It’s not often that I credit a companies business practices but this is going to be the exception for Matt Dawson and MyDigitalSSD who recently sent us three new SSDs for review, the Smart 256GB mSATA, the Bullet Proof 256GB value driven mSATA and the 512GB BP 3 2.5″ SSD.
Today’s evaluation will be on the MyDigitalSSD Smart Series 256GB SATA 3 SSD and I guarantee this review will raise a few eyebrows. As a bit of a hint, let’s just say that things aren’t always as they seem.
Let’s point out the elephant in the room first. A few days ago, we posted information relating to MyDigitalSSD new releases and speculated that the Smart Series 256GB SSD was actually a rebranded ADATA XPG SX300 SSD. (Matt is cringing right about now). The reason for this was two fold, the first being that ONLY ADATA has been able to retail ‘LSI SandForce Driven’ SSDs with typical binary capacities of 64, 128 and 256GB. The second, of course, was the fact that I had just met with ADATA a few days prior and they stated that the reason they can do this is the result of their long standing relationships with memory manufacturers and they absolutely have to have the top level ‘hand picked’ NAND flash memory to pull this off.
The truly amusing part is that, if this is the ADATA XPG SX300 rebranded, MyDigitalSSD was able to release it even before ADATA themselves. At the time of this report, the SX300 isn’t even listed on the ADATA site and neither ADATA nor MyDigitalSSD could legally talk about such contracts openly. For those new to the SSD world, rebranding SSDs, although being more common two years ago, is still alive today. Similar to most computers and laptops, several SSDs are shipped from no name companies and branded with manufacturer labels according to specs they request. On the notebook side, are you aware that the Mac Air and ASUS Zen Ultrabook come from the same factory, or at least did until Apple discovered some questionable similarities?
For those with keen eyes, you will notice significant differences between the two PCBs above. The MyDigitalSSD version on the left is an actual SSD, whereas, that on display by ADATA at Computex 2012 was a prototype with a generic board and no identifying features on the memory, as is common.
Making an educated guestimate and watching it pan out results in a great feeling as we see here. Our very first look at the MyDigitalSSD Smart Series mSATA 256GB SSD was with Crystal Disk Info. Notice anything peculiar?
Some great information can be found when using Crystal Disk Info but nothing was as good as confirming our belief. Actually, I must regress as our initial drive identification resulted in a, “Yes! I knew it!” as was seen when the drive was identified.
Normally, ADATA would have made sure the drive identification didn’t reveal this but, then again, we never expected that they would send these drives out as generic mSATA SSDs even before their release had the opportunity to grab initial sales.
If the MyDigitalSSD Smart Series 256GB mSATA SSD, AKA the ADATA XPG SX300, pulls off the great performance that we expect, Matt Dawson and MyDigitalSSD has just made a brilliant business decision, equaled only by the luck of release timing and ADATAs overlooking such a small issue as drive identification.
will this 256gb drive work for upgrading the Samsung series 9b 2012 13 inch model?
Of course it will…
When will we see the BP3 review?
By days end… just doing up the final report now!
“Up until recently, ATTO was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it uses incompressible data.” I think you mean AS SSD
from a press release today, the actual ADATA XPG SX300 SSD (256GB) is being sold for MSRP $299 so I’m hoping there’s a $20 coupon or something coming from MyDigSSD…
I dunno if links are allowed or not, but the press release for the other one (or I guess the same one) with the $299.99 price is here:
great website! ill admit im a bit of a noob when it comes to SSDs. ive recently purchased a lenovo y580 and im looking at possibly upgrading the HD since it is definitely the bottleneck of the system (1tb 5400rpm).
maybe you could clarify a few things for me, is there a large gap in performance between a msata and sata ssd drive? im considering buying the 64gb version of the mydigitalssd smart series based on your reviews (mostly for the OS and because I can still use the capacity of the 1tb HDD that came along with the y580). would the 64gb version perform similarly to the 256gb version you reviewed? does this sound like my best move or am i better off buying a regular ssd?
The question you ask is key in knowledge of SSDs and, for the most part, it’s answer can change drastically depending on the tasks you have in mind for its use.
Simply, unless you have a specific task in mind that will put excessive stress on the SSD, there is nobody that can tell the difference from one SSD to another regardless of size or form factor and that is because most of the ‘typical’ performance upgrade comes from an SSDs disk access time, all being somewhere in the area of 0.01-0.02ms typically.
The key question with that laptop will be whether the mSATA can be used independent of a caching solution or will always be a cached SSD.
thanks for your reply! okay, would i benefit more from
1)using a 64gb msata as fully cached ssd.
2)using a 128gb msata as a boot drive/main apps and the HDD as a storage drive for things such as music, videos, and random games
i am also just considering replacing my hdd with a regular 2.5 ssd but lack of capacity has me concerned.
My personal choice would be the larger as a boot drive for OS and apps with secondary storage of the rest.
no coupon! its overpriced as usually by mydigss
FYI, the main reason we were able to release it 1st is because I have been spending the last 3 months convincing them to build it. 🙂
I’ve noticed that you can buy the “ADATA XPG SX300 ASX300S3-256GM-C mSATA 256GB ” for $249 at Newegg.com. While there may be some similarities between this product and the one that MyDigitalSSD is offering in this review, I expect there are probably some key differences (firmware, warranty, etc) as well that account for the $70 difference in price. As I’m new to the msata SSD scene, can someone help me understand what the differences might be in simple terms?
The only difference will most likely be the warranty as ADATA has already stated that this will be a five year warranty.
hey guys. What type of configuration can you this SSD with a primary boot drive? I am asking because I am interested in purchasing a new Alienware M18x. When I am configuring my drive options there’s a 500GB 7,200 RPM + 32GB Super Cache mSATA SSD. I was thinking of swapping the 32gb to a higher gb mSATA SSD. Would a RAID 0 2 x 500GB 7,200 RPM (1TB) be faster than a 500GB 7,200 RPM + 32GB Cache mSATA? I am doing intense editing of HD files + long renders. I would like to understand the logic of this hybrid solutions vs. the more practical but pricier solutions. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Any news on when these might be available again. Everywhere I can find them listed for sale they say they are back-ordered 🙁
They are on and off again at Amazon and, yes, they are a very hot item.
I wanted to purchase this ssd for my asus ep121 slate but currently unavailible. I noticed your adata sx300 comparison, found the adata but the part number is as
asx300s3-256gm-c with the c on the end not the b will this work? i am assuming the b was for beta and c for consumer if i am guessing right
Yes it will work just fine. Enjoy!
Hi sandor! Did you upgrade your EP121 with a 256GB-SSD? Could you please share your experience?
I would like to upgrade my Slate, too. But can’t find any helpful information about working SSD’s in the Slate.
Hi, I noticed the power consumption on the mydigital smart series drives is much larger (3W) than the BP3 series (<0.9W), does this have a huge impact on laptop battery life? Also, does the 5.02 firmware have the same TRIM problems as the other brands that use the same sandorce firmware? Thanks
Any luck on identification of the memory modules? Are these the same used as ADATA?