AData S511 – It's not enough to enter High-End class

6/25/2012 9:26:50 AM

AData's S511 is the firm's high-end drive, and to deliver high-end performance, the firm has turned to the familiar Sandforce 2281 controller, the chip that powers some of the fastest drives around, and one that aims to knock the Marvell 88SS9174 off its perch.

Description: AData S511

It's partnered by familiar MLC memory modules, and little about the specification of the S511 proves to be a surprise but, nevertheless, the AData SSD is one of the most expensive here, at $2.208 per gigabyte or $494.4 for 240GB. The Patriot Pyro SE costs more per gigabyte, at $2.32, but its 120GB capacity means a total price of just $259.2.

In practice, though, the S511 lagged behind several of this month's faster drives. A large file write score of 500.9MB/s was its only competitive result in our standard file benchmarks: its 301,4MB/s large file read score pales in comparison to the 320MB/S of the Corsair, for instance, and its small file write benchmark result of 157.7MB/s is poor when compared to the 196.9MB/s speed of the Plextor M3 Pro.

There was little joy for the AData in the third- party AS SSD tests either. Its sequential write score of 1 56.13MB/S was the worst second only to the Patriot Pyro SE at the bottom of our benchmark table - the Corsair Performance Pro, by way of contrast, ran through the same benchmark at 413.85MB/S.

The AData's 490.83MB/S result in the AS SSD sequential read test is closer to rivals but, again, other drives are faster - the Plextor M3 Pro scored 492.25MB/S in the same benchmark. And in the 4K read test the S511 scored 20.87MB/S, with the Corsair running through the same test at 24.76MB/S and the M3 Pro proving even faster with a 27.1 MB/s result.

Our final set of benchmarks, in testing suite PCMark 7, also saw the AData falling behind rivals. Its video editing score of 21.72MB/s is the slowest on test, with the Corsair scoring 21.79MB/S in the same benchmark, and its games loading score of 15.91 MB/s is also slower than the competition. Only in the picture importing test did the AData improve its performance, but its 19.65MB/s pace still isn't the best on test - that honour goes to the Kingston HyperX and its 19.8MB/S result.

The S511 doesn't stand out in other areas either. Its accessory pack includes a 2.5" to 3.5" bracket, for easy PC installation, and drive migration software - the bare minimum we'd expect, and something that's included with most of this month's SSDs. If you're after a drive with an extensive selection of accessories, the Kingston Hyper X is the best here.

The relatively poor performance would be excusable in a cheaper drive but, at £1.38 per gigabyte and costing $494.4 for 240GB, the AData is the priciest SSD here. At this end of the market, mediocre benchmark results are inexusable.

If you're after a high-end SSD, then, don't look towards the AData S511. It's poor value and not quick enough. Instead, the Corsair and Plextor offerings are much quicker, and cheaper, options.

Description: ADATA's S511 uses the SATA 6 Gbps interface

ADATA's S511 uses the SATA 6 Gbps interface



240GB (223GB formatted)


$494.4, $2.208 per gigabyte




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