ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

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.

Real
world copy tests


I will now conduct a few real world copy
tests. In these tests I try to simulate what a real user does with their
drives. I will be coping some mp3 files, various picture files, and install MS
office.

I should point out that this is not a
scientific way of measuring performance. These timings were taken with a stop watch;
I have however ensured that the reading drive is well able to supply a data stream
to our writing drive, which is high enough not to be slowing down the
performance of the writing drive. The source drive will be the Crucial M4.

I will once again be comparing the obtained
results with our comparison drives, and will present the results in the form of
graphs.


Copy tests – 259 MP3 song files (1.36GB total)

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

An acceptable result for the ADATA SP900
SSD.

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

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

In this test the result is impressive.


Windows start-up and closedown

For these tests, I simply used a stop watch
and tested the amount of time taken for a full installation of Windows 7 to
boot to the desktop, and then timed how long it took for Windows 7 to close
down by the normal start menu method. From now I will also be adding the time
what Windows logs on the even viewer for start-up and shutdown.

The timing was started once the BIOS had
initialised and reached the “loading OS message”.

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review
Windows 7 boot time

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review
Windows 7 shutdown

Excellent result on the shutdown test but slightly
slower than the next drive that uses asynchronous NAND, again I am sure that in
daily use no one will notice the difference.

Event Viewer Logs


First Shutdown

The next two screen shots were taken after I’d
installed all the drivers and all the software that I use every day. Below are
the results.

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

Used
state boot time.

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

Used
state shutdown

In the log that the event viewer holds, we
can get a better idea of how much time it takes for the drive to boot and
shutdown.

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 an Crucial
M4 256GB SSD. 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 Professional (full install)

Now let’s see
how the ADATA SP900 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 Crucial M4
SSD and the Crucial M4 was used as a source drive for the installation of MS
Office 2007.

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

This
is an excellent result.


Speed degradation after heavy testing

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

I will run an AS SSD benchmark test when
the OS if freshly installed so that we can get a good view on how the drive
performs with the OS. after that I will fill the drive up to 50% of its capacity
and 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% of its capacity, and 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 and see how the drive
will perform.

 

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review
First run with the OS
ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

With
the drive filled 50%

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

Now
the performance when the drive is 90% full

ADATA SP900 128GB SSD Review

And
finally the drive with only the OS and some everyday applications.

After a week with everyday use I would say
that the drive clearly shows some good performance, not only in respect of the numbers,
but also with regard to restoring the drive to its original performance. The
only negative is the asynchronous NAND that slows down the performance, but
that’s something to expect from a drive that is not aiming for the enthusiast
market.

 

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