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Adata SP550 SSD Review

Adata's SP550 is the first SSD to hit our lab with Silicon Motion's new SM2256 controller paired with SK Hynix NAND. But does it compete with Samsung's prolific 850 EVO?

Conclusion

Adata is playing a numbers game with its SP550. As more PC users turn to SSDs for better notebook battery life, mechanical robustness and less latency, the company has a solution able to offer those benefits at a lower price than ever before. Having the cheapest drive on Newegg in any given capacity class, for example, yields instant interest from online shoppers. Adata has worked this angle for years now. But low cost doesn't always translate to customer satisfaction.

We spend a lot of time looking at the benchmarks in our SSD reviews. The one-size-fits-all drive is almost always the most expensive option. Not everyone plans to fill an SSD with games and media files, while still expecting it to perform exceptionally. There are SSDs that can do that, but the SP550 isn't one of them.

At $75, the 240GB Adata SP550 is a true stand-out. It delivers enough performance and ample capacity for most users shopping in this price range. The 120GB model at $50 isn't as attractive, since the 240GB model delivers twice as much capacity for an extra $25. Stepping up to the 480GB again doubles your storage space. But it isn't any faster. Still, at just $160, the 480GB model is hard to resist unless you're comparing it to Samsung's 500GB 850 EVO, which sells for $10 more.

The Samsung 850 EVO is still our low-cost market leader at every capacity point. Although Adata's 240GB SP550 is worth considering for light use, Samsung enjoys the benefit of a technology that consistently hides the native sequential write speed of triple-level-cell NAND. Gamers will appreciate this when they're installing games, so it's important to understand your storage needs. If you're not a gamer, then the SP550 is a solid choice for a low-cost build.


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Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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  • Eggz
    A little boring, but I guess this would be good for a value build with an AMD chip for decent performance at a pretty low cost.
    Reply
  • jjb8675309
    The 240GB model is a good value but the 250GB EVO is going for $80 right now, I'd probably get that if faced with the choice.
    Reply
  • Rookie_MIB
    Currently listing on Newegg for $42/$64/$119 for the 120/240/480GB.

    $119 for a good name-brand 480GB drive that performs decently enough is good to see, as a 1TB drive should come in right around the $200 mark.

    The only thing is, and it's probably why the 960GB hasn't been released is that based on the performance of the 480GB drive they probably have to put in and validate a different controller. The 4 channel controller would just run out of bandwidth trying to handle all the data and would lose out on the parallelism which makes SSDs as fast as they are. So - they'd need an 8 channel controller for sure which might jump the cost a bit.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    Just bought one new for $120 on amazon.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    If that's the conclusion then Adata has better SSDs compared to Crucial's latest drives. Samsung pretty owns the market due to being also a NAND manufacturer.
    Reply