A-Data's long awaited S501 SATA 6Gb/sec SSDs have finally broken cover, bringing impressive read speeds to the 2.5in form factor thanks to a Marvell controller and speedy multi-level cell NAND flash.
The drives, which are available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, include 128MB of DDR3 cache and are clearly aimed at the high end of the market - in case the inclusion of a speedy SATA 6Gb/sec interface wasn't enough of a clue in that regard.
As you would expect, A-Data has tried to take full advantage of the increase in data transfer capabilities offered by the SATA 6Gb/sec interface, pushing the Toshiba MLC NAND chips to their limit via the Marvell-based controller and offering speeds of 480MB/sec read and 310MB/sec write - although the company warns that these figures will suffer if the drive is connected to a SATA 3Gb/sec controller.
While the speeds quoted by A-Data don't come anywhere near the impressive capabilities of PCI Express-based SSDs such as the OCZ RevoDrive X2
, which can reach 740MB/s, they're impressive nonetheless - and come from a standard 2.5in form factor device which includes full support for performance-enhancing TRIM technology.
Although UK pricing hasn't yet been confirmed, European pricing is set at €170 for the 64GB, €259 for the 128GB, €489 for the 256GB, and €1099 for the top-end 512GB model - which translates to around £144, £220, £415, and £923 respectively, excluding VAT.
Do you think that A-Data's latest SSD range looks promising, or is the pricing way off? Have you been waiting for SATA 6Gb/s to make an appearance before jumping on the SSD bandwagon? Share your thoughts over in the forums