ADATA Ultimate SU800 256GB SSD review

Posted 04 December 2016 10:34 CEST by Antonis Sapanidis

It has become clear that simply conducting endless benchmarks on SSD drives is pointless. Real users may run a few benchmarks when they first fit their SSD drive, but most users just want a drive that performs well in the real world. They want their drive to work "out of the box" and work fast and smoothly.

Most of the latest SSD drives can deliver very fast sustained reading and writing speeds, but these alone tell you very little about how the drive will perform in the real world.

If you intend to use your SSD as your primary system drive, with an operating system and applications installed and running from the drive, real world performance becomes much more important than just fast sequential read and write speeds, in this case I felt that it was time to move into a different method of testing.

From now on I will only use the log files from the Event Viewer to measure the start-up and shutdown of the system, and also use filecopy to measure all my copy tests from a RAM disk to the selected storage drive that I will be testing. For these tests I will also enable all power savings features that are available, since I believe that this is the way that the majority of the users will have them set on their PC.

Real world copy tests


I will now conduct some real world copy tests so that you can have a much better view of how the drive will perform. In these simple tests I try to simulate what a real user does with their drives. I will be copying some mp3 files, various picture and MKV files, and finishing by installing MS Office 2007.

As I said earlier from now on all my test files will be stored in a RAM disk and copied/pasted to the destination drive using filecopy. The filecopy utility will be used from now on for all my tests, and I’ll be using it this way to measure the time that it takes to copy the files.

Before I move on to the test, I want to give you an idea on how fast your RAM is. Below you can find the results.

As we can clearly see speed isn’t going to be an issue in these tests.

Read write tests – 259 MP3 song files (1.36GB total)

I will start this set of tests by copying 259 MP3 files from the RAM disk to the destination SSD and also from the SSD to the RAM disk.

Less than three seconds for both read and write is an impressive result.

Read write tests – 3,377 JPEG picture files (2.56GB total)

Continuing my set of tests, but this time I will be copying 2.54GB of pictures that are stored in the RAM disk to the currently testing SSD and vice versa.

With various small files the ADATA SU800 again gave an impressive result, less than eight seconds for both read and write tasks.

Read write tests – 1 MKV and 1 SRT file (3.46GB)

Copying a movie is very common task for all of us, and in this test there are two files that will be copied from the RAM disk to the SSD and again from the SSD to the RAM disk.

Copying large files should not be an issue for the ADATA SU800 256GB SSD.

Read write tests – ISO (7927MB)

For this test, I copied ISO of the 'Iron Man' movie from the RAMDisk to the SSD and vice versa.

Again the result is very good.

Read write tests – Small files (533MB)

I have decided to adapt the very small files test that I am using as part of my USB3 flash tests, so this time I will be also copying all the files from the RAM disk to the SSD, and again from the SSD to the RAM disk.

In the event that you need to copy 48,128 files that are a few kilobytes each the ADATA SU800 256GB SSD won't disappoint you.


Windows start-up based on the Boot Racer 5.00

Start-up time

On the next screen shot you can compare the current tested SSD and compare it to other drives that I have tested. Below I present the results.

Boot time is also very good for the ADATA SU800 SSD, and 27.1 seconds is an excellent result. Keep in mind that over time the boot time will change.

Installing applications


Installing applications is possibly something you don't do that often. But should you replace your system disk, then you will most likely have to re-install your applications. Most of the SSD drives I have tested up until now are quite slow at installing applications, most likely because their I/O performance was quite limited.

For these tests, we picked some popular applications and copied the entire contents of the CD or DVD media to the RAM disk. We did this to make sure that the reading speed of our CD/DVD reader would not hamper the performance of the target drive.

We then installed these applications onto our comparison HDD drives, which were all running mirror image installations of our Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installation, and timed the amount of time taken to install the application with a stopwatch on each of the drives.

MS Office 2007 Enterprise (full install)

Now let’s see how the ADATA SU800 256GB SSD performs with the installation of MS Office 2007 Enterprise Edition.

The procedure followed was very simple. I copied all the files from the CD to the RAM disk and used the virtual drive as a source for the installation files.

 

114 seconds is all the time that the ADATA SU800 needed to install Office 2007.


Speed degradation after heavy testing

On this page I will measure how the SSD performs after heavy testing and usage.

I will run an AS SSD benchmark test when the OS is freshly installed so that we can get a good view of how the drive performs with the OS. After that I will fill the drive up to 50% of its capacity, use the drive for a few days, and then re-run the AS SSD benchmark. The same procedure will be followed once again, but this time the drive will be filled close to 90% or higher of its capacity. To finish this test, I will simply delete all the extra data and leave the PC idle for a few hours so that the controller has the time to perform any necessary cleaning, then see how the drive performs.

In this picture you can see the test files that I will be copying to fill the drive with data, as you can see files vary from 8GB ISOs to very small text files.

In the picture below you will find all the applications that were installed for this test using Ninite, and I have also installed Microsoft Office 2007.

Now let’s start our tests.

 

This is the first run of AS SSD, right after the fresh installation of Windows 10 Professional and with all the default settings. The result is very good.

It is crystal clear that the ADATA SU800 SSD does not like to have less than 4GB of free space, as it shown from the above result. So I would either leave some unallocated space on the drive to be used as over-provisioning or avoid filling the drive to its maximum capacity.

After deleting a lot of the extra files and leaving the drive to idle for almost 20 minutes, we can see that the results are starting to go up, but here there is a lot of room for improvement.

With all the extra files deleted, and allowing it to run idle for a few minutes the results are slightly higher but not consistent. Maybe a future firmware update will solve this.

Write Speed test

At this moment I would like to say HD Tune write speed test was the very first test that I ran on this drive right after I got it out of the box, and from looking at the result it was obvious that it wouldn’t be very difficult to push it to its limits.

It is clear that the ADAT SU800 256GB SSD can be a very slow drive once its cache is used, so writing large files for a long period of time is not recommended.

During my real world tests I needed to copy a lot of files, and noticed that the drive will reach maximum write speeds of 45MB/Sec to 60MB/sec when copying large files. Below is a screen-shot that I took during the copying of various files from one folder to another, on the same drive.

This concludes our review. To read the final thoughts and conclusion, click the link below....

 

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