Adata XPG Gammix S11 960GB NVMe SSD Review: Top Dollar Performance At Bottom Dollar Prices

Whether you game, create content, or are just looking for a fast, high-capacity SSD that isn't as expensive as the Samsung 970 PRO, look no further than Adata's 960GB XPG Gammix S11. With blistering speeds, a five-year warranty, and enough endurance to satisfy most users, the XPG Gammix S11 has what you’ve been looking for and comes with a stylish heatsink to match the heat it brings with it.

The XPG Gammix S11 lived up to its billing in our test suite. It regularly challenges more expensive competitors and even outperforms Samsung's 970 PRO in some of our real-world benchmarks. The solid performance in our suite, paired with competitive pricing, makes this recommendation easy.

Adata founded the XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear) brand several years ago. Adata designed the brand to provide e-sports pros, gamers, and tech enthusiasts with high-performance products. XPG ensures that every product has passed Adata’s A+ testing methodology, which means it has been rigorously tested and evaluated for endurance, data retention, cross temperature testing, and IC validation. Adata claims the extra layer of validation infuses the Gammix S11 with higher reliability than standard SSDs.

The Gammix S11 features proven high-performance components like Silicon Motion’s SM2262 PCIe 3.0 x4 eight-channel NVMe controller and Micron’s 64-layer 3D TLC NAND flash. To further ensure reliability and performance, the Gammix S11 uses Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) error correction code, a RAID Engine, and special data shaping algorithms.

The Gammix S11 is Adata’s fastest SSD yet, but it isn’t unique. The S11 is just an SX8200 with the Gammix S10’s heatsink carried over. ADATA claims the heatsink provides up to 10C of extra cooling. In our testing, we recorded 9C of temperature relief under load, which can be the difference between hitting the drive’s thermal limits or avoiding them. The two-toned heatsink also adds a bit of flair. The drive isn't just a boring PCB with some components attached: it’s got style.

That said, if you're looking for a laptop drive, just get the naked SX8200. Removing the heatsink is hard to do without a heat gun and patience. You could damage and / or bend the PCB during removal. So, for laptops the non-heatsink model (sx8200) would be better.

We tested the 480GB model in May when the SX8200 was significantly cheaper, making it a better deal than the Gammix S11. The pricing situation has changed, though, as flash prices continue to plummet. Now the Gammix S11 is one of the least-expensive high-end NVMe SSDs available. Other NVMe SSDs at its price point offer either half the throughput or a lesser warranty, which changes our outlook.

ProductTBWWarranty
Adata XPG GAMMIX S11 960GB6405 Years
Samsung 970 EVO 1TB600
Samsung 970 PRO 1TB1200
Intel SSD 660p 1TB200
Intel SSD 760p 1TB576
Plextor M9Pe 1TB640
WD Black 1TB600
Crucial MX500 1TB360

The S11 comes in capacities of 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. These SSDs offer a little less user addressable space than their 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB competitors, but you trade off the usable capacity for more over-provisioning that helps the S11 deliver higher performance and more endurance.

The S11 boasts a respectable 640 TBW (Terabytes Written) endurance rating that exceeds the Samsung 970 EVO and comes out ahead of most other competitors. It also comes with a five-year warranty, which is standard for high-end NVMe SSDs.

ProductGAMMIX S11 240GBGAMMIX S11 480GBGAMMIX S11 960GB
Pricing$79.99 (Amazon)$139.99 (Amazon)$279.99 (Amazon)
Capacity (User / Raw)240GB / 256GB480GB / 512GB960GB / 1024GB
Form FactorM.2 2280 D5M.2 2280 D5M.2 2280 D5
Interface / ProtocolPCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
ControllerSMI SM2262SMI SM2262SMI SM2262
DRAMNANYA DDR3NANYA DDR3NANYA DDR3
MemoryMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLC
Sequential Read3,200 MB/s3,200 MB/s3,150 MB/s
Sequential Write1,200 MB/s1,700 MB/s1,700 MB/s
Random Read200,000 IOPS310,000 IOPS310,000 IOPS
Random Write240,000 IOPS280,000 IOPS280,000 IOPS
EncryptionN/AN/AN/A
Endurance160 TBW320 TBW640 TBW
Part NumberAGAMMIXS11-240GT-CAGAMMIXS11-480GT-CAGAMMIXS11-960GT-C
Warranty5-Years5-Years5-Years

The 240GB and 480GB Gammix S11 models are the same price as the SX8200, but the 960GB model is $70 cheaper. It's also $70 less than the 1TB Samsung 970 EVO. If that price difference isn’t enough to sway you, it is $170 cheaper than the 1TB Samsung 970 PRO and offers similar real-world performance, although the lower price does come at the expense of write endurance and hardware encryption support.

Adata rated the S11 for up to 3,200 MB/s of sequential read throughput, but the 960GB model tops out at 3,150MB/s. The 480GB and 960GB models feature 1,700 MB/s of sequential write throughput, while the 240GB model is rated for up to 1,200MB/s. Adata rates the write performance based on the performance of the SLC cache, but performance comes crashing down if the workload spills outside of the cache. In our testing, the 960GB model absorbed roughly 288GB of data before performance degraded to ~350MB/s.

Adata rates the S11 for up to 310,000/280,000 random read/write IOPS, but the 240GB model, again, offers a little less. It is rated at up to 200,000/240,000 read/write IOPS.

Accessories

Adata provides Acronis True Image HD, a disk migration application, and an SSD toolbox to monitor the SSD. Unfortunately, contrary to the listing in the revision log, the current version of the SSD toolbox doesn’t recognize the S11 as an Adata product. We encountered the same issue with the SX8200 earlier this year.

A Closer Look

 

The XPG Gammix S11 is a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD that comes in an M.2 2280 double-sided form factor. The SMI SM2262 controller communicates with the host through the latest NVMe 1.3 protocol. This is the same controller found in the HP EX920 and Intel 760P. 

Our 960GB sample has a 1GB DRAM cache spread between the two 512MB DDR3 DRAM chips. The S11 also has four 256GB Micron 64L 3D TLC NAND emplacements on the PCB (two on each side). The drive has a usable capacity of 894GB after formatting.

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  • lorfa
    Nice!
  • Erik_37
    What you mean by not fully supporting ssd toolbox?
  • USAFRet
    Anonymous said:
    What you mean by not fully supporting ssd toolbox?


    It just means that the ADATA management tool (SSD Toolbox) does not yet recognize this drive.
  • mamasan2000
    There are free options to migrate your OS etc.
    I used this: https://www.aomeitech.com/aomei-partition-assistant.html
    Works like a charm
  • USAFRet
    Anonymous said:
    There are free options to migrate your OS etc.
    I used this: https://www.aomeitech.com/aomei-partition-assistant.html
    Works like a charm


    There are multiple tools that can do that. I prefer Macrium Reflect.

    But this has nothing to do with this review.
  • bburko01
    I was just thinking of upgrading to a M.2 with the 1 TB Sasmsung 970 Pro. I do a fair amount of hobby stuff with the Adobe suite (photoshop, after effects and premier pro). The only game I really play is World of Warships. I'll have to compare specs but the XPG has the same amount of space pretty much. Do you guys think I would do just as well and saving some cash by getting the XPG? Only difference I see here is the TBW. Not sure if I need to be seriously concerned with that. Thanks for your thoughts,
  • USAFRet
    Anonymous said:
    I was just thinking of upgrading to a M.2 with the 1 TB Sasmsung 970 Pro. I do a fair amount of hobby stuff with the Adobe suite (photoshop, after effects and premier pro). The only game I really play is World of Warships. I'll have to compare specs but the XPG has the same amount of space pretty much. Do you guys think I would do just as well and saving some cash by getting the XPG? Only difference I see here is the TBW. Not sure if I need to be seriously concerned with that. Thanks for your thoughts,


    For your use, the 970 EVO is zero performance difference from the 970 Pro.

    But that ADATA would probably serve just as well.
  • AgentLozen
    I appreciate that you included a mechanical hard drive in some of these benchmarks. It helps put SSD performance in perspective when you see that mechanical drive lagging behind with 1/10 of the performance.
  • Erik_37
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    What you mean by not fully supporting ssd toolbox?


    It just means that the ADATA management tool (SSD Toolbox) does not yet recognize this drive.


    Will it be supported eventually and is good enough to use without the ssd toolbox?
  • USAFRet
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    What you mean by not fully supporting ssd toolbox?


    It just means that the ADATA management tool (SSD Toolbox) does not yet recognize this drive.


    Will it be supported eventually and is good enough to use without the ssd toolbox?


    "eventually"...only ADATA knows.

    Good enough? Maybe. I wouldn't discount that drive simply because that toolkit doesn't know about it.
    For similar performance to a 970 Pro, and significant price reduction....I might go for it if I was in the market for a M.2 NVMe.