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Thursday, 12 November 2015

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ADATA Premier SP600 M.2 2242 128GB SSD Review


ADATA has been making quite a name for itself lately in the PC market courtesy to its high quality DRAM and SSD or even some military grade storage devices. Talking about storage M.2 is one such realm and many manufacturers are rolling out storage devices for the tiny but useful M.2 port present on almost all the new motherboards out there. ADATA sent over their Premier SP600 M.2 2242 128GB SSD to me for review giving me an opportunity to experience this new storage option first hand. With the SP600 M.2 the manufacturer aims to provide users with a device that is useful for Desktop and Laptop users alike.
Enough with the talking, now lets take a quick look at the spec sheet of this nifty little device.

From the spec sheet we see that its available in two variants with 128GB and 256GB storage size and the latter one has more than double the write speed of the former. That's interesting since mostly its the other way around in case of storage disks where larger capacity has lower read/write speeds in contrast to those having a smaller storage capacity.
On a more general side ADATA’s Premier SP600NS34 M.2 provides multiple features that enhance efficiency, including DEVSLP (device sleep), BCH ECC technology for error detection and correction up to 72bits/1KB, and support for Intel Smart Response Technology.

Packing and Contents


The ADATA SP600 M.2 2242 comes in a sleek and informative white box with the product name clearly mentioned along with the fact that its a M.2 SSD using a 6GB/s interface. The drive can be clearly seen resting in the center through a transparent panel right in the middle of the box. The ADATA humming bird is poised nicely in one corner and at the bottom right you'll see the 3 years warranty clearly mentioned that the manufacturer is offering on the product.

On the sides nothing much is printed except for the product name and vital details. At the back you can find a multilingual guide and the various contact details to the ADATA customer care.

Open the box and you'll find just the SSD securely packed in a plastic retainer. No manual or installation guide is provide along which is acceptable since no one needs it now.
Overall the packing is clean, simple and informative with nothing to complain about.

Closer Look


Looking at the Premier SP600 you'll notice that its small, I mean like very very small! It complies with the 2242 form factor & hence, measures at just 22mm x 42mm x 3.5mm. Its a good thing since most motherboards only support M.2 drives of upto 60mm in length making the ADATA SP600 M.2 quite a universally compatible drive.

If you flip the drive you'll find a ADATA MLC NAND resting at one corner of the silicon wafer. This is one of the two NAND chips that the SP600 M.2 2242 employees to achieve its total storage capacity of 128GB. The other one is on top which I'll show you next, this is a great move by ADATA since this helps to keep the drive's length smaller and makes it more compatible than others.
On removing the top sticker you'll be greeted by a bunch of chips placed together in close proximity.

Here you can see the JMicron’s JMF670H NAND controller on top which is a good option even today in terms of performance but has a drawback of over-provisioning by which it reserves 7% of the total capacity offering only 119GB usable out of the 128GB on-board. I hope a new firmware upgrade rolls out for the same to fix this issue.
At the bottom left is the Nanya 1533 DDR3 DRAM which acts as a cache buffer, its DDR3 and offers enhanced performance over many other SSDs which don't come with a DRAM cache buffer at all.
The right edge is occupied by the second ADATA NAND complimenting the another located right below it.

Test Bench and Benchmarking

For benchmarking the ADATA Premier SP600 M.2 128GB SSD we happened to have some really interesting components all thanks to our good friends at Cooler Master, Corsair and Gigabyte.

CPU: Intel i7 6700K quad core 4Ghz LGA 1151
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z170X Gaming G1
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw 16GB (4x4) 3000Mhz DDR4
Graphics Card: Gigabyte R9 290X 4GB DDR5 Windforce 3xOC
Cooler: Corsair H110 280mm
Storage: ADATA Premier SP600 M.2 128GB SSD -- Intel 750 series 400GB NVMe
PSU: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
Case: Cooler Master MasterCase 5
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit

ATTO Disk

ATTO Disk Benchmark measures transfer rates across specific lengths for any storage system. ATTO uses RAW data, I set my transfer size from 0.5 to 8192kb. This is generally the most reliable benchmarks for today's SSDs

The results are somewhat close to what the product has been advertised with which is a good sign.

CrystalDiskMark 5.0.2 x64

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software that analyses different types of hard drive using incompressible data. Giving sequential benchmark write and read statistics in MB/s. A simple program that is very useful.

Very much like the ATTO benchmark the results are similar with differences within the margin of error.

Anvil Storage Utility

The next test is Anvil Storage Utilities, which is a really great piece of software. The SSD benchmark gives you scores for both read and write as well as a combined score.

 Anvil also includes Threaded IO tests, which test IOPS. We ran both the random read and random write tests. The results are below.



The IOPS test is worth noticing since the values are lower than what ADATA is claiming it to be. I don't know if its with my review unit or in general but the values are going way off the mark!

AIDA 64 Extreme Edition

A benchmarking tool that is compulsory to include to make this review complete. AIDA Read test calculates the read speed of the SSD on the basis of data blocks of various sizes along with the average access time.

As you can see the drive is giving a good value of 537.8MB/s which is quite close to what has been advertised.

PCMark Vantage

We used the PCMark Vantage HDD test which is one of the best range of test suits out there for measuring the performance of any HDD/SSD. Tests are conducted by simulating real life tasks such as Windows Start up, Gaming etc.

The results obtained are OK-ish and not very good, more like a mixed bag but acceptable. I'm not impressed though

HD Tune Pro

HD Tune Pro is one of the most popular hard drive software suites available. It has many different benchmarks and tests built into it. Our first test is the read benchmark, which tests the average read speed and access time of the drive.
It was necessary to use it even after so many tests just to give all of you a graph of how constant the speed is on this SSD as many SSDs tend to fluctuate on the read/write speed which ultimately gives you unstable performance.

The average speed comes down at 252.9MB/s but the graph itself can be seen fluctuating badly clearly indicating why we have been getting odd results so far.

My Verdict

The ADATA Premier SP600 M.2 2242 128GB SSD is a fine little device priced at around $60 or Rs. 5000 in India. The read speeds are splendid and make this drive one of the better options in the economic segment especially if you want to use it as a boot drive or want to launch some heavy multimedia software quickly. Write speeds on the other hand are not impressive at all but are acceptable considering the price tag.
ADATA has wrongly advertised the product with read write speeds of 550MB/s and 170MB/s whereas the tests showed it to be 535MB/s and 142MB/s respectively. I'll add another point to their favor when they'll update the spec sheet on their website. Rest of the cool features like universal compatibility with desktop and laptops topped with power saving features like the DEVSLP makes it a lucrative deal.
So if you are a gamer or a mild multimedia editor or simply a guy who wants a fast and cheap option for general usage then you should consider this drive for your laptop/ultrabook & desktops but if you are someone who finds himself on the other end of the line then its better you look somewhere else.
I give it a 6.5/10

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