ADATA SX8000 M.2 512 GB SSD Review

Memory (DDR4/DDR5) and Storage (SSD/NVMe) 370 Page 19 of 19 Published by

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Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words & Conclusion

ADATA has a nice product at hand with the SX8000 series, this unit already was available ever since December, but they reinserted the product under a new SKU, now with the heatsink (if one can call it that). They offer it a notch under competing prices. Added benefit is the applied heatsink. Now truth be told, I am sure that it helps a little, but for really serious and massive workloads for an extended period of time before controller thermal throttling would kick in anyway. But any cooling a little extra is good. Our thermal images show it does spread out heat more nicely. The airflow inside your chassis will move that heat away. The idea is sound, not very effective though. Performance wise the SX8000 offers what is advertised. It however will not kick the 960 series proverbial toosh, it's fast but just not that fast especially in writes. Remember, to fully utilize the performance that is offered for NVMe you need a supporting infrastructure meaning NVMe compatible Intel X99 / X299 / Z97 / Z170 / Z270 or AMD B350 / X370 / X399 motherboard, obviously preferably with PCI Express Gen. 3 x4 interface to fully utilize the bandwidth this product needs. NVMe based storage is one the most exciting technologies that we have been following develop closely over the past few years was obviously the development curve of NAND flash based storage technology. We moved from a "blistering fast" 100 MB/sec towards numbers that are 20 to 30 fold of that. Next to that prices have been coming down, reliability has been top notch and ever so importantly volume sizes have moved upwards to a level where now 500 GB to 1 TB SSDs are getting a norm slowly. The current new mainstream however is roughly 480 and 512 GB which offers a nice balance in between performance and value. It truly is staggering to see where we are headed in terms of performance for NAND based flash storage units. For motherboards the industry will need to move to SATA4 rapidly with a serious increase in broad specced bandwidth to be able to keep up with M.2 form factors and the NVMe protocol. The ADATA SX8000 M.2. is a product that offers fast performance in both reads and writes relative to what you pay for it. At just over 1 GB/s writes per seconds it is still twice sometimes even three times as fast as a mainstream SATA3 SSD, while closing in at that 2.5 GB/s reads and thus more then quadrupling that number compared to a SATA3 SSD. 

Performance

Overall the SX8000, and pretty much any, new M.2. storage units are fast, really fast even. Unfortunately they get trumped by the competition in absolute numbers, so while you are 4 maybe 5x as fast as a regular SSD, in the M.2 NVMe line it is in the lower ranking (overall). That doesn't mean we can measure full 2,500 MB/sec speeds or ~1,100 MB/s writes, it's just that the application software and workload needs to match a certain optimal state to reproduce these numbers. IOPS performance is very good, easily over 150K reads and passing that on writes. This SSD writes and reads serious amounts of tiny files in a very fast fashion. We stated it before though, IOPS is not something you as a consumer should worry about too much unless you are doing a lot of database related work or create similar workloads on your PC, but this SSD certainly ranks high within this aspect. Trace testing - we feel that one of the best tests in our entire benchmark suite is PCMark Vantage 64-bit. This is a trace test and can emulate what you guys do on your PC but then multiplied by a factor of 100, this test puts more focus on read performance opposed to writing though. The outcome of the results with the SSD (within the M.2 NVMe category)  is good for an M2 NVMe product. Sustained read / write performance, again excellent and as advertised. Read performance in particular leads and is top ranking. Overall the series is impressive. Zoom in at both IOPS and trace performance and you'll notice that the SSD can manage serious workloads without breaking so much as a drop of sweat. So whether you write lots of small files, copy big MKV movies or do it all together, this M.2 NVMe SSD remains a top dog on all fronts. 

 

 

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 Overall NAND Storage Usage

Any SSD is enjoyable, very much so. If you put a drive like this into your compatible PC, you'll have no idea what is about to hit you. We very much enjoy the grand sustained performance of this SSD series; if you copy a vast amount of compressed data, then the unit will perform very fast in performance. Make no mistake, replacing a HDD with an SSD in your PC eliminates the random access lag of the HDD head, it is no longer mechanical. That combined with the performance SATA3 / M.2 / mSATA offers these days is simply a massive difference and probably the best upgrade you can make for your computer anno 2017.

Pricing & Warranty

ADATA  is able to keep the prices very competitive, but obviously a unit this fast is more expensive opposed to a regular SATA3 SSD. There are street prices in with the new heatsink based SKU. Current street price:

  • M.2. 512 GB - € 219,- (43 cents/GB)
I do want to point out that due to a world wide NAND shortage the past six months NAND prices have gone up by as much as 20% These are street prices incl. VAT here in the Netherlands for the M.2 units as tested today. Remember, this is a enthusiast MLC class SSD. The company offers a proper five years warranty.
  
 
Guru3d-recommended

Concluding

It works well and is fast enough, but perhaps not comparable to the big guns in the industry. To be brutally honest, we doubt that you'd ever notice a difference at these perf levels anyway. What ADATA right now is fighting though are the increased NAND prices, this is supposed to be a more affordable MLC based M.2 SSD series, but with multi-layered NAND prices increasing by as much as 20% due to shortages that remains to be a difficult thing to do. Still they are pretty spot on pricing wise considering this unit used MLC NAND. We love anything NVMe these days. You'll be amazed how fast you get used towards 1, 2 even 3 GB/sec read speeds. Would you ever notice the difference in-between 1GB/s or 2.5 GB/s? QWe doubt that. Unless you have massive workloads of course. Going from a HDD towards an SSD is made such a huge difference. Going from a fast SATA3 SSD towards NVMe M.2 again is a faster step, but admittedly a far less less to notice one, as a regular SSD is already loading your data in a split second. Access times with HDDs always have been the biggest bottleneck, that mechanical head positioning itself on the platters was eliminated. With the introduction of SSD that massive latency issue was completely killed off, and that's where 90% of the performance benefit was found. So the big question remains how fast do these SSDs really need to be ? It is a discussion that will be interesting to see in the coming years. Honestly I think the trend will be NVMe with more capacity, 99.999% reliability and endurance (TB Written) as main factors being decisive. So in that respect, the ADATA SX8000 series is impressive seen from a SATA3 SSD. You will (give or take) quadruple your read performance over that regular SATA3 SSD. For writes that is double to triple the performance of today's SATA3 solutions. Among the M.2 NVMe competition however this is a more difficult to position product price and perf wise. We cannot ignore one fact though, Samsung dominates the NVMe space, there's just no doubt about it and they are just tough to beat with their tremendous R&D and budgets tied to that. Coming from an HDD or somewhat older SATA3 SSD overall this ADATA SX8000 M.2. series unit will lift your storage performance to new and rock-solid levels. Compared to the M2 NVMe direct competition like Samsung, Intel, Micron and gang however still has a few performance hurdles to tackle as this product is ranking a notch lower in performance within this specific segment. However you do get MLC written NAND, which is muhc desired by many. Perhaps if prices go down a notch, this could be your next SSD. Regardless, with 5 Years warranty, 320TB written and MLC written cells, definitely recommended.

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