At the 2TB capacity, Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro is a highly competitive SSD that trades blows with Samsung’s finest. For the price, it is a solid pick.

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12/20/2019 Update: We’ve updated this article with new testing for the 2TB XPG SX8200 Pro on page 4.

12/15/2019 Update: We’ve updated this article with new testing for the 512GB XPG SX8200 Pro on page 2.

Original Review published 2/12/2019:

One of the best SSDs you can buy, Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro, is designed for gamers, overclockers, and video content producers. The drive features speeds of up to 3.5 / 3 GBps of read/write throughput and power efficiency that outclasses any other SSD we’ve tested, making the SX8200 Pro the performance leader out of the gate. The black XPG heat spreader makes it an even ‘cooler’ buy. Best of all, the SX8200 Pro’s pricing undercuts the Samsung 970 EVO and PRO, as well as many other competitors. As of publication time, the 1TB model was selling for just $117 on Amazon (opens in new tab) (after you click a coupon button).

Jam-packed with Micron’s 64L 3D TLC, Adata’s SX8200 Pro is nearly identical to the SX8200 and GAMMIX S11 we reviewed previously, except this time around the SSD comes armed with the new SMI SM2262EN controller that is a significant upgrade over the previous-gen SM2262.

The controller brings higher performance and better efficiency thanks to an improved data path and firmware enhancements. It also supports the NVMe 1.3 spec and comes with end-to-end data protection, a RAID Engine, and LDPC ECC to maintain data integrity over time. The drive also leverages SLC caching, which helps improve performance beyond the native TLC write performance.

Specifications

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ProductXPG SX8200 Pro 256GBXPG SX8200 Pro 512GBXPG SX8200 Pro 1TBXPG SX8200 Pro 2TBPricing$74.99$114.99$219.99N/ACapacity (User / Raw)256GB / 256GB512GB / 512GB1024GB / 1024GB2048GB / 2048GBForm FactorM.2 2280 D5M.2 2280 D5M.2 2280 D5M.2 2280 D5Interface / ProtocolPCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3ControllerSMI SM2262ENSMI SM2262ENSMI SM2262ENSMI SM2262ENDRAMNANYA DDR3NANYA DDR3NANYA DDR3NANYA DDR3MemoryMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLCMicron 64-Layer TLCSequential Read3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/sSequential Write1,200 MB/s2,300 MB/s3,000 MB/s3,000 MB/sRandom Read220,000 IOPS390,000 IOPS390,000 IOPS390,000 IOPSRandom Write290,000 IOPS380,000 IOPS380,000 IOPS380,000 IOPSEncryptionN/AN/AN/AN/AEndurance160 TBW320 TBW640 TBWN/APart NumberASX8200PNP-256GT-CASX8200PNP-512GT-CASX8200PNP-1TT-CN/AWarranty5-Years5-Years5-Years5-Years

The SX8200 Pro model doesn’t have as much over-provisioning as its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean less performance. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. The new SM2262EN controller powers the SX8200 Pro up to 3. 5/ 3GBps of throughput in sequential read/write workloads. As per usual, performance varies based on the capacity of the drive, with write performance being slower on the smaller models. The SX8200 Pro also provides up to 390K/380K random read/write IOPS.

Adata makes the Pro in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB models. At publication time, U.S. prices came in around $0.11-13 cents per GB for the 512,  1TB, and 2TB models, while the 256GB retails for a much-higher $0.19 cents.

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ProductTBWDWPDWarrantyAdata XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB6400.355Intel SSD 660p 1TB2000.115Corsair Force MP510 960GB17000.935Samsung 970 PRO 1TB12000.665Adata XPG GAMMIX S11/SX8200 960GB6400.355Samsung 860/970 EVO 1TB6000.335WD Black 1TB6000.335WD Blue 3D 1TB4000.373Crucial MX500 1TB3600.25

The SX8200 Pro wouldn’t be a pro model SSD without a Pro-class warranty, so Adata added a lengthy five-year warranty paired with an endurance rating that spans up to 640TBW (terabytes written) for the 1TB model. Other new SSDs with Phison’s E12 controller do offer more endurance, but the Pro’s rating it is still plenty for the average gamer or PC enthusiast.

SMI also turned its eye to improving power consumption with its new SM2262EN controller. An improved data path helps boot performance, but other enhancements focus on delivering the same or better performance within a more efficient power envelope. The SX8200 Pro supports multiple NVMe low power states and has an active rating of just 0.33W. It also has a slumber rating of just 0.14W.

Software

Product support wouldn’t be complete without a software package, right? Like others, Adata provides an SSD Toolbox as a download, which can be used to monitor the drive and perform firmware upgrades. Additionally, you can download Acronis True Image HD, a drive cloning software, to help you clone over your existing data to your new drive.

A Closer Look

The XPG SX8200 Pro comes in an M.2 2280 form factor and uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface to connect to the host system. Aesthetically, the SX8200 Pro is quite appealing. It features a black PCB and even a stick-on heat spreader that improve looks but also helps dissipate heat a bit more efficiently.

The 1TB model we’re testing has components on both sides of the PCB, meaning it is double-sided and a bit thicker than the Samsung 970 EVO. The SM2262EN uses a DRAM cache to help maintain a steady level of performance. The drive has two DRAM emplacements, one on each side, that total 1GB, complemented by four Micron 64L 3D TLC NAND emplacements. After formatting, the 1TB SX8200 Pro exposes 953GB of usable capacity.

Best of the year 2019 BugIt’s a rare thing to find a solid-state drive (SSD), whether M.2 or Serial ATA, that truly stands out from the pack these days. As drive makers have gotten better and better at manufacturing storage devices that are faster and more reliable than ever, the gap in price and performance between the bottom tier and high end of the SSD spectrum has narrowed from a canyon to a crack. That’s why it’s nice when drives like the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro come along. This PCI Express NVMe M.2 drive ($259.99 MSRP for the 1TB version we tested, though the street price is significantly lower) shows there’s still a bit of room at the top to showcase blazingly quick speeds that push the interface to its limits, at prices that won’t make your wallet weep. It’s a strong pick in a competitive class dominated at the moment by Samsung and WD.

Since When Do M.2 SSDs Look Slick?

Because the XPG SX8200 Pro is a Type-2280 M.2 SSD, using the PCI Express 3.0 interface, you’ll need to check that your system supports 80mm-long SSDs using the PCI Express bus and the NVMe data-transfer protocol. (If you’re shaky on what we mean by all this, read our deep-dive primers on the best M.2 SSDs and the best PCI Express NVMe SSDs.)

Though the XPG SX8200 Pro doesn’t look like much straight out of the box, the option to add on a sleek matte-black-and-red heat spreader did add to the cool factor a bit (no pun intended). That said, our storage testbed has a removable heatsink that hides the entire drive from view when it’s in place. So the aesthetic of the drive may or may not matter in your PC build, depending on your specific motherboard, whether it has heat-dissipation gear over the M.2 slot(s), and whether the inside of your PC is visible at all. In our test machine, it didn’t matter much.

XPG SX8200 Pro-2

Before we talk about the pricing of the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro, it’s helpful to get a picture of what’s been happening in the flash-storage market as a whole over the past year. For starters, the SX8200 Pro is based on 3D TLC NAND, a low-cost type of flash memory now widely used in SSDs. (For more on TLC and other esoteric SSD terms, check out our SSD lingo dejargonizer.) Though prices for drives of this kind rose steadily during 2016 and 2017 due to increasing demand from enterprise companies, by the second half of 2018, the market found itself with a glut of overproduction. This has led to a sharp decrease in cost for SSDs of all stripes across the board. That explains why the MSRP for the 1TB version of the XPG SX8200 Pro being tested here is $259.99 (set when it was released last fall), but you can currently find the drive on Amazon and from other resellers for just $149.99.

Capacities and Costs

This price sway brings the cost per gigabyte of the 1TB version of the drive down from 26 cents to roughly 15 cents in just under half a year of being on shelves, which equates to some serious savings no matter how you slice it. The drive is also rated for 640 terabytes written (TBW) of write-endurance and comes with a five-year warranty, both of which are above the average for a like-priced 1TB consumer M.2 drive these days.

ADATA offers the SX8200 Pro in two additional capacities. The 512GB version of the drive is selling for $99.99, and the 256GB version is going for $59.99, which equates to 19 and 23 cents per gigabyte, respectively. This makes the 1TB version of the SX8200 Pro the best value by a slim margin over the 512GB variant, and a much better one than the 256GB.

As for durability ratings, the 512GB features a rating of 320TBW, while the 256GB features a rating of 160TBW, all lower by proportion to the 1TB capacity. Again, these numbers are all slightly above the average in this class, which boosts the value proposition that the SX8200 Pro line offers.

XPG SX8200 Pro-3

The XPG SX8200 Pro uses the same SSD ToolBox utility(Opens in a new window) to manage your data that all of the company’s consumer SSDs rely on. It lets you update firmware, securely erase the drive, optimize using the TRIM service (if the OS doesn’t handle that), run diagnostics, and more. It isn’t spectacular, but it is functional enough.

The XPG on the M.2 Racetrack

At the moment, the 1TB version of the WD Black NVMe SSD has topped most tests and been among the fastest consumer-minded M.2 PCI Express SSDs that PC Labs has tested in the past few years. Given that, at this writing, this WD drive hovers just around the same cost per gigabyte in this capacity as the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro (22 cents per gigabyte, versus 21 cents), we’ll compare the two directly, along with two other recent PCI Express M.2 drives PC Labs is testing in parallel with this one, from Kingston and Mushkin.

First up is PCMark 8’s Storage test, which simulates everyday disk accesses in tasks such as editing photos and web browsing. The ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro takes a micro-lead here among this test group, really within the margin of error…

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro PCMark 8

This isn’t surprising; generally speaking, the amount of variation in this test with PCI Express drives is so small that it doesn’t bear mentioning.

In our Crystal DiskMark Sequential Q32T1 read and write tests, the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro held its own against the WD Black NVMe, with essential ties on both tests. (The Crystal DiskMark Sequential tests simulate best-case, straight-line transfers of large files.)

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro Crystal DiskMark Sequential

In contrast, the 4K (or “random” read/write) tests simulate typical processes involved in program/game loads or bootup sequences. Things went more in the WD Black’s favor here. Read results, again, were a gold star for the ADATA, but on 4K writes the WD Black pulled well ahead, scoring 247MBps to the XPG SX8200 Pro’s 162MBps result.

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro Crystal DiskMark 4K

Last up is a series of file and folder transfers done using the AS-SSD benchmarking utility. In these tests, large files (here, a big ISO) or folders (containing typical game and program files) are copied by the AS-SSD utility from one location on the test drive to another.

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro AS-SSD

Here, the XPG SX8200 Pro posted some of the consistently highest results that PC Labs has seen at this price point from any M.2 PCI Express drive tested to date, the WD Black included. Every test in this series of three showed strong results.

Wrapping Up: A Solid-Value M.2

The ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro provides rapid speeds at a price point that keeps it competitive with most other M.2 PCI Express drives in its class. The drive has benefitted highly from the recent drop in SSD costs, and the value shines through in all of the benchmarks we ran. We still give the WD Black the edge for performance-minded folks, but it’s a close race here in a fast-maturing market of PCI Express M.2 SSDs. If you’re someone who’s on the hunt for a faster-than-average drive at a lower-than-average price, look no further than the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro.

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro

4.5

Editors’ Choice

(Opens in a new window)

See It

$119.99

at Amazon

(Opens in a new window)

MSRP $259.99

Pros

  • Solid results across almost all speed benchmark tests.

  • Competitive price per gigabyte.

  • Bundled, optional-use heat spreader.

Cons

  • Crystal DiskMark 4K write results solid but not quite tip-top.

The Bottom Line

ADATA’s XPG SX8200 Pro offers on-point—which is to say, fast—speeds for a PCI Express M.2 SSD at its price. It’s a strong value pick in the NVMe drive space.

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Written by Jane