Adata XPG SX8200 Pro (2TB)
- Class-leading power efficiency
- Black PCB with stylish DIY heat spreader
- Software package
- 5-year warranty
- Same endurance as the non-Pro model
Verdict: At the 2TB capacity, Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro is a highly competitive SSD that trades blows with Samsung’s finest. For the price, it is a solid pick.
We compared to the 2TB capacity of the Adata XPG SX8200 Pro to several other popular SSDs, including HP’s SSD EX950, Intel's high-end Optane 905P SSD and the affordable Intel SSD 660p. Additionally, I’ve included Patriot’s Viper VP4100, a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD and Crucial’s MX500, a SATA SSD. And, MyDigitalSSD’s BPX Pro and WD’s HDD make their way into the ranks. Of course, we had to throw in some Samsung competition too, so we have included the 970 EVO Plus and a 970 PRO for good measure.
Game Scene Loading - Final Fantasy XIV
The Final Fantasy XIV StormBlood benchmark is a free real-world game benchmark that easily and accurately compares game load times without the inaccuracy of using a stopwatch.
In this test, Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro is one of the fastest SSDs. It scores third place, trailing the 970 PRO by a fraction of a second. HP’s SSD EX950 follows with a similar score. While there wasn't a huge delta between the SX8200 Pro and the drives immediately below it, it was 10 to 20 percent quicker than competitors like the Crucial MX500 and MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro.
Transfer Rates – DiskBench
We use the DiskBench storage benchmarking tool to test file transfer performance with our own custom 50GB block of data. Our data set includes 31,227 files of various types, like pictures, PDFs, and videos. We copy the files to a new folder and then follow-up with a reading test of a newly written 6.5 GB file.
Transfer performance can vary greatly depending on the device. When copying our 50GB test folder, the Adata outperformed Samsung’s 970 Pro but trailed behind the company’s 970 EVO Plus. Also, it came in just behind that of Intel’s fastest SSD, the Optane 905P and Patriot's new PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD, the Viper VP4100. While copy performance was impressive, as with the HP, Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro reads our 6.5GB zip file at a slower rate than most.
Trace Testing – PCMark 8 Storage Test 2.0
PCMark 8 is a trace-based benchmark that uses Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, World of Warcraft, and Battlefield 3 to measure the performance of storage devices in real-world scenarios.
Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro scores fifth place overall, scoring similar to HP’s SSD EX950. With an average throughput of 628 MBps, it even outperforms the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. Relative to a SATA SSD, it offers more than double the performance and over 40x the performance over an HDD.
Trace Testing – SPECworkstation 3
Like PCMark 8, SPECworkstation 3 is a trace-based benchmark, but it is designed to push the system harder by measuring workstation performance in professional applications.
When pushed a bit harder with SPECworkstation 3, Adata’s 2TB SX8200 Pro keeps up well. It ranks sixth place overall and offers a big improvement over SATA SSDs.
Synthetics - ATTO
ATTO is a simple and free application that SSD vendors commonly use to assign sequential performance specifications to their products. It also gives us insight into how the device handles different file sizes.
In ATTO, we tested Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro at a QD of 1, representing most day to day file access at various block sizes. It scores similarly to most other NVMe SSDs in its class with reads and writes of about 3 GBps.
Synthetic Testing - iometer
iometer is an advanced and highly-configurable storage benchmarking tool that vendors often use to measure the performance of their devices.
Pushing things to their peak, we tested the 2TB SX8200 Pro and found it delivering sequential performance of about 3.5/3.3GBps read/write. Random latency is very low with one of the fastest results we have seen from a NAND-based product. It comes in second, behind the Intel Optane 905P in reading, and beats it in write speed. The XPG SX8200 Pro's peak performance isn’t the highest, but that won't matter for most consumer workloads.
Sustained Write Performance & Cache Recovery
Official write specifications are only part of the performance picture. Most SSD makers implement a pseudo-SLC write cache, which is a fast area of SLC-programmed flash that absorbs incoming data. Sustained write speeds can suffer tremendously once the workload spills outside of the pSLC cache and into the "native" TLC or QLC flash. We use iometer to hammer the SSD with sequential writes for 15 minutes to measure both the size of the write cache and performance after the cache is saturated. We also monitor cache recovery via multiple idle rounds.
When possible, we also log the temperature of the drive via the S.M.A.R.T. data to see when (or if) thermal throttling kicks in and how it impacts performance. Bear in mind that results will vary based on the workload and ambient air temperature.
The sequential write performance is very respectable. We measured writing over 315GB of data before the SLC cache filled. At that point, performance degraded from 2.8 GBps down to about 1.2 GBps. Beyond the 15-minutes, we recorded a final write performance drop down to 825 MBps.
When recovering data, we were able to write the full cache size once more after 30 seconds of idle time. After that, however, it regained about 16GB of cache space per one minute but remained so even after 30 minutes. So, this may be a static cache kicking in before the dynamic cache rebuilds.
We use the Quarch HD Programmable Power Module to gain a deeper understanding of power characteristics. Idle power consumption is a very important aspect to consider, especially if you're looking for a new drive for your laptop. Some SSDs can consume watts of power at idle while better-suited ones sip just milliwatts. Average workload power consumption and max consumption are two other aspects of power consumption, but performance-per-watt is more important. A drive might consume more power during any given workload, but accomplishing a task faster allows the drive to drop into an idle state faster, which ultimately saves power.
Adata’s 2TB XPG SX8200 Pro outperforms the pack with a high-efficiency score of 248 MBps of throughput per watt used. On average it consumed the least amount of power of the high-end PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs and peaked at just 6W. Idle power consumption was similar to other Silicon Motion based SSDs.
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