Closer Look: SX930 XPG SSD
ADATA’s new XPG line of SSDs is intended to appeal to the gamer and performance enthusiast. Apparently the hummingbird logo on previous ADATA drives wasn’t considered, well, “correct” for this demographic, so it’s been replaced with flames.
ADATA offers the SX930 series drives in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities, and we’re testing the mid-range 240GB unit. With market prices for drives in this price range falling below $100, it’s an excellent choice for a system drive.
SX930 drive are rated at 1.5 million hours MTBF, which is exactly what the ADATA Premier SP610 drive I tested a month or two back was rated at. One difference is the warranty: it’s 5 years on the SX930 drives compared to 3 years for the SP610 drives. While the $99.99 price of this drive (Amazon) would seem to be the same as that of the SP610, the latter’s price has dropped to $84.99 (Amazon) since my original review was published.
The SX930 240GB drive comes with a 2.5mm spacer for those installations requiring a 9.5mm thickness, a 3.5″ mounting adapter plate for desktop systems without a 2.5″ drive bay, and a quick start guide. On the back of the retail box is a QR code the buyer can scan to get a free copy of the Acronis True Image backup utility, which also allows users to easily migrate their systems to the new drive.
As shown above, the ADATA XPG SX930 SSD is enclosed in a plain black metal chassis with a metallic sticker denoting the model and capacity. The back of the drive sports a label containing the drive’s model, capacity, and warranty code.
The SX930’s aluminum chassis has a fine brushed finished. Although it’s subtle, it does stand out from the plastic or flat finishes of most other drives.
Like most sub-1TB drives these days, the 240GB ADATA drive uses a half-sized circuit board. One side is populated with 4 ADATA-branded NAND chips…
While the other side of the board has four more NAND chips, as well as the controller and cache RAM.
The JMicron JMF670H controller uses a single ARM9 core and is limited to controlling up to 480GB of data. The more robust error-correcting code– capable of handling up to 72 bit errors per kilobyte– is needed because as NAND cell size shrinks with each new process iteration, inter-cell leakage becomes more of a problem and more bit errors occur. Still, it seems odd that JMicron’s latest controller is limited to 480GB with plummeting prices makes 1TB consumer drives affordable. And it does look a little odd that the ADATA’s “value” SSDs (the SP6x0 series) do offer 1TB versions. Oh well…
With 240GB of synchronous multi-level NAND, ADATA specs this drive at 560MB/s reads, 460MB/s writes, compared to 560MB/s read and 290MB/s writes for the SP610. As you’d expect on any modern drive, TRIM and S.M.A.R.T. are fully supported, and BCH error-correcting code can handle up to 72 bit errors per kilobyte.
In the next few sections we’ll test the ADATA XPG SX930 SSD, and compare this solid state drive to other retail storage products intended for notebook and desktop installations.