ADATA SU900 512GB Ultimate SATA SSD Review

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PCMark 8 Storage Test

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PCMark 8 might have come out in 2013, but it is still Futuremark’s most recent version of their industry standard PC benchmarking tool. PCMark 8 allows you to test the performance of all types of PC, from tablets to desktops. With five separate benchmark tests plus battery life testing, PCMark 8 helps you find the devices that offer the perfect combination of efficiency and performance. PCMark 8 is recognized by many as being the complete PC benchmark for home and business. We ran the Storage 2.0 benchmark test suite on PCMark 8 v2.7.613 that came out in April 2016. This is a major update accommodates a change in the latest version of Adobe After Effects and provides better support for NVMe SSDs. The changes affect the workloads in the Adobe Applications benchmark and the Storage 2.0 benchmark. Scores from the new versions of these tests should not be compared with older versions, so just a heads up if you wanted to compare scores.

Version 2.0 of the Storage benchmark includes two changes to the storage playback engine:

  1. Write I/Os sent to the storage device no longer have the Force Unit Access flag enabled. This flag did not usually matter to older storage devices but could lead to reduced performance on some modern NVMe drives.
  2. The playback engine now aligns all I/Os on 4096 byte boundaries. This change improves test compatibility across modern devices.

The primary result of each storage test is the total time elapsed while playing back the trace. The primary result is used to calculate Storage score. The secondary result of the test is bandwidth, which is the total amount of bytes read and written during the test divided by busy time (in other words, the time when the depth of the queue of pending I/O operations was at least 1). The bandwidth result is used to calculate Storage bandwidth, which is reported along with Storage score and we are most interested in this score.

ADATA SU900 512GB Ultimate SATA SSD:

Benchmark Results: When it comes to PCMark 8 performance you are looking at an overall score of 4,965 points with the ADATA SU900 Ultimate 512GB SATA SSD.

Benchmark Results: The overall score of 4,965 puts the ADATA SU900 Ultimate 512GB drive at the back of the pack as only two of the drives we’ve tested in recent months have been SATA based. Most drives being sent out today are M.2 PCIe NVMe models, so our chart is M.2 PCIe NVMe heavy! The ADATA SU900 Ultimate 512GB drive did score better than the WD Blue SATA Drive though and that model retails for $280.

The Storage 2.0 bandwidth test results shows the total amount of bytes read and written during the test divided by the time the test took. Here you can see that the ADATA SU900 Ultimate 512GB SATA drive came in with a score of 258.99 MB/s. This is no bad for a SATA SSD, but much lower than entry-level SSDs.  Keep in mind that Futuremark told us it is normal for 3DMark and PCMark scores to vary by up to 3% between runs since there are factors in modern, multitasking operating systems that cannot be completely controlled.

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  • Be My Guest

    Good warranty … fair price … outstanding TBW.

  • Nate, it could be better if you add Windows booting time, applications loading time, games loading time, and file transfer speed (or time) to reflect “real world” performance.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Thanks for the feed back and I wish there was a fast and easy way to do what you are asking when you are behind on reviews and only have so much time in the day.

      Boot times are tough to do as there really is no good way as stop watches don’t work well. I’ve done them as recently as last month though and had a script that times how long it took to open chrome – http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-optane-memory-review-32gb-module-3d-xpoint-tested_193876/3

      It takes under 150ms to open the chrome web browser, so you can’t stop watch that. I’ve not looked into making a script for game times, but if you know how to make one or can help let me know.

      The other issue is ROI (Return on Investment). Installing Windows on each drive and setting up the drives and downloading the latest updates takes a good 1-1.5 hours. You then have to load up all the apps and games from our local steam files and then do all the testing and extra charts. It might add an extra 4-6 hours to the review process, but I’m not sure it’s really worth the time.

      For example the market for this drive is really small. ADATA won’t be selling millions or hundreds of thousands of these drives as the market is pretty small. Likely only tens of thousands of drives will made and sold before this product goes EOL. The traffic on specific SATA SSD reviews is small. Take YouTube results for example. There is only one review on the ADATA SU900 Ultimate SSD on YouTube and it was from 2 months ago and has just 1,400 views. (see below) I’d love to tell you that this review has been read 100,000 times since it was published, but it hasn’t been. It’s been read by just over 1,000 unique visitors so far and no one has bought a drive through any of our Newegg or Amazon affiliate links. The traffic on SATA SSD reviews is pretty small to be honest and is one of the reasons you’ve seen so many hardware reviews sites close down in recent years. The ones that are doing well have diversified (Many are focusing on mobile, and some are doing movie reviews and other stuff to bring in a wider audience to get traffic numbers up).

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/90d850a363acd55d838a4f5bed72d8fbbd4f47d34a53d2c60e9b0fa087200d4c.jpg

      • As a hardware reviewer myself(one working on the SU900 currently at that) I feel your pain specific application times are so small and honestly unless a drive is particularly amazing(or horrible) the real consumer impact is very small it’s something I struggle with drawing a final conclusion when I have to look at all the differences and ask myself, can the reader actually feel 20mb/s ? will they notice the .02 second difference here or there? SATA SSD reviews need to be done but we can only spend so much time on a specific drive before we’re beating a dead horse.