Tom's Hardware Verdict
The Adata Legend 960 Max is yet another high-end PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, set apart by its strong sustained performance. The addition of a heatsink to the original 960 is a nice option as the drive runs cool even under heavy workloads. It’s perfectly suitable for a laptop or PS5.
Good sustained performance
No throttling, runs cool
Lackluster power efficiency
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The Adata Legend 960 Max is another common PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD for your PS5 or desktop PC, with the added advantage of a heatsink to keep things cool. Overall, it’s a Legend 960 in disguise, simply with an added heatsink, but this works well with the drive’s chemistry. Although it sets no real records, the ability to write for a long time while keeping cool could make this drive interesting for some uses. However, it faces stiff competition, so it has to be priced right to be meaningful.
|Form Factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Interface / Protocol||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4|
|Flash Memory||176-Layer Micron TLC||176-Layer Micron TLC||176-Layer Micron TLC|
|Sequential Read||7,400 MBps||7,400 MBps||7,400 MBps|
|Sequential Write||6,000 MBps||6,800 MBps||6,800 MBps|
The Adata Legend 960 Max, as with the original Legend 960, comes in 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB flavors. During the time of review the prices dropped on these to $84.99, $169.99, and $369.99, respectively. This pricing feels a bit high at 1TB with heatsinked drives like the Lexar Professional NM800 Pro around and there’s fair competition at 2TB, too. At 4TB the Legend 960 Max is reasonable for a high-end PCIe 4.0 SSD if you want a svelte heatsink, possibly for PlayStation 5 use, but the WD Black SN850X is otherwise attractive.
The Legend 960 Max reaches up to 7,400 MBps / 6,800 MBps for sequential reads and writes and up to 750,000 / 630,000 IOPS for random reads and rights. TBW is at 780TB per TB of capacity and the drive is backed by a five-year warranty.
Software and Accessories
Adata provides a download for its SSD Toolbox software package. This application has drive information, diagnostics, cloning, TRIM optimization, a firmware updater, and the ability to perform a secure erase.
A Closer Look
The Legend 960 Max is quite similar to the original Legend 960 with the primary change being the addition of a full-fledged heatsink. This is a nice addition as the original drive could get quite hot during sustained workloads. It’s possible to add your own heatsink or to use a motherboard heatsink on the original, although currently these drives are priced similarly. What we spot otherwise is a double-sided drive with one DRAM and two NAND packages on either side, with the controller centralized on the top side.
The Legend 960 Max uses the same controller and DDR4 as the Legend 960. There’s plenty of DRAM and the controller has proven itself capable, but not exceptional. SMI was a little late to the market this time around.
The flash is Micron’s ubiquitous 176-Layer TLC, or B47R. In time we expect Micron’s 232-Layer design to become more common, particularly on higher-end drives. This includes a range of upcoming PCIe 5.0 SSDs. That flash has twice the typical density of B47R, which promises to help kick capacity up a notch.
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Shane Downing is a Freelance Reviewer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering consumer storage hardware.
how long before they start swapping out the parts in this model, too?Reply
It's only a week prior review... swap even pcb and the heatsink aluminum... got one blade s70 comes with out heatsink for inspection... (good ssd survived the torture test...mac_angel said:how long before they start swapping out the parts in this model, too?
I would like to think Adata learned its lesson since the last time. Then again, I've seen multiple other SSDs from other vendors with language that basically says, "We can swap out parts at any time and you should never take the launch specs to be indicative of final hardware." And if you're doing a budget part, that's probably okay — not great, but okay. The problem is when you do that to a drive that gets a good review, and then noticeably downgrade the hardware. Making it better is fine, but changing the model name slightly is also perfectly acceptable.mac_angel said:how long before they start swapping out the parts in this model, too?
Well, some do only read about peak transfer.. But in reality, i don't care if i copy a file at 8gbps then after x sec it drop to 1.2g ! The Adata 960 is quite the best performer and only one to give the highest transfert speed sustain. This make a very good one for db, nas, raid sys... And put over a gen3 board, you get higher value.. 'those others' below the max speed. yes gen 3 max at 3.7, but all rest are giving a very efficient boost.Reply
yea, I don't think it should be legal to do that. Especially after the product has been released to the public and has reviews. If it has different parts in it than the one that was released, then it should be renamed. Even people that know about this practice and somewhat know what to look for have a really hard time in trying to figure out which is which. Even worse when they have a built in heatsink.JarredWaltonGPU said:I would like to think Adata learned its lesson since the last time. Then again, I've seen multiple other SSDs from other vendors with language that basically says, "We can swap out parts at any time and you should never take the launch specs to be indicative of final hardware." And if you're doing a budget part, that's probably okay — not great, but okay. The problem is when you do that to a drive that gets a good review, and then noticeably downgrade the hardware. Making it better is fine, but changing the model name slightly is also perfectly acceptable.