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Adata XPG SX6000 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Paying More for Less

Conclusion

After toying with Adata’s XPG SX6000 Pro for some time, we don’t feel like we can recommend it unless pricing falls to more competitive levels. Sure, it’s able to keep up with the MX500 and even beat it in most tasks, but its main competition is entry-level NVMe SSDs. One of the kings out now is the Intel 660p. With price slash after price slash, it is hard to keep up with Intel’s cheap and speedy QLC device. And although, the long-term reliability of QLC is still questionable with endurance ratings that are one third of the SX6000 Pro’s, our 660p sample has still been operating strong over the past year without a hiccup.

We recommend that you seek other options before this SSD. Performance is lagging slightly and although there is some room for improvements to be done by Realtek to bring it up to more competitive levels, being a DRAMless design, there may not be that much that can be done. While the biggest problem with the SX6000 Pro is its sustained write performance, which can at times dip down to very low levels, lower than that of even the QLC NAND based Intel 660p, it lags behind when dealing with small random files too.

If you are tasking the device with mostly light workloads, this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but the SX6000 Pro isn’t as Pro as the name suggests. While the dynamic SLC cache was rather large when the device was empty, in a fuller state, this SLC cache will be smaller. And sometimes when the SSD gets taxed, due to its DRAMless design, background maintenance operations can introduce excessive latency to the host’s processes, which is why we saw such low performance under SPEC workstation 3.

Unfortunately, the SX6000 Pro’s street price doesn’t help it out any either. Priced at $120, the 1TB model is significantly more expensive than the Intel 660p and SATA-based competitors. Additionally, a few high-value Phison E12 NVMe controller-based alternatives like the Team Group MP34 and Silicon Power P34A80, both recently reviewed and near-identical to the Corsair Force MP510 we compared today, are $10 cheaper at the time of writing. The ADATA SX8200 Pro and other SMI 2262EN based SSDs offer much better performance for not too much more. And, if you are looking to tax a device with heavy workloads too, there are better options out there still like the Samsung 970 EVO and PRO series SSDs, and of course Intel’s Optane line, for those tasks.

While ADATA’s XPG SX6000 Pro comes with a nice-looking heat spreader and single-sided M.2 form factor, price is king when you are looking to buy cheap, entry-level drives. I mean, that’s what DRAMless SSDs are supposed to be: cheaper because they lack the memory. Unless the Adata gets more competitive on the pricing front, the SX6000 Pro is difficult to recommend. There are faster options out there with DRAM that cost the same price or less. 

Photo Credits: Tom's Hardware

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  • refillable
    I got one of these because it was $10 cheaper than the 660p. I think I still got a decent deal to be frank. It all depends on the price.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    Pros: "Large SLC write cache "

    later:
    "Unlike most SSDs we have tested, the SX6000 Pro doesn’t feature an SLC write cache, but rather an MLC write cache, or so it appears. "

    Overall this drive seems like a poorly balanced design. Especially considering the SX8200 Pro is only $135 on Amazon right now.
    Reply
  • skinnedballs
    Hello Sean! Thanks for the review.

    I wonder if your SX6000 Pro was a dud or if some other issue was present. Chris Ramseyer reviewed the drive several months back at Tweak Town and had a much better experience, especially where sustained sequential performance was concerned:

    https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/9064/adata-xpg-sx6000-pro-nvme-ssd-review/index2.html
    Reply
  • tlmiller76
    I had both a Crucial P1 and this drive (Crucial came in my laptop, bought the SX6000 pro), and having swapped them between the laptops they were in to compare (Dell Latitude 7490 and Dell Latitude 5289), I was far more impressed with the performance of the SX6000 pro than I ever was with the P1. While I haven't had a 660, given the P1 is identical other than firmware, and the sx6000 pro is usually the same price or a few dollars less every time I look for a new drive, I'd take this any day over a 660.
    Reply