Since we only have the 512GB version of the Premier Pro SP920, we can't explore the potential pitfalls associated with the 128GB and 256GB variants. However, we can confirm that our sample is every bit as fast as the M550 512GB. We've run both drives through our exhaustive suite of storage tests, and the scores were nearly identical across the board. Here are the highlights.
TR DriveBench 2.0 — Disk-intensive multitasking
This benchmark plays back the I/O associated with nearly two weeks of everyday desktop activity peppered with bouts of disk-intensive multitasking. DriveBench 2.0 is the best tool we have for assessing real-world responsiveness.
The SP920 sits in the middle of the pack overall. It matches the M550 512GB's mean service time exactly, which isn't all that unusual. Plenty of SSDs have the same overall score, and many others are within striking distance.
All the SSDs execute the vast majority of DriveBench requests in one millisecond or less—too little time for end users to perceive. We can also sort out the number of service times longer than 100 milliseconds, which is far more interesting data. These extremely long service times make up only a fraction of the overall total, but they're much more likely to be noticeable.
All the Crucial SSDs log disproportionately high numbers of extremely long write service times. So does the Adata Premier Pro SP920, which exactly matches its M550 counterpart.
Now, look at the M550 256GB, which has five times more extremely long write service times than its 512GB sibling. Yikes. And that's with a 32-die configuration. The situation would likely be much worse with the SP920 256GB, whose 16-die array is similar to that of the older M500 240GB.
Faster load times are one of the biggest benefits of solid-state storage, so we timed the Windows 7 boot process and how long it took to load a couple of game levels.
The SSDs have a big advantage over the Caviar Black mechanical drive. However, the gaps between the solid-state contenders amount to about a second at most. The SP920 doesn't distinguish itself, and neither do any of the others. It will be interesting to see if this rough parity persists in the updated load time tests we have planned for our next-gen storage suite.