We've waxed poetic a number of times about the democratization of the PCIe storage market. The number of NVMe products from SSD makers everywhere has grown substantially over the years. Adata is one of the companies on the front lines of the NVMe wars, and it's been slinging a variety of powerful gumsticks into the market. Over the last couple of years, the manufacturer has put together an extensive lineup of NVMe drives. The SX8000 was the first, but Adata sliced and diced various combinations of controllers with planar and 3D NAND to produce the SX6000, SX7000, SX9000, Gammix S10, and Gammix S11.
Despite that deep roster, no NVMe-equipped Adata drive has yet passed through our storage labs. Until now, that is. Meet Adata's XPG SX8200.
|Adata XPG SX8200|
|Capacity||Max sequential (MB/s)||Max random (IOps)|
The XPG SX8200 is available in 240-GB, 480-GB, and 960-GB capacities. Adata sent us the 480-GB model to play with. This newcomer is built on Micron's latest-generation 64-layer 3D TLC NAND and Silicon Motion's SM2262 controller. If this all sounds familiar, it should. We saw this combination last year at Computex when we got a sneak preview of Adata's upcoming SSDs. The goods included an enterprise-oriented (and enterprise-named) IM2P33E8 drive packing the same hardware. More recently, we saw a similar combination in Intel's excellent-value 760p SSD, though the controller had a haze of Intel mystery applied to it.
The SX8200's primary mission is to outperform its predecessor, the XPG SX8000. That could prove tricky, since the older drive's controller was backed up by MLC NAND. Anyway, we never tested the SX8000, so we won't be able to be offended if the SX8200 fails its mission.
The XPG SX8200's four NAND packages are distributed evenly on both sides of the PCB, with a slice of DRAM on each side as well. The top side hosts the controller. The SM2262 enables a number of fancy tricks, like pseudo-SLC caching and Silicon Motion's proprietary "NANDXtend" error-correcting technology. Unfortunately, Adata hasn't leveraged the controller's encryption acceleration features, so the privacy-minded may want to think twice about this drive.
Adata warrants the XPG SX8200 for five years. The 480-GB drive's endurance rating is a solid 320 terabytes written, so longevity shouldn't be a big concern. Adata's pre-launch suggested price was a lofty $260, but street prices seem to be quite a bit lower. Newegg's hocking the drive for just $210, while Amazon is only asking $190. These cuts may prove to be a huge boon for the drive, depending on what kind of overall performance it puts up in our test suite. Speaking of which, let's get to it.