For our testing today, not only are we fortunate to be able to disassemble the ADATA DaskDrive Elite and completely remove the SSD, but also, we have both USB to SATA connectors for both USB 2 and USB 3 on hand. This means that we are able to test the SSD in USB 2, USB 3, USB 3.0 SuperSpeed (device standard), and also test the internal SSD itself. As well, we are using ATTO Disk BenchMark, Crystal DiskMark (oFill) and AS SSD which means that we are testing the SE720 which means we are testing the SE720 with both compressible and incompressible data samples. For all tests, we will be concentrating on ONLY the high sequential read and write performance as a mode of comparison.
ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.
As ATTO uses highly compressible data, these results represent the best performance of the three tests. Although the DashDrive Elite fell a bit short on read speeds, it pushed ahead on its write data transfer speeds, when we consider listed specifications of 400MB/s read and 300MB/s write. This chart provides a great visual of where we have come with USB performance though.
Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of highly compressible data (oFill/1Fill), or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible.
Surprisingly, read performance jumped a bit while that of write speeds dropped. We actually expected the drop in write performance but the jump in read speeds brings us a bit closer to specs.
Up until recently, AS SSD was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it uses incompressible data. AS SSD, for the most part, gives us the ‘worst case scenario’ in SSD transfer speeds because of its use of incompressible data and many enthusiasts like to AS SSD for their needs.
Performance drops significantly when transferring 100% incompressible data and this is what you can expect if you elect to transfer movies, music or pictures back and forth.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
I have been using the ADATA DashDrive Elite SE720 for a few days and its ultraslim design is very comfortable to carry or throw in one’s pocket. That’s when I realized that it was very comparable to my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smart phone. As a comparable, in fact, it is about 3/4 the length of the Note 2, exactly the width and actually just a bit thinner. Although its stainless steel casing is very prone to fingerprints and hand oils, these are easily cleaned off and the casing is definitely scratch resistant…and remember it comes with a cover.
We have only looked at two other similar devices to date, the AngelBird SSD2GO and the Monster Digital OverDrive 3.0 External SSDs. Where the Monster Digital Overdrive 3.0 had capacity at an amazing 1TB, it didn’t have Superspeed and fell short of the blazing performance we have now. Both the AngelBird SSD2Go and the ADATA DashDrive are LSI SandForce SF-2281 based products and both have a magnificent build, the SSD2Go being considerably thicker and heavier. Where the SSD2Go might excel in performance though, the ADATA DashDrive Elite SE720 pulls well ahead in value, coming in at well below half of the price.
In fact, a quick check of Amazon at the time of this report showed it to be below the $1/GB as it came in at $115 for the a 128GB SE720. That was totally unexpected and definitely deserving of our Top Value designation!