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Adata Ultimate SU750 SATA SSD Review: Not Quite The Ultimate SSD

Our Verdict

Adata’s Ultimate SU750 has decent performance for a SATA drive, but it slurps power and competitors give you a lot more for the same price.

For

  • Endurance
  • Decent application performance
  • Large SLC write cache
  • Software package included

Against

  • 3-year warranty
  • Sustained write performance after the SLC cache exhausts
  • Low power efficiency

Features and Specifications

Going by Adata’s latest mainstream SATA SSD’s name, Ultimate SU750, it may sound like you’ve found the ultimate SSD, and, if we were reviewing it back in 2010, it just may have been. Unfortunately, in the world of SSDs today, it is rather unimpressive. SATA SSDs are no longer the speedy, fun devices they used to be in light of the latest NVMe offerings. Although, that’s not to say it is not worth looking into if you are in search of something cheap when it goes on sale.

Adata Ultimate SU750 SATA SSD (
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware))

Like Adata’s other entry-level NVMe SSD, the XPG SX6000 Pro, the Ultimate SU750 features a Realtek SSD controller and Micron NAND flash. Specifically, it is powered by the Realtek RTS5733DMQ controller. And contrary to what Adata says on the device’s web page (as of publication time), this controller is a DRAMless, two-channel controller. To the non-tech savvy, this may not mean much, but these two factors have performance-limiting implications, which negatively impact the real-world user experience.

More complex, but more consistent SSDs feature a DRAM cache, but unlike those, Adata’S Ultimate SU750 lacks a DRAM package. The DRAM is usually used for accelerating flash translation layer access and improves device performance dramatically in some cases. This means that, without it, operations such as write-heavy mapping, garbage collection, wear leveling, and flash management will encounter significantly higher latency which in turn can impact the time of response to your system’s requests. Implementing a DRAMless controller is one way manufacturers can significantly reduce bill of materials (BOM) costs, but SSDs like this are usually much slower and latent under write-heavy, mixed workloads; especially under sustained writing. 

The other half of the SU750’s potential problem is that there are only two NAND channels for bandwidth to handle all those FTL processes and move data around while juggling in host requests. Which means under heavy workloads, things can get a bit congested. This is half the channels that other mainstream SATA SSD controllers have. Just as DRAM can help improve the performance in an SSD, more NAND channels enable faster performance as well. With more channels, there is more opportunity for striping, interleaving, and pipelining optimization. However, these come at the cost of increased power consumption and die size and thus affects production cost, which is why the SU750 features just two.

Specifications

ProductUltimate SU750 256GBUltimate SU750 512GBUltimate SU750 1TB
Pricing$45.99$64.99$119.99
Capacity (User / Raw)256GB / 256GB512GB / 512GB1024GB / 1024GB
Form Factor2.5" 7mm2.5" 7mm2.5" 7mm
Interface / ProtocolSATA 6.0 Gb/sSATA 6.0 Gb/sSATA 6.0 Gb/s
ControllerRealtek RTS5733DMQRealtek RTS5733DMQRealtek RTS5733DMQ
DRAMNoneNoneNone
NAND FlashMicron 64L TLCMicron 64L TLCMicron 64L TLC
Sequential Read550 MB/s550 MB/s550 MB/s
Sequential Write520 MB/s520 MB/s520 MB/s
Random Read65,000 IOPS65,000 IOPS65,000 IOPS
Random Write75,000 IOPS75,000 IOPS75,000 IOPS
EncryptionN/AN/AN/A
Endurance200 TBW400 TBW800 TBW
Part NumberASU750SS-256GT-CASU750SS-512GT-CASU750SS-1TT-C
Warranty3-Years3-Years3-Years

Even with just two NAND channels though, the Ultimate SU750 can still sequential speeds of up to 550/520MB/s read/write and is capable of delivering 4K random performance of up to 65,000 /75,000 IOPS read/write. Capacities are available from 256GB up to 1TB and what stands out quite a bit is its durability. The SU750’s endurance figures are twice the competition’s per capacity thanks to its LDPC ECC. Incredibly, the 1TB model we are reviewing today is rated to endure up to 800TB of writes before the 3-years warranty voids.

Software and Accessories

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Adata provides both an SSD Toolbox and an Acronis True Image OEM software download from the company’s website. With the toolbox, one can monitor the SSD, run diagnostics, update the firmware if available, and optimize the system. Acronis True Image OEM, on the other hand, is a simple to use software for cloning your existing data over to your new SSD. You can also use it for making system images for backup and restoration purposes.

A Closer Look

Adata SU750 is a 2.5” 7mm form factor SATA 6Gb/s SSD that features a plastic and metal finish. Overall, it feels cheap and flimsy, unlike the Crucial MX500 or Team Group Vulcan that have sturdy a metal finish all around. And, while the 2.5” form factor is rather large in comparison to an M.2 SSD these days, the SU750’s PCB within the casing is actually quite small.

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In all, there are four Adata branded packages on it, but within are Micron’s second-generation 64L TLC NAND flash. And, directly next to the SATA data connector is the Realtek controller powering it. The controller is closest to the SATA data connector for the least noise/interference. 

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  • mdd1963
    So in 1 TB guise, the Adata costs $10 more than the 1 TB Crucial MX500?

    Not a good strategy.
    Reply