house. This means they can set aside the best NAND for these SSDs to provide better quality and reliability to the end user. The “enterprise-grade” MLC+ NAND in this drive is actually 16nm 128Gbit MLC from Micron. This results in a longer 5-yr warranty vs 3-year warranty. While endurance numbers aren’t provided, the NAND is stated to be good for up to 3,000P/E cycles.

Adata XPG SX930 Controller and DRAMAdata XPG SX930 NAND

 

 

 

 

 

The total usable capacity once formatted is 111GB for the 120GB model, 223GB for the 240GB model, and 447GB for the 480GB model.  Finally, we get to the DRAM module, which is a Nanya DDR3 package. The smaller 120GB and 240GB models have a 128MB and 256MB chips, respectively, while the 480GB model has a 512MB chip.

  • Sviat A

    I would like to buy an SSD for the operating system.
    I am thinking over this one
    http://hardware.nl/adata/asp600s3-64gm-c.html
    But maybe it is better yo purchase more storage? Here is another one
    http://www.amazon.com/ADATA-SX900-SandForce-Synchronous-ASX900S3-256GM-C/dp/B007M7XS94
    Windows 7 demands 20 GB of space. So 64GB SSD should be enough, but I am not sure.

    • While Windows can take around 20-30GB I would still suggest purchasing at least a 120GB drive due to programs and personal files taking more space. Right now, however, it makes more sense to buy a 256GB model because of the price to capacity value.

      • Xena Warrior

        I have a 256Gb Pro Samsung SSD and it’s okay for now. In the beginning I got 500+ Mb/s but it’s down to 200/300 Mb/s and the i/o speed has dropped a hundred points in the first 6 months. It’s not as fast as it was and it’s barely going on a year old.

  • Stephen Rimington

    This is for me what would you suggest hold data and transfer when needed to a sata drive some thing that has good read write capabilities can withstand a bit of punishment
    i copy customers data and get rid of viruses etc from said drives and got customers pc coming in whos ssds is full of viruses etc so i have set up new one and get the data of the old one a lot of work ps thankyou for any help you can give me

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