ADATA SX300 128GB mSATA SSD Reviewairman -
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to review an SSD by ADATA. the ADATA SX900 128GB. That drive offered excellent performance at a price point just above $100 — a worthy substitute to a more expensive drive that achieves similar results. Today in the spotlight is the younger sister to the ADATA SX900 series drives. Instead of using strictly SATA, ADATA has developed this device to provide a product for which people can finally dust off their mSATA ports and play with them for a while. The ADATA SX300 120GB is an mSATA hard drive, which provides a super easy way to add extra storage to your laptop or motherboard that supports it.
This review will feature a complete evaluation of the ADATA SX300 128GB mSATA SSD. I will review its physical appearance, cover its hardware, and present its performance results from a wide range of synthetic hard drive benchmarking tools. These results will provide a comparison between its performance and how it compares to other drives. I like the idea of mSATA because adding a second hard drive to a laptop or adding a caching drive on your desktop is super easy and can take as little as 30 seconds to install. In this review, I will be using it as a system drive operating on Windows 7. Let's get started first by taking a look at the drive, its packaging, its hardware.
Not unlike the packaging for the ADATA SX900, the ADATA SX300 is housed in a blue and black box that has a window in the front to allow the new or potential owner to see the drive. The ADATA logo is at the top and a hummingbird is on the left side of the front face. To the right of the hummingbird is the drive's model number (SX300), that it is SATA 6Gb/s, and that is has an mSATA interface. On the bottom right of the front face is an icon that says Norton Internet Security is free for 60 days and that it comes with a 3-year warranty. The rear of the box says the same thing in more than a dozen languages, as well as "Built-in ECC and Wear-Leveling technology / Compatible with Serial ATA (SATA) specification / Applicable to Intel Smart Response Technology". Other than that, the company's website is listed and a barcode/serial number is printed on the back as well.
The only thing inside of the box is a plastic tray that contains the drive itself. I should have put something for scale in the picture, but the drive is about 3cm tall by about 5cm in width (standard to mSATA devices). Taking a close look at the drive, I see that it's a rather simple piece of equipment — not too much more than a really fancy flash drive. The only thing that sets it apart is its 6Gb/s capability, allowing it to have transfer speeds over 500MB/s, both read and write. There are two memory chips per side of the PCB, meaning that these chips are 32GB a piece — wow! However, there is no indication on them as to their brand or manufacturer's name. We find a SandForce controller under the warranty sticker (the SF-2281VB1-SDC to be exact). SandForce appears in many other high end drives that provide some great numbers.
Now that I have taken a close look at the drive and its packaging, we can now move onto its Specifications & Features. After this, I will begin testing and sharing these results.