ADATA, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, gaming products, and mobile accessories, is finally launching its full series of PC components in Pakistan. Where the market has high to low end storage solutions, XPG’s SSDs based on PCIe NVMe tech not only delivered but garnered huge recognition from local PC community. Most importantly, the futuristic designs and equally consistent performance works great in combination. Not to mention the XPG’s RAM modules, the RGB featured SPECTRIX D41, attracted the gamers and enthusiasts even more than ever. The idea of liquid cooled XPG D80 turned out record breaking overlocking module (OC 5531MHz) being rivaling with industry’s top brand.

Received a lot of recognition in Pakistan market, the XPG RGB memory modules and NVMe SSDs are in better position in terms of availability and pricing. There has always been a room for improvement in tech and designs, ADATA XPG consistently gaining attention by offering best aesthetics out of the box. Coming from the gaming brand and in recent years, ADATA has tremendously improved the way a product looks/features while running inside PC. Occupying high end Rigs, the performance, on the other hand, has been consistent and stable. With a leap forward this year, XPG has expanded its product line and now offer components for entire PC rather only limiting the brand to SSD and RAM.  In the hand of best Team, XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear) promises to deliver premium look on a product, shines with excellent performance and available in best prices.

PC Gaming Gear Launching in Pakistan

Landing in Pakistan market, XPG’s product expansion ensures gaming community and PC builders to have even more choices adding mesmerizing with wide variety of product further includes XPG Precog Headset, XPG Primer Mouse & Battleground Mouse Pad, Battlecruiser Chassis, Levante Cooling System, Core-reactor Power Supply. To our surprise, XPG now offers to gamers a chance to utilize even most innovative option; RGB MB & GPU cable. Upon researching, I found Lian Li also offering RGB MB/GPU cable yet XPG with good reputation on RGB styling, has one of the coolest induction in PC build category.

Besides, XPG is all set to launch its newest and most anticipated RGB memory module, SPECTRIX D60G RGB to be available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB at a speed ranges from 3000 MHz to 4133 MHz. on the other hand, XPG also launching its newest SSD, SPECTRIX S40G PCIe NVMe drive RGB S40G PCIe NVMe drive for local customer comes in various capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 4TB. All these products will be available to get from Daraz store in Pakistan. For a surprise, XPG has sent both SSD and RAM for review.

Today, I am taking a look at the XPG SPECTRIX S40G RGB NVMe drive that came in 256GB capacity model. The SSD build on M.2 2280 form factor ensures support for latest INTEL and AMD platforms. Based on PCIe Gen3x4 interface, having support of NVMe 1.3  and equipped with SLC caching/DRAM buffer, the drive ensures performance to be reach upto 3500 MB/s on read and 3000 MB/s on write. Sporting next generation 3D flash memory, the SSD offers more capacity, durability and efficiency. The S40G supports LDPC (Low-Density Parity-Check) error correcting code technology which detect and fix data error enables more accurate data transfer resulting in a longer lifespan of an SSD.

Product Specification 
ProductXPG SPECTRIX S40G 256GBXPG SPECTRIX S40G 512GBXPG SPECTRIX S40G 1TBXPG SPECTRIX S40G 2TB
Capacity256GB/238GB512 GB1TB2TB
Interface/ProtocolPCIe 3.0×4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0×4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0×4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0×4 / NVMe 1.3
Flash3D NAND3D NAND3D NAND3D NAND
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
ControllerRealtek RTS5762Realtek RTS5762Realtek RTS5762Realtek RTS5762
DRAMDDR3LDDR3LDDR3LDDR3L
MemoryMicron TLCMicron 3D TLCMicron 3D TLCMicron 3D TLC
Rated Speed (MB/s)3500 Read
1200 Write
3500 Read
2950 Write
3500 Read
3000 Write
3500 Read
3000 Write
EncryptionAES 256-bitAES 256-bitAES 256-bitAES 256-bit
Endurance (TBW)160 TB320 TB640 TB1280 TB
Warranty2 Years Limited2 Years Limited2 Years Limited2 Years Limited
Price in PKRRs. 11,300Rs. 17,000Rs. 31,000Rs. 53,000

Features

  • Ultra-fast PCIe Gen3x4 interface
  • NVMe 1.3 support
  • 3D NAND Flash for higher capacity and durability
  • Customizable RGB lighting
  • Capacity up to 4TB
  • Operating Temperatures 0°C~70°C
  • Advanced LDPC ECC Technology
  • SLC Caching and DRAM cache buffer
  • AES 256-bit encryption support
  • Compact M.2 2280 form factor

Unboxing and Closer Look

The SSD comes in a box packaging with dark theme. The XPG logo can be seen on bottom area and Extreme Performance logo on the top. While you can also see the technical details regarding SSD like the capacity of drive, model and tech; RGB and other features overall on front. Basically, XPG presents all the ADATA products due to which the XPG logo appears on every single products.

Flipping it over, you get to see is the whole lot of content/details regarding this SSD. A standardized pattern intro on box about product. The written content is pretty small, however, barcode sticker and 5 years warranty sticker can be seen at the bottom area.

Inside the box I found an SSD itself lying in a plastic container. Not manual or screw included. The SSD itself displays a fantastic look having base design similarities with same brand but different model Gammix S11 NVMe drive. Looking at the drive, an XPG pre-assembled heatsink fixed on top having bold design with black base scheme while the curvy frozen white cover for RGB being placed vertically on heatsink side lanes. The red is the XPG logo designed for branding purpose. On the heatsink is the brush texture is a part of design adding a nice final touch to an overall look.

Flipping in over exposes a big sticker pertains data printed on it with regarding specifications and XPG brand name on top. The components and modules cover great deal of PCB and underneath contains DRAM cache chip and modules. I couldn’t remove the sticker because it looked like sticky conductive tape.

The frozen white curvy design RGB basically housing right at the edges vertically stacked with build structure scaled higher to the black heatsink. The capacitors fixed on PCB regulates the function of RGB by sending signals upon execution. About the heatspreader design, have seen several SSDs with pretty looking heatsinks, but the way XPG explored and come up with the idea, is reflecting its intention towards being entirely UNIQUE and relentlessly bringing improvement out of the best products, especially when the competition is sky high.

RGB however effects the thermal performance which definitely not a great objective to took at. The only benefit it offers is aesthetics, which of course is a primary concern to PC community in this wave of innovation. Note that, the difference in output in gaming and real-world workloads such as Gaming, editing/rendering, file transfers and related, is almost unnoticeable. With the trend being shifted, the RGB has now become top priority and leading to the most looked feature by gamers and enthusiasts in component like RAM, SSD, MB and even in GPUs, too.

There appeared the white thermal pads that does the work of linking the drive’s PCB with heatsink. Underneath located few chips and a Realtek controller, which gets help in cooling down the temperature being born from the heat under different workload scenarios. From thermal perspective, I am not yet sure how XPG pre-assembled heatsink would help in tolerating heat and control temperature produces from sustained workload for hours. But one thing is sure that XPG heatsinks cannot be underestimated at any cost.

It’s a M.2 2280 form factor SSD, where the 22 is width of the drive and 80mm is length. The drive is a combination of Realtek controller and equipped with Nanya DRAM chips (anemic 128 MB of DRAM cache). Due to 3D NAND flash, S40G series expands and easily reaches at 4TB of storage capacity being offered in the consumer market. That’s alone is a big leap forward to the capacity improvement. The fastest PCIe 2.0 was an improvement back the in days, however, supporting x4 lanes on Gen 3.0 (backward compatible to 2.0) is next gen element.

The above pictures shows some glimpse of RGB and Syncing to MB functionality. Please excuse the picture quality because my camera device is not very good. However, the basic outcome is readable.

Software Support:

The XPG S40G is in complete control with supported software SSD toolbox powered by ADATA. It covers all the basic functionality and beside only information reading, the program also offers diagnostic tool which allows to scan a small part of drive for errors using “Quick Diagnostic Scan” and Full Diagnostic Scan”. Installing new firmware and upgrading the program is featured in utilities section. Underneath is the system optimization which give SSD optimization which functions to perform a TRIM command on the selected drive. Overall, the software is pretty much complete without any bugs or anything.

In addition to above, XPG now offers RGB software allows to play with RGB with full freedom. The XPG RGB Software has number of features to play with. Start off with the RGB styling that provide lighting effects includes Static, Breathing, Strobing, Cycle, Rainbow, Rainbow Breathing, Comet and Comet Rainbow. All these effects/modes can be changeable through within the software. These are presets which output as configured by default. However, the RGB color bars are located in the work area where you can change the shades of color as per your preference and/or requirement of the scene. Brightness and darkness can be controlled using sliders. If you want to have the color scheme matches with the motherboard, there is an option for “Sync to LED1” which lets you select the single color as per motherboard LED, manually. Despite these unlimited effects and wide variety of control, XPG software still let you Turn OFF the lighting effects. The ON and OFF button located at top right corner. Finally, the freedom to set your preferred profiles which you can be set by clicking on the profile button just on top area. Overall, XPG RGB Software is very optimized, comprehensive and user friendly.

The demonstration of complete RGB effects are in the video below:

Test Setup and Procedure:

  • Gigabyte Z370 8th Gen Motherboard
  • Intel i5 8600K
  • GSKILL Trident Z !6GB (8×2) RAM Kit
  • Sapphire RX580 8GB
  • XPG S40G 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD (Reviewing Sample)
  • SilverStone 700W Titanium PSU
  • Scythe Mugen 5 Rev B
  • Corsair 750D Chassis

How to test? Basically, I will measure performance of an SSD through stress test based softwares, which have been dedicatedly build to test out the read and write speed. There are plenty of programs that have been utilizes in this process, however, todays testing process will incorporates AS SSD benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, Anvil Pro, PC Mark 8 and a read test. These benchmarks will be used to stress the SSD and let it produce numbers that should reflects sample drive performance based on our test bench.

I will also measure real world read speed and will be included in the result section for audience reading. To do so, a simple uncompressed folder I will simple Extract a an uncompressed folder containing gaming ISO setup. To counter comparison, the same test will be done in Samsung 850 EVO 256GB SATA SSD.

XPG basically claims this drive to reach 3500 MB/s on read side and 1200 MB/s on write. Of course, company had tested out and achieved this, but can it reproduce the aforesaid speed?  Let’s see tests and their results.

Results:

Cystal DiskMark Benchmark

The Crystal Disk Mark is primarily used for storage benchmark, specifically, for measuring the read/write speed of a device. Having wide range of settings, it basically shows read and write speed in different parameters. I tried out the rated parameter on XPG datasheet to stay on one page. In this regard, drives set to throughput on a sequential QD64 T32 and begin testing, which boasted speedy R/W 3346.56/1313.91 MB/s, but of course falling behind to the rated speed 3500 MB/s on XPG website. However, the speed difference is not huge. Keep in mind that the different test bench results in speed variance. In the meantime, SSD pleases with even better write speed i.e. 1313.91 MB/s than claimed 1200 MB/s. So, while read speed a little under to rated speed, it delivered much better on the write spectrum and even passed beyond expectations.

While examining the Random 4K parameters, the drive performed good to the capacity standard it has been came with. But number says it all, having 184K IOPS read, the device fall well below to rated 210K. Similar to what have been seen from sequential trend, a whopping 296K IOPS write from the rated 230K is entirely a huge achievement.

AS SSD Benchmark

With AS SSD Benchmark you can determine your SSD drive’s performance by conducting several specific tests. Test the sequential or random read/write performance without using the cache. AS SSD Benchmark reads/writes a 1 GByte file as well as randomly chosen 4K blocks. Additionally, it performs the tests using 1 or 64 threads and it determines the SSD’s access time. Two extra benchmark tests examine the drive’s behaviour when (1) copying a few big files, a lot of small files and a mixture of file sizes by using cached copy functions of your OS as well as (2) reading/writing data depending on the data’s compressibility.

The drive throughput using default parameters. Results showed that SSD rendered an excellent 2536.82 MB/s seq read, while 1239.83 MB/s seq write for the 256GB model. Random 4K 64T resulted in 180K/225K R/W.  

Anvils PRO Benchmark

In this test, S40G SSD put to detailed test. The sequential read and write obtained as 2149 MB/s while the write speed holding 1236.71 MB/s range. A heavy dip in the speed result.

In all these tests, it has been observed that the read speed of SSD never matches to the rated one, whether it is Crystal Disk Mark or AS SSD. The trend stays to the same side. On the other hand, it never disappoints me in write spectrum. Consistently performing better to the rated speed from XPG. Though it all reproduced from my test bench, still there is always number of factors effecting the final results and as XPG technical document says, the results may vary and might perform differently based on the test bench and software used. Some high-end motherboards even feature controllers that can take off with even better results than expected. Not to mention, SSD own controller does a great deal of difference, too.

ATTO Benchmark

This benchmark basically gives the result in read and write area using I/O size 64MB max and having file size of 256MB. The test result shows that the SSD read speed maxed out at 3.11 GB/s or just say 3110 MB/s which was achieved at 1MB I/O size, but dropped to 3100 MB/s after 8MB I/O size and stays the same till the end. On the other than, the write speed was pretty good too as it maxed out 1230 MB/s.

PC Mark 10

PCMark 8’s Storage test suite is used to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. This program basically comprises of different real-world scenarios of both light and heavy workloads. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices. After an initial break-in cycle and three rounds of the testing, the program provides with file score and bandwidth amount. The higher the score/bandwidth, the better the drive performs.

The PCMark 8 Storage benchmark test contains the following workload traces: Adobe Photoshop light, Adobe Photoshop heavy, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe After Effects, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3

The total score is a geometric average time it takes to run all tests, including idle time. The benchmark shows an overall score at 5069, which actually is a good score for a 256GB model. Beneath the overall score is the bandwidth that tells the speed in MB/s for the target drive. In this case, 621.05 MB/s is being the average speed during all tests. It’s a good insight to the SSDs performance in especially real world processes.

Real world Read test:

In this test, I tried to measure read speed of this SSD. Additionally, I also have compared the result with the available SATA SSD, Samsung 850 EVO 250GB. After test being done, I will compare the results with the SATA SSD.

A file of 7GB is prepared, which is game ISO, to measure time it takes to uncompressed a file in a target SSD. First I copied ISO file inside the drive and then ready to extract it in the target drive. The trick here is nothing of course. A Winrar program is used to perform this test, simple! The ISO composed of setup files which uses in installation of a game. I simply extracted the compressed file and record the time it took to uncompressed it completely. In XPG S40G drive, it took about 19 seconds to uncompressed all the files, while comparing the same to Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SATA, which gave about 43 seconds to complete the process. So here, you can see the difference between a SATA and NVMe drive is sound and clear.

Thermal Report:

During the tests, the drive has been under observation and properly monitored for temperature status. The synthetic testing put some stress on SSD, subsequently, tells the maximum temperatures out of the device. During synthetic test, software reports exactly 70C, which seems not bad at all. Note that, specification tells about SSD to reach 70C before it starts to throttle. I also test this drive under RGB at OFF state. However, the difference was quite noticeable i.e. 64C, evidently 4C reduction between RGB ON and OFF is something very considerable.

Final Word and Conclusion:

The XPG Spectrix  S40G NVMe basically a complete package with all the latest features and technically, a XPG’s best work so far while in terms of best looking product. The innovative XPG pre-asembled heatsink undoubtedly add a fantastic new look to this latest addition. Based on M-key design, the SSD is compatible almost all the latest generation INTEL and AMD systems. Not to mention the RGB feature which of course stand out and the most highlighted part in the SSD.  Due to 3D NAND flash, the capacity production maximized to 4TB (according to data sheet) allowing expanded capacity in the storage section. Adding to this, option to populate your PC with new in technology NVMe is absolutely feasible. However, pricing always been crucial factor in the said scheme.

In the performance department, the SSD especially tested in synthetics benchmarks just to analyze if the rated speeds can be achievable. Based on the test bench above, the S40G NVMe drive reproduced a speedy read and write speed, marked sequential at 3346 MB/s on read and 1313 MB/s on write. The Speed trend is very interesting though, S40G has performed excellent in write speed and passed the company’s rated speed, however, failing to stay at par on read side is a little let down for me. Specifically in benchmarks like AS SSD and Anvils Pro where it delivered the read speed as 2536 and 2149 MB/s respectively, have remained below the rated speed. Distinguished test bench definitely resulting in discrepancy, which draws a slim line between the company’s rated speed and reviewer’s test bench result.

This SSD has one of the best design to looked at, in fact, I believe it has the most beautiful outlook in the competition. Only a few companies promises to deliver the best looking NVMe drive currently being available in the market, but XPG sleek yet consistently improving designs have been gaining a deserving popularity even more than ever before. It’s also a fact that companies like Samsung, the top dog in new technology, performance yet quality centric. Doesn’t mean XPG’s offer defective units, practically, XPG’s offering is just right on the trend side. Aside performance, they have the best looking heatsink available in the market. The drive in question have gone beyond expectation with premium quality. For RGB lovers, SPECTRIX S40G offers great deal of RGB customization, and to our surprise, its controllable; please refer to the video above. Comes with a supported XPG RGB software with a perfect sync. The freedom to play with color modes/customization and wide variety of functions is seemingly best part of it. Every mode/lighting effect delivered vibrant color effect using particular mode; brightness and darkness as according to user’s preference can be set. Overall, sitting beside table and having watching the drive glowing inside the rig is truly amazing.

The SPECTRIX S40G offers innovative design, speedy performance and exponential capacity out of the box in a price tag Rs. 11,300 PKR for 256 GB model available to buy from Daraz.pk. Backed by 2 years brand warranty, XPG Pakistan promises to provide continuous support to its local gamers and PC builders. Aesthetically, SPECTRIX S40G is the beautiful looking product with RGB enabled out of the box. Therefore, if you are looking for an SSD, either for an upgrade or new build, but asking RGB or aesthetics yet capacity at the same time then S40G is pretty much all cover for you.

Good

+Aesthetically best looking NVMe SSD
+Good read speed
+Write speed boost
+RGB Ready
+XPG RGB Software Support
+2 years warranty

Bad

-Overall read speed fluctuates and fail to level the rated speed