Adata Switches NAND on XPG SX8200 Pro SSD Again, Affecting Performance (Updated)

Adata changes Flash, leading to potentially-slower performance.

XPG SX8200 Pro (Image credit: Adata)

Update 2/18/2020: Adata has reached to clarify that the Redditor measured performance with the new SSD configuration connected to the PCH and compared performance to the originally-shipping SSD connected to the CPU. This can have an impact on performance. We have also added a note regarding the disparity in the relevant section. Adata does not dispute that there is now another configuration shipping to customers.

Updated Article:

A report has emerged that Adata has altered its XPG SX8200 Pro again by swapping in SK Hynix flash, making this the fourth known SSD configuration. As before, Adata ships this drive with the same model number as the original SSD. 

Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro was once hailed as the best SSD in its category in terms of offering the best bang for your buck. Unfortunately, the SSD also received its fair share of bad press as Adata switched out the original components for slower parts, without publicizing the change. While swapping out different types of flash certainly isn't unheard of, Adata's tactic involved swapping the SSD controller, a first. In addition to the original SX8200 Pro, our testing identified two more revisions that delivered substantially lower performance than the original SSD. 

Now it appears that Adata has quietly revamped the SX8200 Pro again. Redditor svartchimpans recently purchased an SX8200 Pro that doesn't match the specs of any previous revisions we've tested. That means there could now be a total of four different variants of the SX8200 Pro. However, given the timeframe, we don't expect to find the original SX8200 Pro anymore.

As a quick recap, the original SX8200 Pro had a Silicon Motion SM2262ENG SSD controller clocked at 650 MHz with IMFT 64-layer TLC (triple-level cell) NAND. The other versions shipped with the slower Silicon Motion SM2262G controller at 575 MHz. 

The type of NAND you received varied depending on the SSD lottery. Some arrived with Micron 96-layer TLC NAND, while others came with Samsung 64-layer TLC NAND. The fourth and latest variant reportedly retained the SM2262G controller but used SK Hynix's 96-layer TLC NAND.

Adata XPG SX8200 Pro Revisions

ProductControllerSSD Controller ClockNANDFlash Interface Speed
Adata XPG SX8200 Pro v1SM2262ENG650 MHzIMFT 64L TLC 650 MTps
Adata XPG SX8200 Pro v2SM2262G575 MHzMicron 96L TLC650 MTps
Adata XPG SX8200 Pro v3SM2262G575 MHzSamsung 64L TLC525 MTps
Adata XPG SX8200 Pro v4SM2262G?SK Hynix 96L TLC?
Adata XPG SX8200 Pro v5SM2262ENG?SanDisk 96L TLC?

The Redditor purchased his three SX8200 Pro 2TB drives at the same retailer with the same product number at different points in time. Because the model number is always listed as "SX8200 Pro," there really is no way of finding out which variant you're buying until you actually have the drive in your hands and benchmark it. 

In fairness, Adata doesn't guarantee a specific SSD controller or type of flash for its SX8200 Pro. That's understandable, because companies don't always have access to all the original components to manufacture their products, and sometimes it's necessary to use substitutes. 

For reference, the SX8200 Pro is rated for sequential read and write speeds up to 3,500 MBps and 3,000 MBps, respectively, and random read and write speeds up to 390,000 IOPS and 380,000 IOPS.

[Update: Adata has reached to clarify that the Redditor measured performance with the new SSD configuration connected to the PCH and compared performance to the originally-shipping SSD connected to the CPU. This can have an impact on performance and may inflate the performance delta between the two drives. As such, we have removed the screenshots of the test Redditor's test results and relevant text until further data is provided. Adata does not dispute that there is now another configuration shipping to customers.]

Synthetic benchmarks don't always paint the entire picture, and we would need to thoroughly test the new revision to see if it is slower than the other three variants. 

Performance is just one side of the coin, though. It remains to be seen whether the new NAND will impact the SX8200 Pro's endurance. The SX8200 Pro is available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. Adata rated the original drives with endurance ratings of 160TBW, 320TBW, 640TBW and 1,280TBW. Given that Adata hasn't modified these values in the specification sheet, we can only assume that the SK Hynix drives should be as durable as the original ones. [Update: Adata has clarified that the endurance rating remains the same.]

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