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ADATA XPG SX930 Gaming SSD Review

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SX930 Gaming SSD Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions.

The ADATA SX930 Gaming SSD is a bit of a puzzler, performance-wise: it has excellent sequential read and write speeds, but falls flat when IOPS come into play, with scores falling into the bottom half of the field in the ASSSD, CrystalDiskMark, and IOMeter benchmarks. This is probably why ADATA lists IOPS performance for many of its other SSDs, but not this one.

I chalk this up to the JMicron JMF670H controller, which is a little strange in its own right. JMicron hasn’t really been much of a presence in the “performance SSD controller” field, and the SMI SN2246EN controller used in the less expensive ADATA SP610 drives seems to provide better overall performance– as well as the ability to support TLC NAND and memory sizes up to a terabyte, neither of which the JMicron part can do.

But there are many other considerations to an SSD controller, and even most enthusiasts probably don’t understand just how much work this part does. In addition to managing reading and writing data, the controller must handle wear leveling, encryption (if supported), S.M.A.R.T., TRIM, power management, and other functions. Choosing the right controller for an SSD requires balancing all of these operational and performance considerations along with prosaic requirements like cost and availability.

As far as I can see, the only place the JMicron controller really stands out is its ECC handling, which can deal with up to 72 bit errors per kilobyte of data. This is a very high number in the consumer SSD space, and hopefully will make the drive more reliable over time than its competitors– this is probably one of the reasons ADATA feels comfortable offering a five-year warranty.

All this said, the IOPS performance deficit of the SX930 will likely be unnoticeable in consumer or even enthusiast use. After in, in PCMark Vantage, probably the most “real world” of these tests, the difference between this drive and the top-scoring SP610 is just barely over 7%, and that’s not something you’re going to see without a stopwatch. In the meantime the improvement in sequential write speeds is a reasonable tradeoff for most people.

adata_sx930_ssd_spacer

Appearance doesn’t count for much in storage products: even if you have a windowed case, your drives probably are not visible. Still, ADATA went to the extra trouble of giving the SX930 a brushed aluminum enclosure, which does look nice and distinguishes the drive from most others.

By their nature– no moving parts– SSDs are all but immune to physical shock. While early SSDs had relatively high failure rates, modern SSDs are proving to be very reliable, often far surpassing their specified write lifetimes. With robotically-assembled circuit boards, there’s a very high level of overall physical quality in most SSDs these days. ADATA’s five-year warranty on this part shows that they have confidence in it.

The 240GB ADATA SX930SSD is available for $99.99 (AmazonNewegg), which is towards the low end of “performance SSD” prices in this capacity. However, given the IOPS performance, it’s a reasonable, not great, price. ADATA’s own SP610 drive in the 256GB capacity is $15 cheaper, but you’d be trading better IOPS performance for much lower write performance.

SSDs are becoming commodity items, and competition has led to “price compression” at the lower end of the market: in many cases an entire class of drives can fall within a $15 window. Today’s “best buy” can become tomorrow’s “overpriced”, so it always behooves the careful buyer to do their research and select the best product for them based on current price and availability.

At the time of this review, the ADATA SX930 240GB drive is a good value, its deficiency in IOPS performance notwithstanding. The inclusion of Acronis True Image and the spacer and 3.5″ mounting tray are nice value-adds if you need them.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Recommended Product Award Logo (Small)

+ Very good sequential read.write speeds
+ Supports TRIM, NCQ, S.M.A.R.T., and robust ECC
+ 5-Year product warranty support
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Free copy of Acronis True Image included

Cons:

– Poor IOPS performance
– Doesn’t stand out from competitive products

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.00
  • Appearance: 8.50
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 8.5

Final Score: 8.70 out of 10.

Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.

COMMENT QUESTION: Which brand of SSD do you trust most?

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