SSD manufacturers sometimes roll with proprietary controllers, such as OCZ and Samsung, while others adopt third-party products. ADATA falls into the latter category. The XPG SX900 packs an LSI SandForce 2281 controller, which is one of the more popular solutions at this time.
ADATA says that its firmware actually increases the available storage capacity slightly over other SandForce-based drives, giving the XPG SX900 about 7% more available storage capacity. Simply put, SandForce controllers set aside a small amount of flash storage to use for over provisioning and other management functions, which is designed to offer better performance and endurance, but there’s now a way to essentially give the user back that small percentage of reserved storage capacity--presumably without negatively impacting the drive in regard to performance and endurance. ADATA’s XPG SX900 was one of the first drives to feature the new capability.
|• SATA 6Gbps interface
• SandForce 2281 controller
• 2.5-inch, 7mm form factor
• 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities
• Acronis True Image HD and disk migration utility
• 2.5- to 3.5-inch bracket
• Optimized to better utilize NAND flash storage capacity
• New firmware (v.5.0.7a)
• TRIM support
• RAID support
• 3-year warranty
* Currently $199 at Amazon
In fact, the XPG SX900 has actually been out for a while now, but the version we tested is a little different. For one thing, earlier versions had 25nm IMFT NAND chips on board, while later versions had repackaged 20nm NAND. Our SSD though has 19nm SanDisk flash chips inside. This drive also has updated firmware (version 5.0.7a) that should smooth out any issues earlier XPG SX900s may have had.
ADATA is putting out XPG 900s in several capacities, including 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, and we gave the 256GB version a spin. The 256GB version, it turns out, has the best specifications in terms of speed in the whole line; ADATA claims that it can hit read/write speeds of 550MBps/530MBps (in ATTO) and 500MBps/320MBps (in AS-SSD) with max 4K write IOPs of 91K.
Earlier batches of the XPG SX900 had full-length PCBs, but as you can see, this one is a shorty. Even so, ADATA managed to fit sixteen 19nm SanDisk flash chips (eight on each side), along with the SandForce controller.
The Z-height of this drive is just 7mm, and the chassis has a dark, brushed metal top and bottom with a silver brushed metal band around the edge. Also note the included mounting bracket that allows a user to insert the drive in a 3.5-inch bay on a desktop.
The “XPG” is the product name is for “Xtreme Performance Gear”; let’s take a look at some benchmarks to see just how "extreme" this drive’s performance really is.