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Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Low-cost PCIe Gen4 Goodness

Silicon Motion's newest PCIe 4.0 SSD controller meets Micron’s fastest flash yet

Adata’s XPG Gammix S50 Lite
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

With the new Micron 96L TLC flash and much greater bandwidth potential on the latest PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, Adata’s XPG Gammix S50 Lite shows us just how fast Silicon Motion’s budget-oriented 4-channel SM2267 NVMe SSD controller can go with the latest tech. Adata’s XPG Gammix S50 Lite isn’t as robust as the Samsung 980 PRO and its next-gen Elpis controller or Sabrent’s Rocket NVMe 4.0 sporting Phison’s high-end E16, but even so, it was still hot on the heels of the fastest SSDs during our benchmarks.

Adata’s XPG Gammix S50 Lite

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite’s only drawback is its slow write speed after the SLC cache fills, but fortunately, the SSD leverages clever programming and flash management technologies to enable fairly responsive writes during extended-duration workloads. That’s a very noticeable improvement from the usually slow-to-recover SM2262EN-powered SSDs like the Adata XPG SX8200 Pro and Kingston KC2500. Adata’s XPG Gammix S50 Lite proved that it could outpace some of the best SSDs. The drive also has nearly everything you could ask for from an M.2 NVMe SSD. It is efficient, has cool thermals with a classy-looking heatsink, is built on a black PCB, and even features AES 256-bit full disk encryption for those who want the added security. Plus, it is well-backed with a five-year warranty, and it’s rated for higher endurance than the Samsung 980 PRO. Samsung’s 980 PRO is the best PCIe Gen4 SSD on the market, but at the time of writing, the Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite is much more affordable at $80 cheaper at 1TB. That’s not to mention that the 980 PRO won’t be available in a 2TB capacity until later this year, while you can buy a 2TB S50 Lite today. Moreover, the drive is roughly $50 cheaper than most of Phison’s E16-based NVMe SSDs like the Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0, Corsair Force MP600, or Seagate FireCuda 520. The Adata’s XPG Gammix S50 Lite’s toughest competition came from the company's aging XPG SX8200 Pro. While the SX8200 Pro still hangs in there with the XPG Gammix S50 Lite, it is beginning to show its age. It is $15 cheaper than the Gammix S50 Lite at 1TB, and a hearty $50 at 2TB, though, ultimately making it a better value – at least until it is finally phased out of the market. For those on the latest PCIe 4.0 supporting hardware that want a responsive user experience, the Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite satisfies that need. At more affordable prices than much of its competition, Adata’s XPG Gammix S50 Lite is one of the best value low-cost PCIe Gen4 SSDs yet.

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Sean Webster
Sean Webster

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.

  • tennis2
    Half the channels and 96L TLC compared to the SX8200 Pro while delivering essentially identical performance AND power characteristics? Disappointing. Hopefully this is just a matter of firmware tuning needed.
    Reply
  • deesider
    Surely the S50 Lite is just deliberately hamstrung to bring perceived value to the later 'Pro' version. Otherwise just pointless compared to the SX8200 Pro
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    This article deserves an update after the bait-and-switch games Adata was found to be playing with the SX8200 Pro. How can the consumer be sure that they are getting the same hardware that Tom's has tested.

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/adata-xpg-sx8200-pro-controller-change
    Reply
  • car2000
    I am thinking of buying this drive, based on the strong review.

    I am concerned by this review- https://www.storagereview.com/review/xpg-gammix-s50-lite-pcie-4-0-ssd-review
    How can they come to such different conclusions on the merits of this unit?
    Reply
  • deesider
    car2000 said:
    I am thinking of buying this drive, based on the strong review.

    I am concerned by this review- https://www.storagereview.com/review/xpg-gammix-s50-lite-pcie-4-0-ssd-review
    How can they come to such different conclusions on the merits of this unit?
    It seems Storagereview gave it a poor review because it is the slowest of the PCIe4 drives, while Tom's gave it a good review because it is the cheapest of the PCIe4 drives
    Reply
  • car2000
    I know what you mean, but the Storage Review article says that this drive is slow even in comparison with PCIe3 drives.

    I am wondering if it is because the Tom's review was for the 2 GB version, whereas the Storage Review Article is for the 1 GB version, and the 1 GB version of the drive is slower? It does appear to have a lower specification in some areas.
    Reply
  • deesider
    Maybe it also relates to their testing methodology. Storage review say that they completely fill the drive then partition 5% to test on. Perhaps that has an unexpected effect?
    Reply
  • javiindo
    It looks like all brands have some controllers to choose from and you will never know which one they are using. tha'ts why they never say the exact controller they are using. Just general speed performance. They don't want to be attached to any supplier/brand.
    Reply