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Adata XPG Gammix S11 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Fast, Flashy and Affordable

Adata's latest Pro drive is also a good fit for gamers.

Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

With the same blueprint as the SX8200 Pro, Adata’s XPG Gammix S11 Pro is a fast SSD that looks just as good as it performs, while also delivering a decent value.

For

  • Solid performance
  • Power-efficient
  • Sleek aesthetics
  • Software package
  • 5-year warranty

Against

  • Sustained performance could be better
  • Capacity tops out at 1TB

Adata’s XPG-branded Gammix S11 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD offers a great mix of aesthetics and performance. At a price of $149.99, the 1TB model we're looking at today comes at a competitive price, considering its ability to deliver speeds of up to 3.5/3.0GB/s read/write. It also ships with a rather flashy red heatsink that keeps this high-performance storage device cool, even when the pressure is on.

Early in 2019, we reviewed Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD, and it has been one of our favorite SSDs to recommend for those on a budget due to its price to performance ratio. The Gammix S11 Pro copies the SX8200 Pro’s recipe for success, just like the vanilla Gammix S11 copied the SX8200’s component design before.

The S11 Pro utilizes Silicon Motion’s current top-end consumer controller, the SM2262EN, and is paired with Micron’s 64L TLC flash, a favorable combination for those looking for speedy performance. The most apparent difference between the two is that the Gammix S11 Pro features a red-and-black heatsink while the SX8200 Pro features a thinner black heat spreader that is optional. Additionally, the firmware is different based on our sampling, and the Gammix S11 Pro comes in fewer capacities, just 256GB to 1TB, while the SX8200 Pro lineup recently expanded up to 2TB.

So, the choice is yours when it comes to aesthetics, but if you want something at 2TB, you’re going to have to go to the SX8200 Pro or something else. Interestingly, the S11 Pro is priced well and costs less than the SX8200 Pro at the 1TB price point at the time of writing, but the lower capacities are priced slightly higher than the SX8200 Pro.

Specifications

ProductXPG Gammix S11 Pro 256GBXPG Gammix S11 Pro 512GBXPG Gammix S11 Pro 1TB
Pricing47.9974.99139.99
Capacity (User / Raw)256GB / 256GB512GB / 512GB1024GB / 1024GB
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
Interface / ProtocolPCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
ControllerSMI SM2262ENSMI SM2262ENSMI SM2262EN
DRAMDDR3LDDR3LDDR3L
MemoryMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLC
Sequential Read3,500 MBps3,500 MBps3,500 MBps
Sequential Write1,200 MBps2,300 MBps3,000 MBps
Random Read220,000 IOPS390,000 IOPS390,000 IOPS
Random Write290,000 IOPS380,000 IOPS380,000 IOPS
EncryptionN/AN/AN/A
Endurance160 TBW320 TBW640 TBW
Part NumberAGammixS11P-256GT-CAGammixS11P-512GT-CAGammixS11P-1TT-C
Warranty5-Years5-Years5-Years

Advertised sequential performance numbers come in at up to 3.5/3.0GB/s read/write, while 4K random performance can hit upwards of up to 390,000 / 380,000 IOPS read/write. The endurance ratings don’t improve with the move from the S11’s SM2262 to the S11 Pro’s new SM226EN controller. The 1TB model we are testing today is rated to write up to 640TB before it goes out of warranty, but even with a lengthy 5-year warranty, you’re likely to run out of time before you hit a write cycle wall.

Feature-wise, the Gammix S11 Pro supports the standard stuff like S.M.A.R.T. data reporting, Trim, and support for Format NVM/secure erase commands. It also has LDPC ECC, end-to-end data path protection, and a RAID engine built in to maintain data integrity. Of course, there is a pseudo-SLC write cache as well, where the TLC is programmed to dynamically operate in an SLC mode, which helps improve write performance as well as reads from data still in the cache. 

A Closer Look

Adata’s XPG Gammix S11 Pro is an M.2 2280 form-factor SSD that connects to the host via a PCIe 3.0 x4 link and communicates via the NVMe 1.3 protocol. Our 1TB review sample has a double-sided PCB design, meaning that there are components on each side of it.

Unlike others, Adata was clever to place the spec sticker on the backside of the device as to not hinder its looks. With that flashy red and black heatsink on top of a black PCB, Adata hit a home run with the aesthetics. This drive is significantly better looking than most M.2’s out there.

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Silicon Motion’s SMI SM2262EN is an 8-channel NVMe controller that utilizes a DRAM cache to accelerate access to the Flash Translation Layer (FTL). This, in turn, helps improve flash management processes and reduce latency compared to some of the newer DRAMless devices in the market. The DRAM cache is split between two 512MB NANYA DDR3L DRAM packages on our Gammix S11 Pro, just like the SX8200 Pro.

Additionally, connected to this NVMe controller are also four NAND packages, two on each side of the PCB. The new S11 Pro features less over-provisioning than the S11 before it, so instead of access to just 960GB, you get the full 1024GB, or what Windows reports as 953.85GB available to you in disk management.

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