Let’s begin at the beginning. Or is that the end? The end of the line for the once all-conquering SandForce 2200-series controller chipset, we mean. Not all that long ago, it strew all asunder with its epic sequential read and write performance. Now, things don’t look so clever.
The rot first set in when it emerged that SandForce’s stellar bandwidth was enabled by some clever compression technology. The problem is, if you’re shunting incompressible data about, the performance benefits of on-the-fly compression melt away.
In more recent months, improvements by other chipsets in terms of IOPs (and therefore random-access performance) have removed even more of SandForce’s sheen. In truth, it could do with getting its much-rumoured new chipset out the door. It’s into that context that the ADATA XPG SX900 opens this group test. Surely it’s not going to win any outright performance awards with its aging SandForce chipset, is it? No, it’s not. Compressible throughput still looks superb, but our benchmarks show that incompressible sequential reads and writes fall off pretty dramatically. The random access numbers don’t look too clever, either.
Old dog, new tricks But wait – in our real-world file compression and transfer benchmarks, the SX900 puts in some excellent numbers. It’s far faster than its closest rival in the price wars, Crucial’s dirt cheap M500. Suddenly, those synthetic benchmark numbers don’t look so important. To be fair, our M500 has probably had the hardest life of all these drives leading into this test, but the Adata’s real-world numbers look good compared to almost every drive here.
With all that in mind, the XPG SX900 is a surprisingly attractive proposition. If you need a cheap 500GB-ish SSD, it’s worth a look despite that
crusty controller chipset.
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