Adata Legend 960 SSD Review: Too Little, Too Late

Another high-end PCIe 4.0 SSD dives into the mix

Adata Legend 960 SSD
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The Adata Legend 960 is a typical high-end PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, standing out only with its exceptional sustained write performance. It runs relatively cool but lacks the efficiency of its peers. It’s a satisfactory drive for a desktop or PS5 if you can find it for the right price.


  • +

    Good sustained performance

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    Didn't throttle


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    Average performance

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    Subpar power efficiency

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The Adata Legend 960 is a high-end PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD that has arrived late to the market. Performance is merely average aside from sustained writes, which means it doesn’t excel at anything except for very specific workloads. The drive runs cool enough but is not particularly efficient so is not eligible for our list of best SSDs, but would work well in a PlayStation 5. Warranty and software support are good but not exceptional. This leaves the Legend 960 as something worthwhile to pick up on sale but it does not stand out from other high-end PCIe 4.0 drives in any meaningful way. Meanwhile, faster, PCIe 5.0 SSDs are due out soon.


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Pricing $109.99 $167.11 N/A
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
Interface / ProtocolPCIe 4.0 x4PCIe 4.0 x4PCIe 4.0 x4
Flash Memory176-Layer Micron TLC176-Layer Micron TLC176-Layer Micron TLC
Sequential Read7,400 MBps7,400 MBps7,400 MBps
Sequential Write6,000 MBps6,800 MBps6,800 MBps
Random Read730K750K700K
Random Write610K630K550K
Endurance (TBW)780TB1560TB3120TB
Part NumberALEG-960-1TCSALEG-960-2TCSALEG-960-4TCS

The Adata Legend 960 is available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities, at $109.99 and $167.11 for the first two capacities. The 1TB price is high given recent sales and general SSD market pricing trends. The 2TB is currently on sale but faces a lot of competition within the same price range, such as the Corsair MP600 Pro XT, the Corsair MP600 Pro NH, and Corsair MP600 Pro LPX.

The 4TB model was not available at the time of review. It has sometimes been challenging to find drives of that size, with the WD Black SN850X and the Inland Gaming Performance Plus being two popular and available options. The Inland Performance Plus that we previously reviewed is also popular and now has updated hardware that matches the Gaming Performance Plus, sans the heatsink.

The Legend 960 is rated for up to 7,400/6,800 MBps for sequential read and write and 750K/630K IOPS for random read and write. The former is essentially the maximum for PCIe 4.0 while the latter falls behind a bit compared to other products, although this is more than enough performance for most. The hardware is certainly capable of more. Adata backs the drive with 780TB of warrantied writes per TB capacity, slightly higher than typical, with all options having a 5-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 Adata Legend 960 comes with an installable heatsink/heatspreader that is easy to apply. This is a nice option for a high-end drive like this, especially as it lets you use your own solution that may dissipate heat more effectively if you so choose. The SSD has one DRAM and two NAND packages per side for a total of two and four, respectively. There’s also the prerequisite SSD controller located in the center, a layout that should improve heat dissipation with the spreader.

The controller is an SMI SM2264, a newer design, and this is the first drive we’ve tested that utilizes it. The SM2264 is an eight-channel, 12nm, quad-core ARM Cortex-R8 SSD controller with 1600 MT/s channels. It has 4KB codeword LDPC error correction, double that of the previous generation SM2262EN’s 2K, and can also handle double the dies with ideal support up to 64.

The R8 is a distinct processor revision from the R5, the latter commonly used for SSD controllers, including most or all of the Legend 960’s competitors, and having it manufactured may be why SMI is late to the market. The R8 is also used for the SM2269XT, found on the Solidigm P41 Plus, and it should also form the basis of the upcoming SM2268XT, a controller we will hear more about soon. An R8-based design is potentially very powerful and will be used in SMI’s PCIe 5.0 solutions as well.

The DRAM package is labeled K4A8G165WC-BCTD, which is Samsung DDR4 in a 512Mx16b configuration for 1GB of DRAM. The two modules together are 2GB in total which is the ideal amount for 2TB of flash.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Legend 960 is using Micron’s 176-Layer TLC (B47R) with thirty-two 64Gb dies in four packages. Each package contains eight dies for 512GiB of flash. This is an ideal amount of dies for interleaving and this particular flash has proven to provide good to excellent performance in our testing.


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Shane Downing
Freelance Reviewer

Shane Downing is a Freelance Reviewer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering consumer storage hardware.