SSD-drive ADATA Premier SP550: Rehabilitation of SM2256

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The new generation of ultrabudgetary drives based on thee-bit flash memory, continues to attack the lower segment of the SSD market. Another TLC-novelty is recently released by ADATA – a company that is renowned for its love of the exotic, but not devoid of appeal solutions.

It is not so difficult to guess what controller is used at the heart of ADATA Premier SP550. It’s enough to look at the modern line of ADATA products and remember that all of its current offers are based on the platforms developed by JMicron and Silicon Motion. Of the two of these producers, only Silicon Motion is capable of producing controller working with TLC NAND, so there is no doubt that the Premier SP550 – SSD is based on the chip SM2256.

This means that the Premier SP550 can be regarded as a follower of Premier SP610 – a very successful drive based on the previous controller of the same developer, SM2246EN. However, ADATA company has no plans to take SP610 off the production. Novelty is a standalone product, which, according to marketers, is to defend the company’s position in the lower price segment. Thus, the approach to the promotion of ADATA Premier SP550 more robust than those of competitors, which replace their old cost MLC-based SSD memory with the new TLC NAND. In other words, the company is not trying to mislead consumers and does not give a TLC-drive for a worthy replacement of existing low-end models of SSD, and explicitly declares that the proposal is of even lower class.

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At the same time in terms of the hardware platform, Premier SP550 is similar to the Crucial BX200 which has recently appeared on market, also based on the TLC-memory and the same controller SM2256. However, it is not quite fair to carry out clear parallels between the ADATA Premier SP550 and Crucial BX200. Yes, both of these drives are based on the same basic chip of Silicon Motion authorship, but all the rest of them are different. The Crucial product has 16-nm TLC-memory Micron, and ADATA drive uses rarely used TLC-memory by SK Hynix company with Toggle-interface, also available at the 16-nm process technology. In addition, the difference between these SSD is in firmware too: for BX200 in its development were engaged Crucial’s own engineers, and ADATA Premier SP550 applies developments of controller developers.

As a result, in the face of ADATA Premier SP550 we got quite distinctive solution, the characteristics of which are not similar to those declared to the new budget SSD by Crucial. And if we really started to compare the Premier SP550 with a close solution by Crucial, here it should be noted that the ADATA promises a drive with higher reading speed. It inspires cautious optimism as the claim to Crucial BX200 occurred in this respect. As for the recording speed, the novelty by ADATA is a little smaller, but it is hardly particularly worry about it. Indeed, in the case of SSD, stuffed with TLC NAND, these numbers do not refer to the basic array of flash memory, and to the SLC-cache, and because they have little to do with real performance experienced by users.

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SSD-drive ADATA Premier SP550: Rehabilitation of SM2256 updated: January 29, 2016 author: Darina