ADATA on Thursday introduced its first lineup of SSDs powered by 3D MLC NAND flash memory. The XPG SX8000 drives promise up to 2.4 GB/s read speed as well as the enhanced reliability of 3D NAND.

ADATA’s XPG SX8000 lineup of SSDs will include 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB configurations, offering different levels of performance at different price points. The drives are based on Silicon Motion’s SM2260 controller (which sports two ARM Cortex cores, has eight NAND flash channels, LDPC ECC technology, 256-bit AES support and so on) and 3D MLC NAND flash from an unknown manufacturer (IMFT is the most likely supplier, but SK Hynix is a possible supplier as well). The drives come in M.2-2280 form-factor and use PCIe 3.0 x4 interface.

The manufacturer rates XPG SX8000’s sequential read performance at up to 2400 MB/s and its write performance at up to 1000 MB/s when pseudo-SLC caching is used. As for random performance, the new drives can deliver up to 100K/140K 4KB read/write IOPS.  It is important to note that the 128 GB model is considerably slower than other SKUs in the family and the drive needs 512 GB configuration to demonstrate all the capabilities of the SM2260 controller.

ADATA XPG SX8000 Specifications
Capacity 128 GB 256 GB 512 GB 1 TB
Model Number ASX8000NP-128GM-C ASX8000NP-256GM-C ASX8000NP-512GM-C ASX8000NP-
Controller Silicon Motion SM2260
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.2
Sequential Read 1000 MB/s 2000 MB/s 2400 MB/s
Sequential Write 300 MB/s 600 MB/s 1000 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 45K IOPS 80K IOPS 100K IOPS
Random Write IOPS 75K IOPS 130K IOPS 140K IOPS
Pseudo-SLC Caching Supported
DRAM Buffer Yes, capacity unknown
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Management DevSleep, Slumber
Warranty 5 years
MTBF 2,000,000 hours
MSRP Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Since the SX8000 SSDs belong to ADATA’s flagship XPG lineup, the company ships such drives with a five-year warranty. Moreover, thanks to improved reliability of 3D NAND compared to traditional planar NAND made using ultra-small process technology, the manufacturer also rates the XPG SX8000 for two million hours MTBF, 0.5 million (or 33%) higher compared to previous-gen XPG SSDs.

For several years, Samsung has been the only supplier of high-end SSDs based on 3D MLC NAND flash memory, offering high performance and improved reliability. Recently companies like IMFT started mass production of their 3D NAND for SSDs and independent makers of drives can now release their own SSDs featuring 3D MLC flash. Being one of the largest suppliers of NAND-based storage devices, ADATA is naturally among the first to offer advanced SSDs powered by 3D MLC with its XPG SX8000 family. But what is noteworthy is that last month Micron (which co-owns IMFT with Intel) decided to cancel its 3D MLC/SM2260-based Crucial Ballistix TX3 M.2 SSDs for an undisclosed reason. As a result, ADATA gets to join a rather exclusive club of non-Samsung M.2 NVMe drive vendors. Unfortuantely however, prices have yet to be announced, so we'll have to see if (and by how much) ADATA pushes prices below what Toshiba and Samsung have been charging for their own M.2 NVMe SSDs.

Finally, along with today's release, ADATA is also prepping an upgraded version of the XPG SX8000 due in late October, which will feature increased performance. The upcoming SSDs are primarily geared towards desktop users and will require a heatsink, making them incompatible with the vast majority of notebooks.

Source: ADATA

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  • eek2121 - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    I use an ADATA budget SSD for my steam drive. It works fairly well, except random performance can suck sometimes (though I'm using it in a USB 3.0 enclosure, so that might be part of it). That being said, if ADATA can bring solid pricing to the M.2 market they might have a decent offering. However, right now, Samsung has a few awesome offerings that will make it very hard for ADATA to compete unless they compromise on price.
  • Meteor2 - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    'the manufacturer also rates the XPG SX8000 for two million hours MTBF, 0.5 million (or 25%) higher compared to previous-gen XPG SSDs.' -- that's actually 33% higher.
  • Chaitanya - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    eagerly waiting for review, especially with Samsung having recently announced their new 960 series of NVME SSDs.
  • milli - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    "But what is noteworthy is that last month Micron (which co-owns IMFT with Intel) decided to cancel its 3D MLC/SM2260-based Crucial Ballistix TX3 M.2 SSDs for an undisclosed reason."

    Pretty obvious that the reason is performance. It seems that the SM2260 is slowest of the bunch. Barely faster than the two year old Marvell 88SS9293. The SM2260 is not really meant for the high end. I wonder why anyone would chose it over the Phison PS5007-E7.
  • ddriver - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    5 years warranty sounds good, but "them speeds" are more akin TLC than MLC. Not that sequential performance are a critical factor, not at those levels anyway, and it could make up on random access, which samsung ain't too great at despite their high sequential transfer rates.

    The market needs competition, there are plenty of "competitors" but in reality samsung is like 50% of the market, pretty much dominating even in the presence of big boys like intel.
  • AnandReader1999 - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    The reason Samsung dominates is because their performance is way higher. These ADATA chips can't even compete with the old 950 line M.2 chips (non-oem).
  • Gondalf - Monday, October 3, 2016 - link

    Still Samsung is only 35% in revenue, looking at units sold and silicon utilized they are worse than others, for example worse than Intel and Toshiba in fact they have a better utilization of involved silicon wafers.
    It is not all gold in Samsung house, and now they have a lot of new contenders in 3D drivers. Only OEM final prices will say who will be the winner in upcoming years.
    One thing is almost certain, their 3D NAND tech is not the denser of the market and this could give big problems in the upcoming price war. V-NAND is a bit faster but right now is a disaster in number of layers needed to be on pair with competitors.
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    Did ADATA release write endurance numbers as far as TBs written? A straight MTBF is kind of useless on a SSD, seeing as it's writing to the flash hat typically kills them, not run time.

    Also, as a side note, has anyone noticed the ads on Anandtech get hilariously bad lately? They're not even close to being tech related.Revcontent seems to think your audience is interested in one weird old trick to "restore" 20/20 vision(they inserted the quote marks, not me).
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    FYI: Endurance is a useless number on SSDs these days. Don't worry about endurance, because unless you're using a consumer-drive for enterprise workloads (ie: 24/7 heavy I/O) then the drive's warranty will be out far before NAND endurance causes data loss.

    These days, the best indicator of the actual use-life of the drive is the manufacturer's warranty time. They carefully pick this number to have warranty end, given average workloads and usage, so that the vast majority (~90%) of customers still have working drives before the warranty ends.
  • AnandReader1999 - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    These are most definitely NOT high end Nvme M.2 sticks. They are for ADATA but not for the market. The Samsung 960 M.2 line absolutely crush these. These are not even a match for last years 950 line M.2. They are definitely superior to any M.2 stick that uses a SATA controller chip or any SATA SSD. Of course they will need to be priced in between an SSD SATA 6.0 Gbs drive and a true Nvme M.2. If they are smart they should be priced very close to the Sata drives and it will steal that market share.

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