An unexpected surprise arrived at our offices this Christmas break in the guise of a PCIe 4.0 DRAM-less SSD. It was only a matter of time but there has been some clever thought put into this drive. It is the ADATA XPG Atom 50 Gen 4 SSD and two things that stand out are that it is a single-sided SSD, and the fact that this SSD draws significantly less power than most other SSDs at only 2.5W max. My first thought had to be whether this SSD just might be an ideal Gen 4 laptop solution. Speedy with low temps and single-sided.
The XPG Atom 50 is available in a 1TB capacity initially followed by a 2TB shortly after. It is a PCIe 4.0 (Gen 4) M.2 SSD of the 2280 (80mm) form factor and uses the latest NVMe 1.4 protocol. Performance for this SSD is listed at 5GB/s read and 4.5GB/s write with up to 650K read and 600K write IOPS. Its features include LDPC (Low Density Parity-Check Code) and AES 256-bit encryption with endurance listed at 650TBW (Terabytes Written) and a 5-year limited warranty.
This SSD comes with a detached black aluminum branded heatsink as shown in this above picture, which can be affixed to the SSD if need be. This is a bit different than ADATA’s usually practice where the heatsink shipped already affixed to the heatsink. Perhaps the change was the result of reviewers trying to get those component shots and toasting the drive while trying to remove the heatsink. In any case, this is a definite benefit if one has their own heatsink solution.
When we take a closer look at the drive, credit to ADATA, Innogrit and Micron because this is a dynamite package. The controller is the Innogrit DRAM-less IG5220 ‘RanierQ’ Gen 4 x4 (4-channel) NVMe SSD controller that peaks at 2.5W max. There are only two pieces of Micron 176-layer TLC NAND flash memory that run at a speed of 1600 MT/s, which makes this a very competitive SSD. This layout also enables the possibility of the 2TB soon to be released version also being a single-sided SSD. This memory also has SLC-caching and the Atom 50 uses the Host Memory Buffer (HMB) which allows the system to draw from the system DRAM rather than requiring a DRAM cache buffer as we see on other SSDs.
Checking Amazon, we are seeing the XPG Atom 50 1TB listed and available at $119.99, however, we are not seeing availability for the 2TB version as of yet.