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Adata's XPG SX8200 Pro 1 TB, reviewed

The SX8200's final form

Last year, we reviewed an NVMe-equipped Adata SSD for the very first time. The XPG SX8200 came in guns blazing, and its solid performance and modest price tag earned it our official endorsement. But now it looks like we'll have to table that recommendation, because Adata has whipped up a sequel, the XPG SX8200 Pro.

Adata XPG SX8200 Pro
Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) Max random (IOps)
Read Write Read Write
256 GB 3500 1200 220K 290K
512 GB 3500 2300 390K 380K
1 TB 3500 3000 390K 380K

Just like the original SX8200, the Pro is an NVMe-enabled, M.2, four-lane-PCIe drive, with 64-layer Micron TLC and a Silicon Motion controller humming along under the hood. But despite all those similarities, Adata's product pages claim a variety of significant speed improvements. Random read and write IOps have seen hefty gains, and the 1 TB version's sequential write speeds have skyrocketed from 1700 MB/s to 3000 MB/s. What accounts for the difference? Maybe it's the XPG sticker that Adata now ships in the box.

A quick squint at the bare drive reveals that the brains of the operation is Silicon Motion's SM2262EN controller, a new-and-improved flavor of the SM2262 that underpinned the SX8200. Silicon Motion's spec sheet reveals precious few differences between the old and the new controllers—they're both eight-channel affairs with the same interfaces and capabilities—but the SM2262EN's maximum performance ratings are higher. Unfortunately, the SX8200 Pro sample we received is the 1 TB version, so we won't be able to do a true and direct comparison of the two controllers, since our original SX8200 review unit was a 480 GB drive. 

The controller really does seem to be the only major difference between the old and new drives. They both lean on pseudo-SLC caching to reach their peak speeds, both omit hardware encryption acceleration, both have the same five-year warranty, and both are rated for the same number of total bytes written—640 TB for the 1 TB flavor. One thing that has drastically changed is the price: The 1-TB SX8200 Pro is available at at Amazon for $193, which is a far cry from the $190 that 480 GB version of the prior SX8200 commanded at the time we reviewed it.

So let's see what a new controller and a fresh coat of sticker does for the SX8200 line. To the bench!