A-Data S511 240GB review

The SandForce 2281 controller is faster than ever in this SSD

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Our Verdict

The fastest read times available on the market, let down slightly by write speeds

For

  • Revised controller
  • Quickest read times
  • Competitive price

Against

  • Uncompetitive writes

Hello, A-Data S511. What's that? You can read and write at over 500 MB/s? Why, that's quicker than a spelling bee champion on MDMA. In fact, in both synthetic and real-world benchmarks, this solid state drive (SSD) is quicker than OCZ's similarly SandForce 2281-controlled OCZ Vertex 3.

The SandForce 2200-Series controller is at the same time a light-bringer and harbinger of doom.

The read/write speeds it offers are staggering, and verge dangerously near the SATA 3 port's maximum throughput of 600 MB/s.

Not only does the SSD deliver great performance to you in PC user land, it puts pressure on manufacturers to deliver a faster, better interface.

That performance and promise is laced with unreliability, underperformance and – at worst – data loss.

Corsair was left red-faced after being forced to recall its Force 3 series SSDs, respectively. It all stinks a bit of Intel's B3 revision fiasco, and has probably put some enthusiasts off the SandForce 2200 series permanently.

Which is a shame. Now the controller issue's been identified and remedied via firmware and hardware revisions, we can once again focus on that jaw-dropping performance.

And since the OCZ Vertex 3 has been the pace setter for all SSDs until now, the A-Data S511's performance is sure to raise some eyebrows.

EDIT In a previous version of this article we wrongly stated OCZ had recalled it's SandForce-powered SSDs, in fact although it had similar-looking bugs its problems were amended within days via firmware updates.

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