Tom's Hardware 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.
Sustained performance could be better
Capacity tops out at 1TB
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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.
|Product||XPG Gammix S11 Pro 256GB||XPG Gammix S11 Pro 512GB||XPG Gammix S11 Pro 1TB|
|Capacity (User / Raw)||256GB / 256GB||512GB / 512GB||1024GB / 1024GB|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Interface / Protocol||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3||PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3|
|Controller||SMI SM2262EN||SMI SM2262EN||SMI SM2262EN|
|Memory||Micron 64-Layer TLC||Micron 64-Layer TLC||Micron 64-Layer TLC|
|Sequential Read||3,500 MBps||3,500 MBps||3,500 MBps|
|Sequential Write||1,200 MBps||2,300 MBps||3,000 MBps|
|Random Read||220,000 IOPS||390,000 IOPS||390,000 IOPS|
|Random Write||290,000 IOPS||380,000 IOPS||380,000 IOPS|
|Endurance||160 TBW||320 TBW||640 TBW|
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.
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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Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.
As always, I appreciate the review. But what took so long? I've been using (and loving) this drive since Feburary.Reply
the s11 pro comes in 2tb flavor. i just ordered one off amazon myself... and adata's s11 pro page lists a 2tb model as well.Reply
the 2tb sku is AGAMMIXS11P-2TT-C