You could be forgiven for thinking that the Adata XPG SX8200 is a minor upgrade or revision of the prior XPG SX8000, and that it sits behind the XPG SX9000 in performance. You would be mistaken, though. The SX8200, which we first saw at CES this year, uses what Adata calls "second-generation 64-layer 3D NAND flash" in combination with an NVMe-1.3-ready controller from SMI to produce the company's fastest SSD to date.
In case you can't tell from the picture, the XPG SX8200 is an M.2-2280 SSD. It comes in 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB capacities, and connects to the now-standard PCIe 3.0 x4 connection in M-key M.2 sockets. Adata marks down the SX8200 for up to 3200 MB/s on sequential reads and 1700 MB/s on sequential writes. Random I/O performance is pretty darn good too: up to 310K IOPS on reads and 280K IOPS on writes.
Besides bringing a performance upgrade, the XPG SX8200 is Adata's first NVMe 1.3-capable SSD. You can read more about the NVMe 1.3 spec here, but the super-short version is that it brings both performance- and reliability-improving features over from eMMC and AHCI to the NVMe spec. The SX8200 also comes with a fancy heatsink with pre-applied thermal compound in the box, but not installed. That way, whether you prefer to leave your drives bare or cover them up, you're ready to go in either case.
XPG SX8200 with included heatsink
Adata puts down the 240 GB drive for 160 TBW, the 480 GB drive for 320 TBW, and the 960GB drive for 640 TBW. SX8200 buyers will enjoy a five-year warranty. The new drives should show up at e-tail any moment now, although we couldn't find them yet. Adata expects the 240-GB drive to go for $140, the 480-GB model for $260, and the largest 960-GB unit for $480.