A few weeks back, we took a look at a new series of solid state drives from Crucial, the M550, which leveraged Marvell controller technology, 20nm MLC NAND flash memory, and firmware optimizations gleaned from the last couple of years of SATA SSD advancements. Ultimately, we found the M550 series of drives to be solid offerings, with well-rounded performance and competitive pricing.
Well, today, another major player—ADATA—is releasing its own family of drives featuring similar technology at its core. The brand new ADATA SP920 Premiere Pro family of drives we’ll be showing you here use the same controller and NAND as the M550 series, though ADATA takes a few steps to help differentiate their drives from the competition.
We’ve got the whole ADATA SP920 Premiere Pro family in house, in capacities ranging from 128GB all the way on up to 1TB, and plan to show you what they’re made of on the pages ahead. Up first, some specs and information about the drives, and then we’ll dig into the numbers...
Before we take a look at closer look at the new ADATA SP920 Premiere Pro family of drives, we want to quickly draw some attention to its accessory bundle.
ADATA is one of a decreasing number of companies that bundle its drives with not only a 2.5” to 3.5” mounting adapter, but a 2.5mm spacer, and with a license for Acronis True Image HD (Windows 8 compatible) as well. Though the mounting adapter and spacers are growing less important as newer cases that include 2.5” mounting locations are released, the inclusion of Acronis and these other accessories is a noteworthy value add in our opinion.
Externally, the ADATA Premiere Pro SP920 series of SSDs looks just like many of the other 2.5” solid state drives currently on the market. The drive has a slim, 7mm Z-Height (though, an adapter is included in the box to add 2.5mm if necessary), and it is adorned with a couple of decals listing the product family, model number and some other identifying information, but other than that, there’s not much to see.
Open up the drives, however, and you’ll find that there are built around the tried-and-true Marvell 88SS9189 SATA 6Gbs controller, which has been used by a variety of other SSD manufacturers as well. This particular drive is a 1TB model, and as you can see, the PCB is outfitted with 16 pieces of NAND—or more specifically, 16 pieces of 20nm IMFT MLC NAND (all SP920 drives features 20nm NAND)—and a bit of DRAM cache as well.
The ADATA Premiere Pro SP920 series of drives are rated for 550MB/s sequential reads with 500MB/s writes (180MB/s on the 128GB drive, and 360MB/s on the 256GB drive) and random read and write IOPS of 98K – 90K and 80K – 45K, respectively. All of the drives support technologies like SMART and TRIM, and have built-in AES 256-bit encryption capabilities. In addition, the drives' firmware supports active garbage collection, data path protection, and adaptive thermal monitoring too.