A-Data S511 240GB review

The SandForce 2281 controller is faster than ever in this SSD

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A Data s511

Is it for real? Well, in many areas it is indeed superior, yes.

Read times for both compressible and incompressible data are superior, likewise for 4K random reads and writes.

The latter's especially important because it's these kind of operations that your SSD will be working on during general desktop use – accessing and creating small amounts of data across the whole drive.

It's also worth mentioning the reported burst speed with the HD Tach benchmark.

The A-Data S511 drive clocks 475 MB/s, compared to the OCZ Vertex 3's 409 MB/s. It's one of the biggest discrepancies between the two SSDs, and represents the maximum buffer of each.

Unlike the 4K random read/write performance, this won't impact noticeably on general use, but it's an indication of how differently the two drives (both controlled by that SF 2281) operate.

So which feathers does the Vertex 3 still have in its cap? Quite impressive, luxurious feathers, actually: write times.

It's especially apparent with incompressible data such as compressed images, films and music.

A-Data's otherwise speedy SSD lags behind by around 60MB/s. If you transfer a lot of this type of data between locations, the ball's still in the Vertex 3's court.

Compressible write performance is still very much the domain of OCZ's SSD.

We can only speculate about the nature of that performance gap. Maybe it's a hangover from the SF 2281's revision. Maybe write times have suffered slightly in favour of reliability.

If that's the case, we know which attribute we'd rather have. Regardless of its relative performance to the Vertex 3, the A-Data S511 is a fantastic drive.

We liked

The big one for the A-Data S511 is the relatively high 4K read and write speeds. It's this impressive performance that makes for speedy operations within the Windows environment more than any other.

As well as some impressive performance chops the S511 is also one of the cheaper SandForce 240GB drives out there. It's some £35 cheaper than the equivalent OCZ Vertex 3.

We disliked

Write times are still the domain of the OCZ Vertex 3. Copying incompressible files, like audio and video files, will take longer on the A-Data drive.

Final word

The A-Data S511 is around £35 cheaper than the equivalent OCZ Vertex 3, and for that you get a healthy, reliable and – in many ways – faster SSD.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSolid State Drive
Product Family500
Drive InterfaceSATA
Drive Width2.5"
Drive Interface StandardSATA/600
Brand NameAdata
Drive TypeInternal
Storage Capacity240 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Maximum Read Transfer Rate550 MBps
Maximum Write Transfer Rate520 MBps
Height9.5 mm
Width69.9 mm
Depth100 mm
Product Series500
ManufacturerA-DATA Technology Co., Ltd
Product ModelS511
Product Name500 Series S511 MLC Solid State Drive
Manufacturer Part NumberAS511S3-240GM-C
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.adata-group.com/uk
Marketing Information

The S511 utilizes the new generation SandForce SF-2200 series controller, with native support for the SATA 6Gb/s platform. The S511 completely brings into play the revolutionary high-speed performance of solid state drives, embracing a new world of transfer performance. With read and write speeds twice that of SSDs using the older SATA II specification, the S511 reached 550/520MB read and write speeds respectively, with 4K random write speeds as high as 60,000 IOPS in real world testing. This means transferring a 5GB video file can be completed in as few as15 seconds. In actual testing of Windows 7 boot speed, the S511 clocked an impressive 23 second system boot time, giving full satisfaction to the performance needs of power users.

Weight (Approximate)68 g