Computex 2017: Adata goes all-in on M.2 SSDs

After spending many hours examining the X299 boards, RGB LED software solutions, and tempered-glass cases of Computex, we got a welcome change of pace at Adata’s booth at the Nangang Exhibition Center. Finally, we’d found the SSD haven of the convention.

Opening the storage compartment

First, we had a look at a pair of enterprise-oriented drives packing IMFT’s 2nd-generation, 64-layer, 3D NAND in a TLC configuration. The NVMe-enabled IM2P33E8 is the more powerful of the two, and it’s driven by Silicon Motion’s upcoming SM2262 controller. Adata says that it can hit sequential read speeds of up to 3000 MB/s and that it’s capable of writing at up to 1500 MB/s.

The second enterprise drive is a IM2S33D8, a SATA offering based on a SM2259 controller—therefore likely to carry a much humbler price tag than its faster cousin. Sequential operation speeds are given as 560 MB/s for reads and 520 MB/s for writes. Both drives are due out by the end of the year, but don’t expect to see these enterprise offerings commonly available at your favorite e-tailer.

But don’t worry, Adata’s still got you covered. The company had a whopping five more M.2 drives to show off. All of the following models fall under the company’s enthusiast XPG sub-brand.

Starting with the highest-end drive, we’ve got the XPG SX9000. The SX9000 is an NVMe drive powered by a Marvell controller and Toshiba’s evergreen 15-nm MLC NAND. Adata claims this model can hit 2800 MB/s sequential read and 1500 MB/s write speeds, though the numbers are useful merely as a point of reference against other drives of the same type. The SX9000 should hit shelves in July in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB flavors. In Q4, Adata plans to release an updated version on the SX9000 powered by 3D TLC. The company assured us that the refreshed model will hit the same performance targets as the planar MLC version.

Going down the line, the next drive is the XPG SX8000. This drive’s actually already out on the market, though we haven’t gotten into our test rigs yet. Suffice to say, it’s another NVMe offering, but with a Silicon Motion SM2260 controller and IMFT 3D MLC flash. The drive boasts 2500 MB/s sequential read and 1100 MB/s sequential write speeds, and comes in flavors ranging from 128 GB all the way up to 2 TB.

 

But wait, there’s more

The next one up is called the SX7000. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s another NVMe drive with a Silicon Motion controller. Adata didn’t specify which controller that is, but it’s clearly a less-expensive one, as the company only claims 1800 MB/s sequential read and 850 MB/s writes for this drive. The SX7000 also uses IMFT’s 3D TLC NAND. It will be available in capacities as small as 128 GB and as large as 1 TB.

Curiously, Adata has another M.2 stick with the exact same claimed speeds: the XPG Gammix S10. This unit looks quite different from the rest, as it’s enshrouded in a metallic red-and-black heat dissipator. The “Gammix” name and fancy heatsink are a clear indication that Adata’s after the gamer market with this model. Again, the drive is Silicon Motion-powered and uses the NVMe protocol. This time around it’s IMFT’s 3D TLC flash doing the honors. Like the SX9000, the Gammix S10 will be available in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB capacities.

The figurative red-headed stepchild of the bunch is the SX6000. While this drive also uses IMFT 3D TLC flash and the NVMe protocol, it’s got a Realtek controller and uses merely two PCIe 3.0 lanes. Adata said it envisions a world in which it eventually ramps down its production of SATA drives and fills the ensuing entry-level gap with PCIe x2 models. Lane-hobbled it may apparently be, the SX6000 still employs a pseudo-SLC caching scheme and a DRAM buffer, so it might not feel too sluggish in real-world scenarios. Adata claims a symmetric 850 MB/s speed for both sequential reads and writes. The drives will span sizes from 128 GB to 1 TB.

If you’re hobbling along without any M.2 slots, Adata had a new 2.5″ SATA SSD to show off. The company asserts that its upcoming XPG Spectrix S10 drive is the world’s first RGB LED-enabled SSD. We’ve caught whiffs of such a thing before, but have found no evidence that a prior product ever shipped. In any case, the Spectrix S10 is compatible with MSI’s Mystic Light software, and again uses a Silicon Motion controller and IMFT 3D TLC flash. These days, no stone is left unturned when it comes to adding RGB LEDs.

 

A treasure trove of memories

After blinding us with a 2.5″ SSD, of all things, Adata was finally out of new storage gear to show us. We concluded our tour of the booth with a glimpse of some new RAM products. Adata’s old XPG V3 DDR3 sticks are still chugging merrily along in our test rigs, so we were interested to see what’s cooking on the memory front.

Adata’s XPG Gammix D10 DIMMs are fairly vanilla mid-to-high-end DDR4 sticks. They come in speeds ranging from 2400 MT/s to 3000 MT/s, voltages from 1.2V to 1.35V, and capacities from 4 GB to 32 GB (we presume per module). All variants come with heatsinks in red or black motifs. There are no RGB LEDs on these modules.

Adata’s XPG Z1 DDR4 has been on the market for a while, but the company is issuing an updated version with a lightning-fast 4500 MT/s XMP profile. If ornate heatspreaders and easy overclocking are your cup of tea, look no further.

Whew, that was a lot of SSDs to talk about. There’s little doubt that some of these units will make their way into our storage labs over the coming months. Stay tuned for more of TR’s storage coverage.

Comments closed
    • WiseInvestor
    • 2 years ago

    Looks interesting but I’ve already receive my order of 960 EVO 500GB m.2

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Just curious. Are these nutty LED lights really a big market these days? I’m not disputing that there’s a market for them but the way everyone’s jumping in on it doesn’t mean everyone’s buying. Could be that these companies are just desperate to sell something. Anything.

    • tomkaten
    • 2 years ago

    2 TB on a drive the size of an index finger… Now that’s bad ass. Can’t wait for the Unified Memory revolution, XPoint or whatever else will get some traction.

    The only thing left for these things if they are to push mechanical into oblivion is a solid reduction in price. Are these NAND chips/controllers that expensive to manufacture ?

      • BIF
      • 2 years ago

      “The only thing left for these things if they are to push mechanical into oblivion is a solid reduction in price.”

      I agree.

    • hasseb64
    • 2 years ago

    “Made in China”?
    Why?
    Whats so labor intensive?

      • Wirko
      • 2 years ago

      Buy those while you can. In 2019 they will be made in Vietnam, at a rock-bottom quality level.

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        I actually have an Olympus camera that was built in Vietnam and which I bought in 2009. Not epic but quite respectable.

      • oldog
      • 2 years ago

      They’re turning kids into slaves just to make cheaper sneakers.
      But what’s the real cost?
      ‘Cause the sneakers don’t seem that much cheaper.
      Why are we still paying so much for sneakers
      When you got them made by little slave kids
      What are your overheads?

      Flight Of The Conchords Lyrics
      “Think About It”

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    The transition to M.2 is happening much faster than the transition from 3.5″ HD to 2.5″ SSD. There are motherboards shipping with 4(5?) M.2 slots. Awesome.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t think 3.5″ drives will go away any time soon. Density and price just isn’t there… yet.

        • Krogoth
        • 2 years ago

        There’s too much chassis and hardware out there that supports 3.5″ devices.

        It will require another form factor change for everyone to move away from 3.5″ media.

          • Lord.Blue
          • 2 years ago

          Don’t forget the GB/$ price that needs to change as well.

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 3 years ago

    Could they give these things names so I can mentally differentiate between them? I don’t care if they use ice cream flavours or cat breeds, just something that doesn’t read like a serial number

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Siamese? 😉

        • drfish
        • 2 years ago

        If you please.

        • Mr Bill
        • 2 years ago

        If you don’t please.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      I’d take alphanumerics over stupid names like Aorus or Epyc any day.

        • BIF
        • 2 years ago

        I hate the intentional misspellings. Stop treating me like I’m 5.

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