AMD is taking another stab at the SSD storage market with its second line of Radeon brand drives to date. The new Radeon R3 (opens in new tab) series follows the 2014 launch of AMD’s Radeon R7 SSDs, which at the time were aimed at the performance segment. A lot has changed in the past two years, and though the rated performance metrics are similar, the Radeon R3 line will appeal more to users looking to strike a balance between value and raw speed.
The lowest capacity option in the Radeon R3 line is 120GB (SSDR3L120G). It features sequential read and write speeds of up to 520MB/s and 360MB/s respectively. Both the 240GB (SSDR3SL240G) and 480GB (SSDR3SL480G) models also boast up to 520MB/s of sequential read performance, but up the sequential write ante to 470MB/s. As for the most capacious drive of the bunch, a 960GB model (SSDR3SL960G), it’s rated to deliver sequential reads of up to 510MB/s and writes up to 450MB/s.
These are all SATA 6Gbps SSDS in the 2.5-inch, 7mm form factor. They’re manufactured and warrantied by a company called Galt Inc., though they share several similarities with Adata's Premier SP550 SSDs. Both AMD’s Radeon R3 and Adata's Premier SP550 use a Silicon Motion MM2256-based controller and triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash memory, and the performance ratings are fairly close, though Adata's drives feature higher write performance (save for the 960GB model). They're also comparable in performance to Samsung's 840 Evo SSDs, which are now old news, having been replaced by the superior 850 Evo line in December 2014.
Three of AMD’s new SSDs are currently listed on Amazon at the following price points:
- 120GB: $41 (opens in new tab) (around 34 cents per gigabyte)
- 240GB: $80 (opens in new tab) (around 33 cents per gigabyte)
- 480GB: $137 (opens in new tab) (around 29 cents per gigabyte)
The 960GB model isn't yet listed, though if AMD wants to remain competitive, it would be wise to drop the price per gigabyte to below 29 cents. There are several 960GB SSDs with near equal or faster write speeds (some topping 500MB/s) in the $200 to $250 range. At 29 cents per gigabyte, a 960GB model would run $278. With the 1TB class competition starting as low as $200 (opens in new tab), the AMD R3 SSDs are more about branding than bang for the buck.