Table of Contents
Recently, XPG, ADATA’s gaming brand, released the ATOM 50 PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD. Marketed for gamers of both PCs and PlayStation 5 consoles, the ATOM 50 is designed as a massive upgrade from standard solid-state drives or for expanding the storage space for the PS5. In this review, we scrutinize the ATOM 50, putting it through the rigors of our benchmark suite.
Specifications and Features
The XPG ATOM 50 is available in the M.2 2280 form factor. This allows it to fit in virtually all modern motherboards with an M.2 slot, eliminating the clutter from extra data and power cables. Utilizing a PCIe Gen4 x4 compatible motherboard will also allow the drive to run at its maximum speeds. It is also compatible with the PlayStation 5 and can function as a secondary or expansion drive.
The ATOM 50 supports NVMe 1.4 and reaches sequential read speeds of 5000 MB/s and sequential write speeds of 4500 MB/s. It is equipped with an Innogrit controller and features a pair of 3D NAND chips. It is available in a 1 TB capacity and features several data protection measures such as Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) and AES 256-bit data encryption. The ATOM 50 provides a fast, seamless experience while multitasking due to SLC Caching and Host Memory Buffer. XPG also included a thin 0.33 mm aluminum heat spreader.
Here’s a list of the specifications per the XPG website.
|ADATA XPG Atom 50 1 TB Specifications|
|Model||XPG Atom 50|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||80 x 22 x 3.13mm / 3.15 x 0.87 x 0.12inch|
|Weight||9g / 0.32oz|
|Interface||PCIe Gen4 x4|
|Sequential Read (Max*)||Up to 5,000MB/s*|
|Sequential Write (Max*)||Up to 4,500MB/s*|
|4KB Random IOPS Read (Max*)||Up to 650K*|
|4KB Random IOPS Write (Max*)||Up to 600K*|
|Operating Temperature||0°C – 70°C|
|Storage Temperature||-40°C – 85°C|
|MTBF (Endurance)||2,000,000 hours|
|Terabytes Written (TBW)(Max Capacity*)||650TB**|
|Warranty||5-year limited warranty***|
|Note||* This product is compatible with the latest Intel and AMD platforms and must be used with a motherboard that supports PCIe 4.0 to achieve optimal performance. Actual performance may vary depending on the hardware and software configurations.|
* This product is backward compatible with PCIe 3.0. If a third-generation PCIe motherboard is used, this product will be able to achieve sequential read/write speeds of 3400/3000MB per second.
* Test system configuration : M/B: MSI X570 GAMING PLUS, CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor @ 3.60GHZ
** The value is the minimum amount of terabyte written that could be reached.
*** The SSD is based on the TBW or Warranty period.
Visit www.adata.com/us/support/xpg?tab=warranty&warranty=warrantyService for more details.
|Product Download Page||XPG Atom 50 Datasheet and Firmware Download Page|
Packaging for the ATOM 50 is simple and attractive. The thin cardboard box uses red accents over a black base while the front displays the basic information needed, including the product name and model, maximum rated sequential read speed, and drive capacity. The back of the box displays a few additional features in multiple languages along with product certifications, warranty period, QR code, and serial number. Once opened, we find the drive and heat spreader secured in a clear plastic tray.
Meet the ATOM 50
The Atom 50 is a single-sided M.2 2280 SSD featuring an Innogrit IG5220 controller. The IG5220 is Innogrit’s flagship Rainer family but is the most budget-friendly offering explicitly designed for lower-cost SSDs. This controller can manage up to four NAND channels with a total capacity of up to four terabytes. The Atom 50 comes with two 3D NAND chips of 512 GBs each for a total of 1 TB. As you can see, the drive’s PCB supports up to four NAND chips so that XPG can offer larger capacity drives in the future, should they choose to.
XPG opted to make this drive a DRAM-less model for further cost savings. Instead, data will need to transfer through your CPU’s memory. While drives with onboard DRAM are faster, the ATOM 50 utilizes a PCIe Gen4 x4 interface and NVMe 1.4 support. The result is a drive rated for 5000 MB/s sequential read speeds and 4500 MB/s sequential write speeds. This drive is quite capable.
The included aluminum heat spreader measures a thin 0.33 mm. The black satin finish with red accents looks nice without being too gaudy. The heat spreader attaches to the drive simply using a thin strip of 3M adhesive. We found this drive is within the rated thermal specifications even without the heat spreader installed.
Testing Method and Test System
Now that we have gotten to know the ATOM 50, it’s time to put it to the test. The suite of benchmarks we use will test the drive with nearly every synthetic and real-world scenario. Each benchmark stresses one or more aspects of the drive. In between each benchmark, the SSD is allowed to cool. We sanitize the drive using the BIOS and format it to NTFS with default settings under Windows 10. We perform all tests with the ATOM 50 installed in the top M.2 slot to utilize the direct CPU interface.
Below are the tests we run with a brief description of the settings.
- Crystal Disk Mark v 7.0.0 x64 – Run at Default Settings (5 Passes)
- AS SSD v 2.0.7316 – Run at Default Settings
- ATTO v 3.05 – Run at Default Settings except for the QD Set to 10
- Thermal Testing – 5 passes back-to-back of Crystal Disk Mark.
- DiskBench v220.127.116.11 – Use predefined 120 GB transfer file
- Anvil Storage Utility Benchmark v 1.1.0 – Default Settings
NOTE: We have eliminated the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Benchmark (Game loading times) as every NVMe drive tested is within microseconds of each other and is no longer relevant.
|Motherboard||ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 3700X|
|CPU Cooler||be quiet! Dark Rock 4|
|Memory||G.SKILL Trident Z RGB 16GB (2×8) 3200MHz CL16-18-18-38|
|OS SSD||MSI Spatium M470 NVMe PCIe 2280 M.2 SSD 1TB|
|Power Supply||be quiet! Pure Power 11 500W|
|Graphics Card||EVGA RTX 3070 XC3 Ultra Gaming 8GB|
CrystalDiskMark is the gold standard for determining an SSD’s advertised speed. The ATOM 50 exceeds its ratings of 5000 and 4500 MB/s in sequential read and write. It performed well in this benchmark and outperformed the MSI Spatium M470 in every category.
AS SSD is similar to CrystalDiskMark, testing the drive’s sequential and 4K read and write tests. Looking at the results, we see the ATOM 50 outpacing the MSI M470 in every test except one. The similarities between CrystalMarkDisk and AS SSD are easy to see when comparing the two charts as the test subjects performed about the same in both benchmarks. This reduces the chance of an outlier result.
The ATTO benchmark utilizes a series of eight different file sizes to compare speeds based on the file’s relative size. Write caching plays a significant role in this benchmark. The ATOM 50 returns good results in ATTO outperforming most drives with the smaller files, then performs as expected with the much larger files. Read peak performance was reached at just over 4800 MB/s from files sizes 256k and up, while write peaked at around 4660 MB/s from file sizes 1 MB and up.
Thermal testing is monitored throughout the review using an AMPROBE TMD-52 digital thermometer with a K-Type thermal probe taped directly above the controller. This provides a more accurate reading than using software alone. During the entire review, thermal throttling never occurred, and the maximum temperature reached was during CrystalMarkDisk, with a peak temperature of only 52.6°C. This was without the aid of the included heat spreader; installing it will only improve these results. At idle, the normalized temperature reached 40.4° C, quite average.
DiskBench is the first of our “real-world” benchmarks as it determines the actual file transfer time of a single large file. Using a 120 GB file composed of random data, we transfer the file from the primary (OS) drive to the test drive, recording the actual transfer time. If you do a lot of large file transfers, this is the test to keep an eye on.
The ATOM 50 turns out a truly impressive result in this test turning in the fastest time within this group of drives. While it is only a fraction of a second faster than the XPG Gammix S70 Blade, it is several seconds faster than the rest. Who said DRAM-less drives are slower? It’s clear, ADATA and XPG know how to build a drive for performance.
Anvil Storage Utility
Anvil’s Storage Utility is another benchmark that measures read and write speeds, similar to CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD. The main difference with ASU is that it produces a performance score for comparison rather than an actual speed. This performance score is more of an all-encompassing overview of the drive’s capabilities.
Reading the chart above, you will notice the ATOM 50 has a better write performance than its read but keeps up just fine with the competition. The overall total score places it in the middle of the pack. Keep in mind many of these drives are rated much higher.
The XPG ATOM 50 is currently available as a 1 TB drive, but there is room to expand if it becomes a popular model. Its rated speeds of 5000 MB/s and 4500 MB/s read and write place it in a nice sweet spot for a PCIe Gen4 x4 drive. While the ATOM 50 is DRAM-less, the way it is engineered with its SLC caching, Host Memory Buffer, Innogrit controller, and 3D NAND, this drive keeps up with and surpasses drives that feature onboard DRAM. This is quite an impressive feat and a pleasant surprise. The module ran cool throughout the review, never reaching mid-50’s Celcius, and this was without the heat spreader. Adding a motherboard’s heat spreader or even the one included with this drive will only improve its temperatures.
Looking at the other drives in this group, the MSI Spatium M470 1 TB is the ATOM 50’s closest comparison as they are both rated for 5000 MB/s read and 4500 MB/s write. The other three drives are rated for 7000 MB/s sequential reads and therefore not a valid apples-to-apples comparison. The ATOM 50 could still compete against these must faster drives, keeping up with them in many tests and even beating them in a couple. Finally, we need to look at the price. The ATOM 50 is available at Amazon for $119.99 and at a Newegg 3rd Party Vendor for $202.99. Indeed, the Amazon price is right in the ballpark of what we would expect to pay for a drive of this quality and speed. I would not recommend the Newegg 3rd Party Vendor at this price. Comparing the Amazon price to its closest competitor, we find the MSI Spatium M470 1 TB with an MSRP of $179.99 but on sale for 38% off at the time of this writing, making it only $110.99. Furthermore, both feature a 5-year warranty.
XPG did a fantastic job building a fast and affordable M.2 NVMe SSD that is competitive and priced comparatively to its closest rivals. We have no problems giving the XPG ATOM 50 1 TB drive the Overclockers.com Stamp of Approval.
- ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade M.2 PCIe Gen4x4 NVMe 1 TB SSD Review
- MSI SPATIUM M480 and M470 M.2 NVMe Gen 4×4 SSD Review
- ADATA XPG Gammix S70: The New NVMe Speed King