The Premier SP550 sits as ADATA’s most entry-level or value class solid state drive. With that it does have a lower cost, the 240GB version that we reviewed today is selling for $76.57 at my favorite online retailer. That puts it at $0.31 per GB, which is very affordable. Making the drive affordable meant that ADATA had to use less expensive TLC NAND. This type of NAND has less durability and performance than the typical MLC NAND that we find in most solid state drives. Now one of the most popular solid state drives to come out in the past year, the Samsung 840 Evo uses TLC NAND as well. Samsung with the help of good firmware was able to overcome the shortcomings of the TLC NAND.
ADATA on the other hand seems to not have that figured out yet. While the read scores for the drive were very respectable the sustained write scores were not at all, diving down to around 100 MB/s. This was very apparent in our AIDA64 linear write test. I also did a real world test transferring my FarCry 4 directory (31.7GB) from one SSD to the SP550 and while the transfer started out fast it eventually dropped down to the 100 MB/s barrier. If you are going to be doing sustained writes on this drive then this is the speed you should expect.
This poor performance might have to do a lot with the firmware. As we said Samsung was able to get the best performance and durability out of their TLC-based drive. Hopefully with a future firmware update ADATA can address this issue.
ADATA also adds some value with this solid state drive by providing a 7mm to 9.5mm adapter, free download of Acronis True Image HD, and their own SSD Toolbox software.
If you are not going to be doing a whole lot of writing to this drive it does have very respectable read speeds and at its price is not all that bad. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ADATA Premier SP550 240GB Solid State Drive a 7 out of 10 score.
– Solid read speeds
– ADATA has their own SSD Toolbox software
– Free copy of Acronis True Image HD
– 7mm to 9.5mm adapter included
– Some of the slowest sustained write speeds we’ve seen on an SSD