ADATA Premier SP610 512GB SSD Review

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ADATA needs no introduction as they’ve been a well-known name in the memory and storage industry for some time now. Due to the uncertainty surrounding SandForce, we’ve begun to see alternate SSD controllers being used by manufacturers that were once almost exclusively using SandForce controllers. Phison and Silicon Motion are two examples of SSD controllers that might not be well known, but we are beginning to see them used more often. Today’s review sample utilizes the Silicon Motion (SMI) SM2246EN controller, which will be the first experience we’ve had with this controller. So, let’s have a look at what the ADATA Premier SP610 has in store for us.

Specifications and Features

Looking at the specifications below, we see the SP610 can be had in a variety of capacity and performance levels. All of the drives offer read speeds up to 560 MB/s, and the write speeds range from 150 MB/s up to 450 MB/s. The SP610 uses Synchronous MLC, supports TRIM, and uses a DRAM Cache buffer. Specifications provided by ADATA.

ADATA Premier SP610 Specifications
Capacity 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Form Factor 2.5 Inch
NAND Flash Synchronous MLC
Controller SMI
Dimensions (LxWxH) 100.45 x 69.85 x 7mm
Weight 68g
Interface SATA 6Gb/sec
Performance (Max)
  • 128GB Performance (ATTO)
    Read : Up to 560MB/s – Write : Up to 150MB/s
    Maximum 4K read/write IOPS up to 66K/35K
  • 256GB Performance (ATTO)
    Read : Up to 560MB/s – Write : Up to 290MB/s
    Maximum 4K read/write IOPS up to 75K/67K
  • 512GB Performance (ATTO)
    Read : Up to 560MB/s – Write : Up to 450MB/s
    Maximum 4K read/write IOPS up to 73K/72K
  • 1TB Performance (ATTO)
    Read : Up to 560MB/s – Write : Up to 450MB/s
    Maximum 4K read/write IOPS up to 73K/72K
Power Consumption 0.3W Idle (Typical) / 0.08W Active (Average)
Operating Temperature 0~70 °C / -40~85°C
Storage Temperature 5 ~ 95% RH (0 ~ 55°C)
Shock Resistance 1500G / 0.5ms
MTFB 1,500,000 hours
Accessories Acronis ATI HD 2013
9.5mm Spacer

Before we have a close-up look at the SP610, let’s give ADATA a chance to present the features and benefits of the SP610 series SSDs.

“The Premier SP610 SATA III 6Gb/s SSD is ideal for upgrading your PC and laptop. It is pwered by the SMI controller to offer outstanding performance with sequential read/write speeds of up to 560 and 450 MB/s, and 4KB random read/write speeds of up to 73,000/72,000 IOPS. With consistently fast data speeds, lower power consumption, and competitive price, tohe SP610 lets you enjoy faster boot up and program loading than ever before.”

The features highlight several key points dealing with transfer speeds, sustained high efficiency, BCH error correction, and low power consumption ideal for laptops. The below images and descriptions courtesy ADATA.

Excellent Data Transfer Speed

Featuring read/write speeds of up to 560/450 MB/s and 4KB random read/write speeds of up to 73,000/72,000 IOPS, the SP610 SSD provides greater performance, you will experience faster system boot up, program loading, and quicker response times while playing next-generation games.

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Sustained High Efficiency

Some SSDs suffer a performance drop as drive usage nears its capacity in terms of data stored. The SP610 maintains consistently high read and write speeds even when the disk is 90% full.

adata_sp610 (2)

Super Capacity of 1TB

The Premier SP610 comes in complete range of capacities, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and a massive 1TB. You can have enough space to accommodate games, applications, and operating systems.

adata_sp610 (3)

Advanced BCH ECC Technology

Supporting hardware BCH ECC (Error Correction Code) up to 66 bit/1KB, the SP610 can enhance performance and reliability for data protection.

adata_sp610 (4)

Energy Efficient for Mobile Computing

Compared to traditional hard drives, the low power consumption (80mW, Average) of the SP610 extends battery life of notebook and laptop computers.

adata_sp610 (5)

Laptop Disk Bay Spacer for SSDs

The SP610 Solid State Drive comes in a thickness of 7mm to meet the needs of ultra-slim notebook computers. A 2.5 mm spacer is provided for use in 9.5mm disk bays.

adata_sp610 (6)

Retail Packaging/Product Tour

The retail packaging gives the potential customer a good idea of the looks and performance capabilities of the Premier SP610. A window on the front of the box allows you to see the drive, which sits in a molded plastic shell inside. Included in the box is a spacer that allows the drive to be used in laptops/notebooks when a 9.5mm thickness is required. A quick start guide and information on how to get and use the free copy of Acronis are also included.

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The top of the SP610 is decked out with ADATA’s logo, the capacity, and model. At the bottom, we can see the SATA power and data connections, bar code information, and the Acronis key needed to activate your free copy.

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After opening the SP610, we can see the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller, the Nanya DDR3 cache memory, and the eight MLC NAND flash modules (four on each side of the PCB).

SP610 Opened Up

SP610 Opened Up

PCB and NAND Flash

PCB and NAND Flash

PCB and NAND Flash, Cache Memory, and Silicon Motion Controller

NAND Flash, Cache Memory, and SMI Controller

Up Close View

Up Close View

Testing and Benchmarks

Test System

Here is the breakdown of the components used in our test bed.

Test System Components
Motherboard ASUS Maximus VII Formula
CPU Intel i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon
Memory G.SKill TridentX DD3-2400 MHz 2x8GB @ 1866 MHz 9-9-9-24
SSD Various (See Comparison List)
Power Supply Corsair HX1050 Professional Series
Video Card EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified
Cooling EKWB Supremacy EVO Water Block – 360 mm Radiator – MCP35X Pump

Today’s comparison samples include a couple high capacity SSDs in the Samsung 850 EVO (500 GB) and Patriot Ignite (480 GB). We’ll also include data from the Kingston HyperX Savage (240 GB) and OCZ ARC 100 (240 GB).

Test Method

Each SSD is Secure Erased (SE) to make sure we get the best results possible. We do this before each and every test run to give the comparison samples the best environment possible for testing. Below are the tests we run with a brief description.

  • Crystal Disk Mark – Run at Default Settings (5 Pass)
  • AS SSD – Run at Default Settings
  • ATTO – Run at Default Setting with QD Set to 10
  • IOMeter 2010 – Run Manually with QD32 for the 4K Tests

Performance

As you look through the results below, you’ll see the ADATA SP610 perform right on par with, or better than, the other comparison samples where read speeds are concerned. The write speeds ADATA advertises were also confirmed when ATTO was run.

CrystalDiskMark, for the most part, uses random incompressible data to test read and write performance. Incompressible data testing will typically result in performance numbers a little under what manufacturers claim, which is what we see in this case.

CDM Read Results

CDM Read Results

CDM Write Results

CDM Write Results

AS SSD is widely regarded as the toughest benchmark on SSDs as it uses 100% incompressible data samples for read and write testing, which represents the worst case scenario for obtaining data transfer speeds. Here we see decent 4K results from the SP610, especially in the write results. The read/write access times are right on par with the other drives in the comparison list, and the AS SSD overall score is a respectable 1008.

AS SSD Read Results

AS SSD Read Results

AS SSD Write Results

AS SSD Write Results

AS SSD Access Time Results

AS SSD Access Time Results

AS SSD Performance Scores

AS SSD Performance Scores

IOMeter has the ADATA SP610 reaching its advertised speeds during the 2MB read/write tests. The 4K IOPS testing has the SP610 surpassing the advertised 72K writes, but it fell a little short of the advertised 73K read IOPS. Still, a pretty good showing overall here.

IOMeter

IOMeter 2MB/4K Read/Write Results

IOMeter

IOMeter 4K IOPS Results

IOMeter

IOMeter 2MB IOPS Results

ATTO Disk Bench is what most manufacturers use to base their speed claims from. As you can see, the SP610 exceeded the read speed claims with a high mark of 561 MB/s. The write test had its best result on the 256K run, which topped out at 455 MB/s.

ATTO Read Results

ATTO Read Results

ATTO Write

ATTO Write Results

We usually include a run of Anvil’s Storage Utility to see if it agrees with what we recorded above. We run the benchmark twice – once with 100% incompressible data and then again using the 0-Fill option. The results pretty much confirm the performance results recorded above.

Anvil 100% Incompressible Data

Anvil 100% Incompressible Data

Anvil 0-Fill Compressible Data

Anvil 0-Fill Compressible Data

Conclusion

In most cases, the ADATA Premier SP610 meets or exceeds the manufacturer’s performance claims. The drive proved to be very stable and flew through our benchmarks with out any issues. The Silicon Motion controllers are probably best known for their industrial applications, but seem quite capable of making the transition into the desktop SSD market as well. Any reservations we may have had going in were quickly dispelled by the performance of the drive and the fact a few other top manufacturers are also using the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller.

As we know, performance is only half of the equation with value playing an equal role. Shopping around a bit, we found the Premier SP610 512GB drive available for $179 at Tiger Direct. That price makes it one of the least expensive 512 GB SSDs out there. With the price of SSDs dropping almost daily, a drive like the Premier SP610 has the performance and price to make it an enticing option. If you’re looking for an affordable 512 GB SSD, the ADATA SP610 is definitely worth consideration.

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Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)

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