Adata Premier SP550 SSD Review (240GB)

REAL WORLD FILE TRANSFER

Finally we wanted to see how performance was in a real world use when transferring large files. As we know, this SSD utilizes an SLC caching to help improve performance, especially writes. This is needed due to the inherent slowness of TLC NAND. For this test we are going to simply transfer over a 30GB folder of movies off of one SSD to this one and time how long it takes. Once complete we can calculate the average speed.

Adata Premier SP550 File TransferSure enough, after ten and a half minutes and multiple pauses where the drive write speed dropped down to null, it transferred 30GB of large movie files at an average speed of about 48MB/s. This is quite unimpressive.

Next we turned to HDTune to show us the approximate size of the SLC cache space on this drive.

Adata Premier SP550 HDTune

From the screenshot above we can see that it isn’t that much space at all, maybe about 6-8GB at best which is similar to other drives that have SLC caching. The speed after the cache is also low, reaching about 80MB/s average here. Therefore, based upon these results, we wouldn’t recommended using this drive if you are one to do multi-GB transfers too often.

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

The Premier SP550 is Adata’s latest release of a value class SSD. It utilizes a Silicon Motion SM2256 controller and SK Hynix TLC NAND. During out review we seen some very good synthetic performance with read and write speeds reaching 560MB/s and 512MB/s respectively. During PCMark Vantage it achieved a very good score of over 93K points and was decent in our PCMark 8 trials. Once we turned to testing out a real world file transfer, however, we saw how continuous writing can bring the Premier SP550 to its knees. Sequential writes averaged about 50MB/s, which is quite unimpressive, especially when the TLC based Samsung 850 EVO is able to maintain so much better performance with its secret sauce.

Adata Premier SP550 240GB Final

Because of its build and overall performance, it inherently cannot come at a price premium compared to its competition, thus market prices need to be as low as possible to keep it competitive. Right now, at prices that roughly match the OCZ Trion 100, it’s direct competitor, it is the better of the two. When looking at the overall market, however, it is not all that that easy to stand out given the competition. The Samsung 850 EVO and Crucial BX100 both boast much better performance at every capacity and usually their prices are very competitive. Considering the very poor continuous write performance we would have to suggest that the average consumer should save up a few more dollars, maybe skip lunch or that large coffee for a day, and get something better than this SSD. If you are in the market for something very cheap for maybe a HDD replacement for grandma or for an old system in which you are trying to save every dollar you can, this drive may still be a viable option though. Its read speeds are great and it did very well in PCMark’s tests. If you think this SSD fits the bill for you…

Check out the Premier SP550 on Amazon Today!

Review Overview

Performance
Build and Components
Features and Accessories
Price and Availability
Warranty

A low performance, low cost option

The SP550 is Adata's latest contender in the entry level market. While read performance is very good, write performance suffers with multi-GB transfers, but it is priced fairly cheap to make up for it. So, if you are looking for a cheap SSD to speed up an old system, this one could possibly be the one to get.

User Rating: 2.74 ( 24 votes)

34 comments

  1. 80MB/s write on TLC area ?

    Thats really really bad. That means 120GB model would only achieve 40MB/s at best.

    Looks like hynix TLC isn’t really on par with micron or toshiba flash.

    • That fourth ‘Performance’ star is more than a little bit generous.

      • To be fair, look how well it does in PCMark 8. Sure, large transfers aren’t great past the cache buffer and are slower than the Samsung EVO, but in PCMark it is on par with it. In most consumer workloads you have short bursts of writes. For the given use and market segment, the performance, while slower than the competition in large write transfers, is still decent.

      • I wounder how endurance fairs, given this clearly isn’t the best TLC out there.

      • Well, we are guaranteed what the specs state. The 120GB and 240GB models are rated for up to 90TBW, the 480GB is
        rated for up to 180TBW and the 960GB model is rated up
        to 360TBW. If it wears before then within 3 years one can RMA.

      • Hello, I have been using this drive about 1 month, I found out that Reallocation event count RAW value is 7 from the first day and drive temperature is around 36C- 42C. Is that normal?

      • What are the top 5 consumer ssds for large file transfers in your opinion?

      • Why type of drive are you looking for? PCIe, SATA, M.2, etc?

      • SATA. I have an old motherboard. M3a78pro

      • Your only going to get around 200 MB on that MB-
        Restricted by it’s 3Gb Sata ports.
        Modern MB have 6Gb ports that max out around 500 MB.
        But in answer to your question
        Samsung 850 pro.
        Sandisk extreme pro.

      • Tanks for the suggestions. I have a Asus g74sx laptop also. I know the Samsung pro and sandisk pro are good but I am looking for the 5 best ssds at large transfers not just the top two. So I can get the best deal on price.

      • Well, there are still many mainstream drives that can do that, you don’t need to buy the best of the best. The BX 100 and Samsung 850 EVO can sustain write speeds and are usually popular choices. Just stay away from the dirt cheap value segment, especially TLC if it isn’t 3D.

      • Hi Mike, Forgot to mention in earlier post-Capacity of the drive plays
        a big part in the write speed.
        Example-If you wanted only a 120/128GB size then your almost
        totally limited to Samsung pro.
        If your considering 480/512GB then most MLC drives will be fine.

        Personally I will only buy drives where the flash has been cut and
        binned by the manufacturer-So that cuts out the likes of A-Data
        and Kingston-This is only personal preferance-Remembering
        that this was what gave OCZ a 60% failure rate on some of their
        drives.

      • All of those qualifiers don’t get reflected in that Performance star rating. Perhaps an additional category like ‘Price:Performance Within the Consumer Value Level Peer Group’ is needed.

      • I have been thinking about this and will consider this highly for our future reviews. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Smaller drives may not need fast transfer speeds ( OS ) 120gb 240gb ,but the larger drives are used for ( backup, storage, large transfers ) 480gb 960gb. these larger drives need more write speed after the buffer.

  2. Good thing you guys test these ssds for us consumers. thanks for the reviews! Some or maybe more than it should be of these new ssds are slow. 80 mbs transfer speed for a 30gb file I think that’s terrible, when these ssds are advertised for 560 read / 510 write max. hdds are faster than that. If not for the slc caching and the dram buffer how slow would this new nand really be. These new controllers with their slc caching and there dram buffers paired
    with inferior nand hide their true speed and give some new ssds a bad name. I know ssds are all about access and read speeds , but come on cant we get decent transfer speeds on large files on sata? Why if we want decent transfer speeds we now have to have a pci ssd? And average users do transfer large files every now and then.

  3. Please change: “Overall, there are 8 NAND packages on our 240GB model with room for another 8. The NAND is supplied by SK Hynix. Each package is 32GB in capacity for a total RAW NAND capacity of 256GB. Since the usable capacity is 240GB, we can see that it is over provisioned by ~7%. The total usable capacity once formatted in our system is 223GB.”

    To:
    “Overall, there are 8 NAND packages on our 240GB model with room for another 8. The NAND is supplied by SK Hynix. Each package is 32GiB in capacity for a total RAW NAND capacity of 256GiB. Since the usable capacity is 240GB, we can see that it is over provisioned by ~7%. The total usable capacity once formatted in our system is 223GiB.” Just because Windows does not know what is the differenz between Gigabyte and,Gibibyte, not every reviewer needs to repeat that mistake.

  4. If you are not using your laptop for gaming our any thing that intensive like rendering these ssds will do the high end ssds are costly

    • I beg to differ, at least for the gaming part.
      This seems like a nice little SSD for entry-level SSD game loading speeds. And since games don’t write much, save for installation and updating/patching, the slow-ish writes won’t matter as there won’t be “frequent” Gigabytes of writes for games.

      Also, if you don’t mind, you could use some punctuation in your sentences. I had to read that several times to get it.

  5. And before you say it i live out in out back Queensland and a lot people out here are cattle people so there funds are restricted so they dont have the money for they high end stuff but they want something that works and will do the job ssds are more responsive faster but the high end ones can be a bit costly for what they want them for

  6. Why this (240GB sp550) does not on and is not properly detected on Lenovo T500 (p8600cpu) but runs fine on older hp nc6320 (coreduo 1,6 ddr2) and newer hp 6540b (i5, ddr3) ? Both with compatibilty and ahci setings ?

    • try cloning the drive, then swap, worked for me to get detection of unrecognized drives in many a machine in an enterprise environment. macrium reflect free – for clone

    • Just wanna put it out there.
      MiniTool Partition Wizard works great too for migration. Its free.

  7. Switched from kingston UV300 240gb drive to the adata SP550 becuase i felt the kingston had degraded overtime
    big mistake this adata caps at 40mb/s write speeds whenever you write more than 16GB of data
    and reads seem much much slower
    it was cheaper so.. bleh time to get a real fast drive

  8. So far, I’ve been using the Adata Premier SP550 SSD Review (240GB) for about 4 months (since Mar-2016), and things are good: My laptop bootup speed is up by about 3 times, to under 30 seconds! Worth the upgrade from HDD to SSD!

    Only thing was the need to use a disk imaging software to copy the laptop OS & setup from the old HDD to the new SSD.

  9. Hi guys, I just pick this SSD for a good price, but after few review I’m a bit concern about the performance of this drive, is still new, I will install it in a couple of days, should go fo a new one? o better product?, I’m using it mainly for documents such word, excel, pds, and some java development in netbeans, show I be worry or the drive is good for my work? thanks to all

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