ADATA XPG Atom 50 Review: A Speedy Gen 4 SSD For Gamers


ADATA XPG Atom 50: Fast, Affordable PCIe Gen NVMe Storage

atom 50 ssd angle
The NVMe M.2 solid state storage market continues to expand with an ever-increasing number of drives, at a variety of price points and performance targets. There has been a steady influx of high-end drives targeting enthusiasts, along with an array of more-affordable DRAM-less offerings specifically tuned for consumer and gaming workloads. The ADATA XPG Atom 50 we’ll be showing you here today falls into the latter category. The ADATA XPG Atom 50 is available for a relatively low price, yet packs some decent specifications, including a native PCIe Gen 4 interface and sequential transfers north of 5GB/s.

Take a look at the ADATA XPG Atom 50’s main features and specifications below. Then we’ll dig in with some benchmarks on the pages ahead to see how she performs, and if it’s worth springing for one of these more affordable solid state drives in light of the many other excellent offerings currently on the market...

ADATA XPG Atom 50 Specifications And Features


Just like most other M.2 drives currently on the market, the ADATA XPG Atom 50 SSD uses the common M.2 2280 (80mm) "gumstick" form factor. And like many of ADATA’s other XPG-branded SSDs, the Atom 50 utilizes an attractive, dark-colored PCB with components packing only one side of the board. One side is masked by a sticker and the other, while exposed right out of box, will be masked by the included heat-spreader or your motherboard’s integrated M.2 cooling hardware.
atom 50 top and bottom
Powering the ADATA XPG Atom 50 is an InnoGrit IG5220 controller, that’s paired to Micron's 176-Layer 3D TLC NAND Flash memory. The drive features a PCIe Gen 4 x4 interface and support for the NVMe 1.4 specification.

The ADATA XPG Atom 50’s sequential transfers are rated for up to 5GB/s per second reads and 4.5GB/s writes, respectively, when used with a PC, with up to 5GB/s transfers in a PS5. Because this drive packs only a basic, flat heat-spreader, its form factor is a perfect fit for a PlayStation 5 storage upgrade. This particular drive’s endurance rating is 650TBW, and it is currently offered only in a 1TB capacity.
atom 50 ssd angle 3
Included with the ADATA XPG Atom 50 is support for the company’s SSD Toolbox utility, for monitoring, maintaining, and updating the drive. The interface for the tool is somewhat colorful and dated looking, but the functionality and feature set is adequate. ADATA also includes an XPG-branded aluminum heat-spreader should users want to install it. We like this option because it allows owners to opt for the included heat-spreader should they want to use it or attach the beefier heatsinks included on many enthusiast motherboards directly to the SSD, without an additional layer in-between.

ADATA XPG Atom 50 PCIe Gen 4 SSD Benchmarks

Under each test condition, the SSDs showcased here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a separate drive used for the OS and benchmark installations. Our testbed's motherboard was updated with the latest BIOS available at the time of publication and Windows 11 was fully updated. Windows firewall, automatic updates, and screen savers were all disabled before testing and Focus Assist was enabled to prevent any interruptions.

adata s70 blade front2

 In all test runs, we rebooted the system, ensured all temp and prefetch data was purged, and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle and for the system to reach an idle state before invoking a test. All of the drives here have also been updated to their latest firmware as of press time. Where applicable, we would also typically use any proprietary NVMe drivers available from a given manufacturer, but all of the drives featured here used the Microsoft driver included with Windows 11.

HotHardware's Test System:


Processor:
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Motherboard:
Gigabyte Aorus X570 Pro Wi-Fi (X570 Chipset)

Video Card:
GeForce RTX 3080

Memory:
32GB G.SKILL DDR4-3200

Storage:
Samsung SSD 980 Pro (OS Drive)
ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade (2TB)
ADATA XPG Atom 50 (1TB)
Samsung SSD 980 Pro (2TB)
Kingston KC3000 (2TB)
WD Black SN750 (1TB)
WD Black SN770 (1TB)
OS:
Windows 11 Pro x64

Chipset Drivers:
AMD v3.10.22.706

Benchmarks:
IOMeter 1.1
HD Tune v5.75
ATTO v4.01.02f
AS SSD
SiSoftware SANDRA
CrystalDiskMark v8.0.4 x64
Final Fantasy XiV: Endwalker
PCMark 10 Quick Storage Bench


IOMeter Benchmarks

IOMeter is a well-respected industry standard benchmark. However,  despite our results with IOMeter scaling as expected, it is debatable as to whether or not certain access patterns actually provide a valid example of real-world performance. The access patterns we tested may not reflect your particular workloads, for example. That said, we do think IOMeter is a reliable gauge for relative throughput, latency, and bandwidth with a given storage solution. In addition, there are certain highly-strenuous workloads you can place on a drive with IOMeter, that you can't with most other storage benchmark tools. 

In the following tables, we're showing two sets of access patterns; a custom Workstation pattern, with an 8K transfer size, consisting of 80% reads (20% writes) and 80% random (20% sequential) access and a 4K access pattern with a 4K transfer size, comprised of 67% reads (33% writes) and 100% random access. Queue depths from 1 to 16 were tested...

imoeter 1 wd black sn770


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We've got a varied mix of drives here to illustrate the performance differences between older PCIe Gen 3 drives, higher-end Gen 4 drives, and DRAM-less drives. With this particular mix of competitors, the XPG Atom 50 ends up trailing the pack in terms of IOs, especially at the queue depth is increased.

iomoeter 3 atom 50


iomoeter 4 atom 50

These numbers represent the average bandwidth for the drives we tested with both access patterns, across every queue depth. With the lowest IOs of the bunch, it's no surprise than the XPG Atom 50 lands at the bottom of the charts here.

iomoeter 5 wd black sn770


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Our latency results also show the higher-end drives offering lower latencies across all queue depths. At QD1, which is most relevant to mainstream, consumer workloads, the deltas separating the drives are relatively small, but the XPG Atom 50 trails here nonetheless.

SiSoft SANDRA 2021

Next we used SiSoft SANDRA, the the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant for some quick tests. Here, we used the File System Test and provide the results from our comparison SSDs. Read and write performance metrics, along with the overall drive score, are detailed below.

sandra atom 50

The SANDRA file system benchmark had the XPG Atom 50 clearly outrunning the PCIe Gen 3 WD Black SN750 performing similarly to the also-DRAM-less SN770, but the higher-end drives come out well ahead.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO is another "quick and dirty" type of disk benchmark that measures transfer speeds across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and graphs them out in an easily interpreted chart. We chose .5KB through 64MB transfer sizes and a queue depth of 6 over a total max volume length of 256MB. ATTO's workloads are sequential in nature and measure raw bandwidth, rather than I/O response time, access latency, etc.

atto 1 wd black sn770


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The XPG Atom 50 is rated for 5GB/s reads with 4.5GB/s writes. In ATTO's write test, the drive finishes right in-line with expectations and in the read tests is just barely missed hitting that 5GB/s mark.


atto 3 wd black sn770


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IO performance according to ATTO had the XPG Atom 50 competing well with the other drives we tested. Save for a couple of the very small transfers sizes in the write test, the XPG Atom 50 was right in the mix.

AS SSD Compression Benchmark

Next up we ran the Compression Benchmark built-into AS SSD, an SSD specific benchmark being developed by Alex Intelligent Software. This test is interesting because it uses a mix of compressible and non-compressible data and outputs both Read and Write throughput of the drive. We only graphed a small fraction of the data (1% compressible, 50% compressible, and 100% compressible), but the trend is representative of the benchmark’s complete results.


as ssd 1 wd black sn770


as ssd 2 wd black sn770

The compressibility of the data being transferred across the drives has virtually no impact on performance, and the ADATA XPG Atom 50 puts up numbers in-line with its rated specs across the board.

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