We’ve been reviewing some higher-end NVMe SSDs lately, but what about those that want to spend as little as possible and still get decent drive for their system? Today, we take a look at the brand new ADATA Swordfish PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD series that is aimed at the entirely level NVMe market! Swordfish NVMe SSDs are rated as having up to 1800 MB/s read and 1200 MB/s sequential write speeds with Random 4K read/write speeds of up to 180,000 IOPS.
Since this drive is aimed at price conscious shoppers they have made it available in capacities as small as 250GB and then in larger sizes of 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. Pricing is very aggressive on this series as the ADATA Swordfish 250GB NVMe SSD can be delivered to your door for $40 shipped.
Despite the rock bottom prices, ADATA backs the Swordfish series with a 5-year warranty! Even the endurance ratings are respectable as they are using 120 TBW written for every 250GB of storage space. This means the 1TB model has a 480 TBW rating.
The ADATA Swordfish uses the entry-level Realtek RTS5763DL controller with 96-layer BiSC4 TLC NAND Flash made by the joint venture between KIOXIA and SanDisk. Swordfish SSDs are a DRAM-less solution, so they will use the Host Memory Buffer (HMB) feature in Windows 10 to procure some of your system memory for the SSDs translation tables. This helps lower the cost of the drive, but it is slower than having dedicated DRAM directly on the SSD and will use up some of your system memory. The Swordfish also supports LDPC (Low-Density Parity-Check) error correcting code technology and AES 256-bit encryption.
ADATA sent over the Swordfish 1TB for us to test on our AMD Ryzen X570 platform. The full color retail packaging used for the Swordfish is very eye pleasing, so it should stand out to those that might be shopping in an actual retail store.
Inside the box you’ll find the Swordfish NVMe SSD and for our 1TB model there are only components on one side of the drive. This means it is a single-sided M.2 280 SSD and should fit in the fast majority of desktop motherboards or most laptops.
One of the rather unique features of the Swordfish is that it comes with an actual aluminum heatsink already applied to the drive. The metal heatsink has an artistic pattern etched in it along with the ADATA logo. This heatsink is fairly thick and the entire thickness of the drive is 3.85mm.
There are no components located on the back of the ADATA Swordfish 1TB drive, so all there is to talk about is the product label. This label contains the model number, serial number and usual regulatory information from RoHS, CE, FCC, BSMI, KC and so on.
Those that purchase the Swordfish will also be able to download the ADATA SSD Toolbox Utility and Acronis True Image HD disk migration utility. The SSD Toolbox gives you insight into SSD health and allows you to ensure it is running as good as it can be. Both of these pieces of software are free and are entirely optional.
Let’s take a look at the test system and get to the benchmarks!