Adata's new SSDs are reminders that not all fast drives have to utilize PCIe 4.0

(Image credit: Adata)

Adata is launching an "ultra-fast" solid state drive line, though contrary to what you might expect from that kind of descriptor, the company is not utilizing the PCI Express 4.0 bus for these latest drives. Instead, the new XPG SX8100 still leverages the PCIe 3.0 bus, joining the increasing number of NVMe SSDs.

That is not necessarily a bad thing. Assuming the rated specs are anywhere near the real-world performance, these SX8100 drives should be plenty fast for the vast majority of tasks, gaming included.

As to the actual numbers, Adata is claiming sequential read performance of up to 3,300MB/s and sequential write performance of up to 3,000MB/s. Looking over the datasheet (PDF), it appears Adata is plucking the fastest figures based on a variety of benchmarks. Here's a look...

(Image credit: Adata)

Based on Adata's own testing, ATTO and CrystalDiskMark return the highest sequential read numbers, while the latter offers the best sequential write figures. Other SSD makers probably do the same thing, but at least in this case, Adata is being transparent about how the numbers were obtained.

Adata says "every component on the SX8100 has passed meticulous screening, testing, and certification." You can see in the chart above what the endurance rating is for each capacity offered, including 2TB, 1TB, and 512GB. All three drives come with a 5-year warranty. 1280TB over five years for the 2TB model? That works out to 701GB per day, as in, never going to happen in the real world.

Pricing will be key, and unfortunately Adata has not yet provided MSRPs for these drives. The speed ratings are comparable to Samsung's 970 Evo Plus family. Current pricing for those drives on Amazon is $479.97 for 2TB, $218.95 for 1TB (down from $249.99), and $109.99 for 500GB (down from $129.99).

That said, the best SSD for gaming does not have to be a wicked-fast one. Even a SATA-based drive is sufficient. There are also many affordable NVMe SSDs out there, such as Crucial's P1—the 1TB model sells for $99.99 on Amazon. Speeds are slower, but still fast overall at 2,000MB/s (reads) and 1,700MB/s (writes).

To an extent, Adata is also competing with itself. It's XPG SX8200 Pro drives (which recently added a 2TB model) are only slightly faster on paper, at 3,500MB/s for reads and the same 3,000MB/s metric for writes. Current street pricing for those runs $289.99 for 2TB (down from $329.99), $129.99 for 1TB (down from $219.99), and $69.99 for 512GB.

To be clear, Adata is not thumbing its nose at PCIe 4.0. The company's XPG Gammix S50 drives fall into that category, currently priced at $459.99 for 2TB and $229.99 for 1TB. Those are rated to deliver up to 5,000MB/s of sequential read performance and up to 4,400MB/s of sequential write performance.

It's not clear when exactly the XPG SX8100 series will be available.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).