ADATA Ultimate SU800 SSDs Feature 3D TLC NANDThe ADATA Ultimate SU800 is the first SSD series from ADATA that features 3D TLC NAND Flash memory components. Despite having 'Ultimate' in in its product name, the Ultimate SU800 is a SATA III 6Gb/s SSD that is aimed at the price-conscious consumer in the SSD value market. As you might have guessed, this means you'll get decent performance at rather affordable price points. ADATA's Ultimate SU800 SSD series is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities. Inside you'll find the Silicon Motion SM2258 controller (four NAND Flash Channels and LDPC ECC technology) paired up with more than likely 3D TLC NAND. ADATA is not giving out what manufacturer makes the 3D NAND Flash, but after taking a look under the cover we discovered that they are using Micron 3D TLC NAND. ADATA SU800 Ultimate SSD Performance, Endurance & Pricing:
|Controller||Silicon Motion SM2258||Silicon Motion SM2258||Silicon Motion SM2258||Silicon Motion SM2258|
|NAND||3D TLC NAND||3D TLC NAND||3D TLC NAND||3D TLC NAND|
|Max Sequential Read (ATTO)||563MB/sec||564MB/sec||564MB/sec||564MB/sec|
|Max Sequential Write (ATTO)||300MB/sec||511MB/sec||519MB/sec||519MB/sec|
|Max Random Read (4K QD32)||50,000 IOPS||80,000 IOPS||85,000 IOPS||85,000 IOPS|
|Max Random Write (4K QD32)||75,000 IOPS||85,000 IOPS||85,000 IOPS||85,000 IOPS|
|MSRP in USD||$59.99||$79.99||$139.99||$269.99|
"All Ultimate SU800 models provide high TBW (Total Bytes Written), meaning the number of times an SSD can write its entire capacity in one lifespan. The Ultimate SU800’s TBW rating outranks comparable models, indicating a longer-lasting SSD." - ADATA
We asked ADATA for the the exact TBW rating values on each drive in the series one week and have yet to get an answer back as ADATA USA didn't know the answer and ADATA Taiwan is out on holiday (September 15th was the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival) and that is a national holiday in Taiwan).
UPDATE 9/20/2016: ADATA has let us know that the 512GB version of this drive features a 400TB TBW endurance rating, which is actually very good for a 512GB capacity drive!The drive that we'll be looking at today in-depth is the ADATA Ultimate SU800 512GB model that is sold under part number ASU800SS-512GT-C for $139.99. The packaging looks good and inside you'll find the drive, spacer for 9mm housing applications and the warranty guide. To remove the cover you need to remove the top sticker as there is a screw right in the middle of the drive drive that holds the top plastic lid to the bottom metal cover. You also need remove the warranty sticker on the side of the drive. We were able to pop open the drive to see that Micron NAND Flash with FBGA code NW838 were being used. This converts over to Micron part number MT29F768G08EECBBJ4-37:B, which are 768Gb density 3D TLC NAND (3 bit per cell) chips. The ADATA SU800 Ultimate 2.5" drives come in a black metal enclosure and feature a standard SATA III interface. ADATA includes a software key for Acronis True Image HD software for those that might need cloning software to move from their old hard drive or SSD to this new model and a spacer bracket to help the 7mm thick drive fit securely in notebooks that originally came with 9.5mm thick hard drives. Let's move along and take a look at the test system and then the benchmark numbers!
The SSD Benchmark Test System & TRIM SupportBefore we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (Anniversary Update build 14393) and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. This means windows defender, windows update, disk fragmentation and everything else that would interfere with testing was disabled. Windows 10 also had the power option set to high performance. We also disabled Turbo mode on the Intel Core i7-5960X to ensure our numbers are spot on and repeatable. The Intel X99 platform that we used to test the storage drives was based around the ASUS X99 Sabertooth motherboard with BIOS 1801 that came out on 06/25/2015. We used Intel RST storage drivers, the exact version was 126.96.36.1991. The Crucial Ballistix DDR4 32GB 2400MHz memory kit was run at 2666MHz with 15-15-15-28 1T memory timings. The Corsair Neutron XT 240GB SSD was used as the primary drive.
Intel X99 Test Bench
|Intel LGA 2011v3 Test Platform|
|Core i7 5960X|
|ASUS X99 Sabertooth|
|Crucial Ballistix 2400MHz 32GB|
|Corsair Neutron XT 240GB|
|Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit|
CrystalDiskInfo 7.0.3 Readout:The readout on CrystalDiskInfo 7.0.3 shows that the ADATA SU800 512GB SSD supports S.M.A.R.T., NCQ, TRIM and DevSleep. The drive we received had firmware version P0801A installed and that is the version that we used for general testing and benchmarking. The overall capacity shows up as 476GB on the ADATA SU800 512GB SSD in Windows 10. Does The ADATA SU800 SSD Support Trim? Most SSDs today support the TRIM command, but we still run a quick test to ensure that the command is being properly passed through to the SSD and being done. A great free utility called TRIMCheck can be run to ensure that TRIM is functioning properly. According to TRIMCheck v0.7 the SU800 512GB SSD executes the TRIM command correctly! Let's have a look at the performance!
Taking A Look At Sustained Write PerformanceTriple-Level Cell TLC NAND based SSDs perform usually quite well, but when you copy a large amount of data to the drive without and idle time you'll often find a large drop in write speed. TLC NAND is great in applications where write operations are limited , but is usually not recommended for critical systems that have heavy write operations as they have lower endurance ratings than SLC or MLC NAND and of course sustained write performance isn't stellar. In recent years drive manufactures have been figured out that by using SLC or TLC treated as SLC as a cache they can keep the drives overall write performance high as long as the amount of data being written to the drive fits in the cache. If you overflow the cache, you are then writing directly to the TLC NAND and the write performance will drop down to that level. It should be noted that the SLC cache will clear once the drive idles, so this only impacts long writes that are many GB in size. This might not be a typical workload scenario for this ultra-value or mainstream drives, but still something worth pointing out! Let's take a look at some TLC and MLC drives to see how they handle sustained write scenarios. When you average the test results over the 45 second period that we are focusing on these are the average speeds that you come up with:
- Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB - 527.23 MB/s
- Crucial MX300 750GB SSD - 522.4 MB/s
- ADATA SU800 512GB SSD - 520.85 MB/s
- Toshiba OCZ VX500 512GB SSD - 520.41 MB/s
- Toshiba OCZ Trion 150 480GB - 347.75 MB/s
- Kingston UV400 480GB - 267.04 MB/s
- OCZ Trion 100 480GB - 192.19 MB/s
- ADATA Sp550 480GB SSD - 103.53 MB/s
ATTO & CrystalDiskMark
ATTO v3.05ATTO is one of the oldest drive benchmarks still being used today and is still very relevant in the SSD world. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that can be very easily interpreted. The test was run with the default runs of 0.5KB through 64MB transfer sizes with the total length being 256MB.
ATTO - ADATA SU800 512GB:Benchmark Results: ATTO showed the ADATA SU800 Ultimate 512GB SSD topped out at 564 MB/s read and 519MB/s write in the standard overlapped I/O benchmark. ADATA rates this particular model at up to 560 MB/s read and 520 MB/s write, so we are close to the rated speeds.
CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64CrystalDiskMark is a small benchmark utility for drives and enables rapid measurement of sequential and random read/write speeds. Note that CDM only supports Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with a queue depth of 32 (as noted) for the last listed benchmark score. This can skew some results in favor of controllers that also do not support NCQ.
CystalDiskmark - ADATA SU800 512GB:Benchmark Results: The ADATA SU800 512GB drive reached 550 MB/s read and 509 MB/s write in the standard sequential write test. The Random 4K performance on the SU800 512GB drive was 37 MB/s read and 137 MB/s write. When we ran the test again set to 0Fill mode and all the scores remained basically the same as you can see above. Let's look at some other benchmarks!
AS SSD Benchmark
AS-SSD (1.9.5986.35387) Benchmark:We have been running the AS-SSD Benchmark app for over some time now and found that it gives a broad result set. The programmer has worked very hard on this software and continues to make updates often so if you use it, show him some love and send him a donation. There are now three tests that are found within the tool and we'll show the results from all three of them. Benchmark Results: AS SSD showed the ADATA SU800 Ultimate 512GB drive had an overall score of 1,094 points with sequential read speeds of 529MB/s and 481MB/s write. Benchmark Results: The copy benchmark test results showed okay performance SATA TLC NAND based SSD aimed at the mainstream market with speeds ranging from 356 MB/s to 434 MB/s. Benchmark Results: For this benchmark chart you would ideally want to see a straight line as you don't want any compression performance loss as the test goes from 0% compressible to 100% compressible data during the benchmark test period. The ADATA SU800 512GB SSD was pretty flat across the drive with regards to the reads, but the write performance had a several performance dips.
Anvil Storage Utilities
Anvil Storage Utilities 1.1.0Along with the move to a new platform, we decided to make a change in one of the benchmarks. There's a relatively new benchmark called Anvil Storage Utilities that is in beta but close to production. It's a very powerful tool that measures performance through a variety of tests which can be customized. Since some of the tests more or less duplicate what we get from other benchmarks we use already, we decided to use the IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) testing on 4kb file sizes at a queue depth of 4, 16, and 32. IOPS performance is something SSD makers tout quite a bit but we generally don't do a lot of IOPS testing because frankly a lot of users can't relate to IOPS metrics as well and it tends to be more meaningful to the enterprise/server crowd. Still, it is another performance indicator with relevance and while some drives post good MB/s numbers, their IOPS scores aren't always commensurate which this test will prove out.
Anvil SSD Benchmark with 100% Compression (incompressible data):
Anvil SSD Applications Benchmark at 46% Compression:Benchmark Results: We used Anvil to check the 4K QD32 Random Read performance and found we were getting just over 83,000 IOPS and that is close to the drives rated 85,000 IOPS. Benchmark Results: When it came to 4K QD32 Random Write performance we found that the SU800 512GB drive was capable of just over 82,000 IOPS. Again, not too far off the 85,000 IOPS we were told that we should be able to get.
PCMark 8 Storage TestPCMark 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 compare scores.
Crucial MX300 1TB:Benchmark Results: When it comes to PCMark 8 performance you are looking at an overall score of 4,979 with a bandwidth rating of 279.40 MB/s on the SU800 512GB drive. Not horrible for a TLC NAND based SSD.
ADATA SU800 512GB SSD TemperaturesTemperatures have always played a critical role on storage drives and in recent years we've seen it cause drives to fail prematurely and we've even seen some SSD performance results change for the worse if components were too hot or too cold. Since temperature is an important thing to keep an eye on we check the idle and load temperatures on all of the drives that we review. To get the idle temperature results we leave the drive sitting on an open air test bench in a room that is 19C. For the load numbers we use IOMeter to write 128KB to the drive sequentially for 20 minutes and record the top temperature. The ADATA SU800 Ultimate 512GB drive had an idle temperature of 17-18C and we found that it topped out at 60C after doing 20 minutes of straight 128KB sequential writes across the entire drive with IOMeter. This heavy workload isn't normal, but when doing writes to the drive we saw the temperature shoot up very quickly. This drive does get toasty! Let's wrap this up!
Final Thoughts & ConclusionsThe ADATA Ultimate SU800 512GB drive was didn't leave us impressed during out testing and it doesn't have anything to make it stand out in a crowded SSD market. A quick look at Newegg and we found that there are over 115 different 2.5″ SSDs available with capacities ranging from 480GB to 512GB and the ADATA Ultimate SU800 isn't listed yet. To become a standout drive you need to do really well at something and the SU800 fails to excite and that is before we even start to talk about the pricing. Our testing showed that we were able to hit 564 MB/s read and 519MB/s in the sequential benchmark (ATTO) and 83,000 IOPS read and 82,100 IOPS write (Anvil) for 4K QD32 random performance. These numbers are close to the drives rated speeds of 560/520 MB/s for sequential and 85k IOPS for random read/write performance. Our sustained write testing showed that sequential writes bottomed out at 40 MB/s and averaged 80 MB/s after the SLC buffer was full and data was being written directly to the 3D TLC NAND Flash. ADATA Ultimate SU800 2.5" SSD MSRP:
- SU800 128GB - $59.99 ($0.47 per GB)
- SU800 256GB - $79.99 ($0.31 per GB)
- SU800 512GB - $139.99 ($0.27 per GB)
- SU800 1TB - $269.99 ($0.27 per GB)