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Roundup: The Best SSDs For Enthusiasts

A-Data Nobility N002 (Indilinx, 128 GB)

The N002 is a dual-interface drive that employs an additional ASMedia controller placed on the N002’s circuit board. The Indilinx Barefoot IDX110 controller uses SATA 3Gb/s and accesses 64 MB of SDRAM. A-Data implemented SATA and USB 3.0 in a way that makes this drive very versatile. It feature’s a 9.5 mm z-height, making it fully compatible with all laptop designs that require standard 2.5” storage devices. The USB 3.0 interface was placed on one side of the drive and is fast enough not to significantly bottleneck the Indilinx architecture.

We don’t include USB 3.0 performance results in the benchmark section because we’re looking at SSDs as SATA system drives. Still, we want to provide a little USB performance teaser here. We measured up to 193 MB/s read and 187 MB/s write throughput, which is more than any other USB 3.0 hard drive reaches.

We’re not sure how many people would use SATA and USB 3.0 on a regular basis, but we still think that the additional interface is quite a neat idea for power users who may need maximum interface flexibility paired with maximum bandwidth.

Even though A-Data also offers 64 GB and 256 GB capacity points, this might still not be enough capacity for enthusiasts needing mobile storage. We still recommend picking a fast system drive and adding high-capacity external storage for the most optimal configuration value.

We found that the A-Data drive lacks punch on 4 KB random writes and in our I/O performance testing, but application performance and throughput results are typically strong. The added USB 3.0 controller probably adds a little power consumption, but not much.

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