Adata’s newest SSD is a reminder that not all M.2 drives are created equal

(Image credit: Adata)

In recent weeks, there have been a handful of new M.2 SSD announcements for drives that leverage the PCI Express 4.0 bus for much faster speeds. Manufacturers have touted sequential read speeds in the neighborhood of 5,000MB/s, but Adata's new Ultimate SU650 in M.2 digs is not one of them, and likely will never compete for the best NVMe SSD crown.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but Adata's decision to port its value-oriented Ultimate SU650 over to the M.2 form factor serves as a reminder that not all M.2 SSDs are blazing fast, nor are they even all NVMe drives. This one, for example, is a SATA drive.

M.2 SSDs are the ones that are shaped like a stick of gum. The faster ones sport an NVMe interface, though even among NVMe drives, performance can vary wildly. As with the new Ultimate SU650 M.2, these drives can also come in SATA form, with a lower performance ceiling.

In this case, Adata says its Ultimate SU650 M.2 SSDs are rated to deliver up to 550MB/s of sequential read performance and up to 510MB/s of sequential write performance. Adata also notes that the metrics can vary by capacity, and unfortunately the link to a related datasheet that would presumably list it all out is dead at the moment.

Those speeds are obviously much slower than the recent crop of PCIe 4.0 SSDs, but the best SSD for gaming is not necessarily one that cranks along at 5,000MB/s. Strictly for gaming, SATA SSDs are still good enough.

These drives leverage 3D triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash memory chips, a surefire indicator of the value segment. It's not clear what the endurance rating looks like, which is something else that would likely be revealed in a datasheet.

Adata is offering these drives in three capacities: 480GB for $69.99, 240GB for $49.99, and 120GB for $29.99. They are backed by a three-year warranty.

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).