ADATA Premier SP550 240GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


I’ve had the pleasure to review several new drives with triple-level-cell (TLC) NAND recently and today it is time to take a closer look at ADATA’s Premier SP550 solid state drive. The drive is equipped with said TLC flash and an SMI controller to provide an affordable performance upgrade. The ADATA Premier SP550 is available in capacities from 120GB and all the way up to 960GB, I’m however taking a closer look at the 256GB model today.

Let us start with the basics. The ADATA Premier SP550 is a 2.5-inch solid state drive with a 7mm height that makes it a perfect fit for ultrabooks. ADATA also packed a drive spacer along for notebooks that require a 9.5mm drive. This makes it suitable for almost any system, mobile or stationary.

As previously mentioned, the SP550 utilities TLC flash and an SMI2256 controller that comes with all the features that you want and a couple more. The drive naturally supports the basics such as NCQ, SMART, TRIM and Garbage collection, but it also features a low-density parity check error correction code (LDPC ECC) and RAID engine. The drive also supports SLC Caching and comes with a DDR3 DRAM cache buffer for sustained transfer speeds. All that along with Data Shaping technology should ensure data integrity and stability.

The endurance is rated for 90TB total bytes written (TBW) and the SP550 has a mean time before failure rating of 1.5 million hours. The 240GB model is rated for a sequential read performance up to 560MB/s and a sequential write performance up to 510MB/s. That is pretty good for a small drive that’s TLC based. The random performance is rated for 75K IOPS on both read and write operations. Part of the good performance rating comes from the intelligent SLC caching algorithm of the drive that allows NAND flash memory to operate in SLC mode and boosts SSD read and write performance.

A feature not mentioned above is the DevSleep, or Device Sleep, that in supported systems will send the drive to an even deeper sleep state where it consumes close to zero amount of power. Instead of keeping a data channel open for a wake-up signal, the DevSleep uses a power signal to wake the drive back up.

ADATA also got an SSD toolbox that makes maintenance of the drive an easy thing. You can quickly and conveniently configure, optimize, and monitor SSDs, from overall status to specific drive health and lifespan info. Speaking of lifespan, the ADATA Premier SP550 is backed by a 3-year warranty.

Inside the two-piece encasing, we find a 2/3 sized PCB where we see that nothing but quality components were used. The NAND is rom SKhynix, the cache from NANYA, and the controller from Silicon Motion.

Features

  • TLC flash with SMI controller Capacity Model Number EAN Code
  • Advanced LDPC ECC Technology
  • RAID Engine & Data Shaping for ultimate protection
  • Intelligent SLC Caching for improved performance
  • High TBW for extended drive longevity
  • DEVSLP (Device Sleep) supported

Specifications

  • Capacities: 120GB / 240GB / 480GB / 960GB
  • Controller: SMI
  • NAND Flash Memory: Toggle TLC (3-bit MLC)
  • 7mm 2.5-inch SATA 6Gb/sec (SATA III) interface
  • ECC Capability: Advanced hardware LDPC engine
  • Dimensions (L x W x T): 100.45 x 69.85 x 7mm *Varies depending on exact configuration
  • Operating Temperature: 0~70°C
  • Storage Temperature: -40~85°C
  • Shock Resistance: 1500G/0.5ms
  • Weight: 68g / 2.4oz
  • MTBF: 1,500,000 hours
  • Warranty: 3 years

Package and Accessories

ADATA packed the SP550 in a simple white box that has a transparent window showcasing the included drive itself. The front also features all the relevant features that the drive sports.

The rear of the box has all the details in multiple languages as well as the rated speeds.

Inside the box we find the drive itself as well as a 9.5mm drive adapter and a quick start guide.

ADATA Launches the Premier SP550 SATA SSD

ADATA launched their newest drive, the ADATA SP550 SATA3 SSD, that is said to bring a great performance vs cost ratio. The drive is built with SMI’s SM2256 controller that comes with plenty of features as well as triple-level cell NAND, SLC Caching, and DDR3 cache, which when coupled should create an amazing drive.

The ADATA SP550 is available in four different capacities, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB, a choice for everyone. The drive comes in a standard 2.5-inch 7mm form factor and is bundled with a 9.5mm adapter to make it compatible with laptops that have the bigger slots. The SMI2256 controller also supports DevSleep, which is another bonus for laptop and netbook users as it will draw a lot less power when idling. Besides DevSleep, you also get LDPC ECC (low-density parity check error correction) and RAID engine for enhanced data protection, stability, and reliability.

One of the things that ADATA highlight on this drive, besides the performance vs cost ratio, is the overall lifetime thanks to the TBW rating that it comes with. The two smallest drives have a 90TB TBW rating while the 480GB can write 180TB and the 960GB version has a total bytes written rating of 360TB. The read performance is rated up to 560MB/s on all models and 510MB/s write performance, except the 120GB version that only can 410MB/s when writing. The 4K random performance is rated to 75K reading and writing for the 3 largest models while the small one only does 60K reading and 70K writing.

The three small drives are already listed for purchase while the 960GB still has to be dispatched. The 120GB can be found starting at €54, the 240GB from €90 and the 480GB starting from €180. So a fair guess would be 360 Euros for the 960GB version, when available. The drives are backed by a 3-year warranty.

First Zoolander 2 Trailer Released

We need to forget all about Star Wars for a while, even though it’s one of the most talked about movies recently. We need to forget about it for now because we’re talking Zoolander here, more specifically the 2nd part that is due to be released early next year. The first Zoolander movie came out back in 2001 and was quite successful with an opening weekend worth over $15 million USD. It has since become somewhat of a classic and people are excited about the new movie.

The first official trailer for Zoolander two has been released and it is as suspected not the ordinary trailer. Mr. Zoolander isn’t a normal person either. The teaser video is set in a science environment with a mechanical voice narrating the big bang theory. It sounds like Stephen Hawking, but we can’t be sure of that right now. It takes on a journey in the big bang theory from the bang itself and all the way into the human brain – and that is where Ben Stiller is making the Blue Steel face and everything is as it should be.

Will you be heading to a theater near you to watch the new Zoolander 2, or 2oolander, when it starts to play there February 2016? We definitely think that it’ll be worth it.

Thank You TheVerge for providing us with this information

ADATA Premier Pro SP920 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


In the world of solid state drives, there are a vast number of advantages to be seen and had over the older mechanical counterparts and aside from raw capacity and the consequent price per GB of storage, the SSD is bar far the superior option to opt for when upgrading or building your new system. On the face of it, solid state drive are all about pure speed and whilst they are able to hit the limits of what the SATA III interface can handle, there is a whole lot more to the humble SSD to what lies on the surface and the crib sheets that are laid beside them.

The behind the scenes operations that hard drives rely on are pretty set in concrete and whilst there are some minor differences in performance to be seen, the way in which data is read and written to the drive stays the same with the iconic spinning platters and a read / write head which flickers back and forth hundreds of times a second. Solid state drives as we know by now are much more different and the lack of moving parts as indicated in their name means that everything is electronically altered within the silicon chips that are laid out on the PCB. How this data is read and accessed though does vary and overall we find three types of NAND available; synchronous, asynchronous and toggle. Typically we see most drives on the market offering up asynchronous or toggle mode NAND and this on the basic level comes down to the price. As we know, if you want better and more consistent performance, then you’ll be expecting to pay that bit more and this is exactly the case with synchronous NAND. The performance levels that are on offer on paper may look vastly greater, but in the real world the differences in speed are a lot closer than expected – the real advantage comes in sustained performance. I will go into this all a little later on to explain how it all works.

In the latter part of last week, ADATA gave us all a bit of a tease with an image on their Facebook page that teased us all with a portion of the drive on show with today’s date (2nd April 2014 for those not reading this on the launch date) down the left hand side. Buy why are ADATA keen to do this? Surely the launch of a new drive can’t be that special?

Well in some respects this is just another SSD; it doesn’t offer up a 2TB capacity as I’ve seen some speculate and ADATA haven’t found a way to rip through the limitations of the SATA III interface – nor is it a RAID0 drive within a single 2.5″ frame – damn I love it when people try to spread rumours! What the SP920 is, is in fact a drive that has been designed and built to meet the demands of our home entertainment driven lives and this where the aforementioned synchronous NAND comes into play.

Built around one of Marvell’s latest controllers, ADATA have chosen to use the more expensive NAND in favour of faster and more efficient file transfers from the drive – something which async and toggle mode drives struggle with as the volume becomes more congested with stored data. Multimedia files such as high-definition films and audio files or uncompressed data as we techs refer to them can put a lot of strain on the drive and in some cases we see the performance slowly drop down when being read – especially as the volume fills as mentioned above. This is what the SP920 is made to combat and thus why ADATA are proud to get the enthusiast community wanting more information.

Inside the SP920 packaging we get what is becoming a somewhat new industry standard bundle with a 2.5″ to 3.5″ drive bay adaptor, 7mm z-height to 9mm drive converter, screws for installation, quick start guide and a copy of Acronis’ drive migration software to make the upgrading process much quicker and less painful.

ADATA Premier Pro 32GB UHS-1 microSDHC Memory Card Review

Introduction


In today’s connected world, storage is a fundamental part of our day-to-day activities in one way or another. With a rapidly increasing number of smartphones coming on to the market, having enough storage to hand for all of your photos and music [for example] is one of the key decisions that comes into play when it comes picking the right phone for you. Whilst there are many phones out there that offer large storage capacities out of the box, such as iPhones and a number of Android phones, there are also a large number that do not. To fight back the problem of not having a great deal of storage space, a number of handsets offer up a microSD card slot, allowing the user to buy a card, insert it and instantly boost the storage capacity on their phone.

Looking at other market areas, digital cameras for the most part utilise full-sized SD cards or CompactFlash (CF), however there are a small number of cameras that only accept microSD format cards. When we look at what microSD cards are actually available on the market, it soon becomes clear that the range is actually quite small. Out of all the vendors that do produce microSD cards, ADATA are one of the few that manufacture high performance models alongside the likes of Kingston and Sandisk. Given the relatively small size of a microSD card, there is still enough space to cram up to 64GB of storage into the tiny plastic housing with speeds that fast enough for Full HD recording.

The Premier Pro line of SD and microSD cards are some of the fastest cards that ADATA have to offer and with speeds of 45MB/s read and 40MB/s write on offer, the Ultra-High-Speed Class 1 cards offer up more than double the performance of a standard class 10 card. With a large number of cards only coming close to their rated speeds, is ADATA’s Premier Pro worth the extra cost?

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  • Capacity: 16GB/32GB
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 15 x 11 x 1.0mm
  • Weight: Approx 0.25g
  • Standard: N/A
  • Performance: Read/Write speed up to 45/40 (MB/s)
  • Performance: Random Read/Write: 1400/150 IOPs
  • Operating voltage: 2.7~3.6Volt
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Voltage: N/A
  • Compatibility: Smartphones, tablet computers
  • Certifications: FCC, CE, BSMI, VCCI
  • Note: Read/write speed based on ADATA internal testing; performance may be lower depending on host device.