Introduction

It’s a rare thing to find a solid-state drive (SSD), whether M.2 or Serial ATA, that truly stands out from the pack these days. As drive makers have gotten better and better at manufacturing storage devices that are faster and more reliable than ever, the gap in price and performance between the bottom tier and high end of the SSD spectrum has narrowed from a canyon to a crack. That’s why it’s nice when drives like the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro come along. We tested the 256GB model of this drive which holds the price tag of $74.99 at the time of review. Keeping in view the competition, this drive is significantly cheaper with exceptional performance!

We thank ADATA to provide us with the review unit of XPG SX8200 Pro.

First Look

The ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro comes packed in a thin box which dents easily but is enough to protect the SSD inside. On the front, we see the image of SSD along with some specifications on the top left side of the box. The capacity of SSD is written on the lower left side of the box. The ADATA XPG SC8200 comes in capacity of 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB. Our review sample is 256GB.

On the back of the box, we see some specifications and the features this SSD offers in multiple languages. There is not more interesting here.

Unboxing & Contents

Out of the box, we get the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro and a heat spreader in a plastic frame to hold those into place.

One first look, the packing and the unboxing experience is nothing but the best. ADATA has gone with minimalistic look with this one and we like it.

The SSD ADATA XPG SX8200 has a form factor of M.2 2280 D5. It has a Silicon Motion 2262EN controller at its heart. This controller was also seen on Intel 600P series SSDs which means excellent quality. ADATA has settled on nothing but the best.

On the other side of the ADATA XPG SX8200, we see a sticker with specifications and capacity of the drive. The black PCB gives it a subtle look and we like the overall build quality and looks of this SSD.

Specifications

ProductXPG SX8200 Pro 256GBXPG SX8200 Pro 512GBXPG SX8200 Pro 1TBXPG SX8200 Pro 2TB
Pricing$74.99$114.99$219.99N/A
Capacity (User / Raw)256GB / 256GB512GB / 512GB1024GB / 1024GB2048GB / 2048GB
Form FactorM.2 2280 D5M.2 2280 D5M.2 2280 D5M.2 2280 D5
Interface / ProtocolPCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
ControllerSMI SM2262ENSMI SM2262ENSMI SM2262ENSMI SM2262EN
DRAMNANYA DDR3NANYA DDR3NANYA DDR3NANYA DDR3
MemoryMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLC
Sequential Read3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/s
Sequential Write1,200 MB/s2,300 MB/s3,000 MB/s3,000 MB/s
Random Read220,000 IOPS390,000 IOPS390,000 IOPS390,000 IOPS
Random Write290,000 IOPS380,000 IOPS380,000 IOPS380,000 IOPS
EncryptionN/AN/AN/AN/A
Endurance160 TBW320 TBW640 TBWN/A
Part NumberASX8200PNP-256GT-CASX8200PNP-512GT-CASX8200PNP-1TT-CN/A
Warranty5-Years5-Years5-Years5-Years

The SX8200 Pro model doesn’t have as much over-provisioning as its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean less performance. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. The new SM2262EN controller powers the SX8200 Pro up to 3.5/3GB/s of throughput in sequential read/write workloads. As per usual, performance varies based on the capacity of the drive, with write performance being slower on the smaller models. The SX8200 Pro also provides up to 390K/380K random read/write IOPS.

Though these stats might differ with the usage and the preference of the consumers and most of these insane speeds might not be noticeable in day to day tasks performed by this SSD but it will stand out of the rest no doubt.

SMI also turned its eye to improving power consumption with its new SM2262EN controller. An improved data path helps boot performance, but other enhancements focus on delivering the same or better performance within a more efficient power envelope. The SX8200 Pro supports multiple NVMe low power states and has an active rating of just 0.33W. It also has a slumber rating of just 0.14W.

Software

Product support wouldn’t be complete without a software package, right? Like others, Adata provides an SSD Toolbox as a download, which can be used to monitor the drive and perform firmware upgrades. This software comes in handy when setting up this drive and even later, this software is a helpful thing to have, which unfortunately many manufacturers fail to provide. Additionally, you can download Acronis True Image HD, a drive cloning software, to help you clone over your existing data to your new drive.

The software is very user friendly and it provides almost everything. Health of the drive, diagnostics and tests, system optimization tools, system information and other utilities. It let’s you know how much storage space is utilized and how much is left and you can optimize your drive accordingly.

Testing & Benchmarks

We tested out review unit of ADATA XPG SX8200 on multiple software to find out the real potential of this drive and you know what? This device outperformed many drives we have tested so far. It is true ADATA never fails to impress.

Benchmark System Specs

  • Intel Core i5 9600K
  • Asus Rog Strix Z390-E Gaming motherboard
  • Corsair Dominator Platinum 32gb
  • Evga GTX 1070 FTW
  • Cooler Master Masterliquid ML240R AIO
  • Antec HCP Platinum 1300w
  • Intel 600p SSD 256GB ( for OS )

Software used for benchmarks

  • Crystal Disk Mark 6.0.2 64bit
  • Anvil SSD Benchmark
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • AS SSD Benchmark

Tests Results

We obtained very close results from the above mentioned software. They are as follows.

CrystalDiskMark 6.0.2 x64

The sequential reads are approximately around 8000 MB/s on Crystal Disk Mark. This was way beyond expectations. For some reason Crystal Disk Mark was giving a little bit higher speeds but comparatively other benchmarks are almost competitive.

Anvil’s Storage Utilities

The 512GB ADATA SX8200 Pro raises the bar for queue depth (QD) 1 sequential read performance. The drive falls down the list at QD 2 but then moves quickly ahead of the other drives until QD 16, well outside of the normal consumer workload.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The SX8200 Pro also provides users with superior random write performance at low queue depths. The two next-generation drives deliver just over 55,000 random write IOPS at QD1.

AS SSD Benchmark

All consumer SSDs utilizing 3-bit per cell flash also utilize advanced caching technology to increase burst performance. The SLC cache technology on modern SSDs is strong enough to absorb consumer-level random writes but as consumers, we often also transfer large sequential data. This can pose a problem when that data overruns the SLC buffer and the performance drops into native TLC write mode.

The ADATA SX8200 Pro writes all or nearly all data to the SLC area before moving it to the TLC flash. The SLC buffer writes at a very high speed but the size is dynamic, so it shrinks as you store more data on the flash. We often talk about the importance of random read performance. We can link this often-overlooked area to the user experience. This is where Silicon Motion and partners focused tuning in the previous two product generations.

The ADATA SX8200 Pro random read performance chart shows the outcome of the intense focus on building a superior consumer SSD. The drive outpaces every other drive we’ve tested in this area other than those built using 3D XPoint memory (Intel’s Optane).

The 256GB SX8200 Pro doesn’t have a problem scaling with random mixed workload data. The drive leverages it’s strong random performance to put forth equally strong mixed random performance.

Watch Review of ADATA XPG SX8200 by ZeeForce Gaming

Final Thoughts

With the 512GB model, there isn’t any question. This is the fastest consumer NVMe SSD shipping today (not counting Optane SSDs) for its capacity. The SX8200 Pro gives us a nice incremental performance increase from the previous generation and it only costs a few dollars more. There is no hesitation in saying that until now, ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro is the fastest consumer grade SSD for just $75 for 256GB capacity, which according to us is the best of the best deals.

There really isn’t anything negative to say about the SX8200 Pro. For early 2019 ( time of launch ), this is the perfect NVMe SSD. ADATA’s SSD Toolbox and other software complete the package and the 5-year warranty is a nice extra. We would like to see more endurance on the Pro series, but the included 320 TBW rating is a step up from 4-bit per cell and entry-level NVMe SSDs.

And as already mentioned before, all of that power and performance covered with 5 years of warranty, which is more than enough for consumers. If this SSD lasts 5 years without a hassle, it is going to last forever. It is currently $74.99 on amazon which is the best deal in our opinion.

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