ADATA XPG SX300 128GB & Intel 525 Series 180GB mSATA SSDs

Storage
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Energy Efficiency

It looks like our power consumption figures reflect the extra power required for the mSATA to SATA adapter circuitry. We suspect these smaller drives could be slightly more energy efficient than standard SATA drives but we have no sure way to tell, and the difference would be trivial anyway. We can say the 525 uses slightly less power than the SX300.

Noise

As solid state drives have no spinning platters or moving parts of any kind, they are effectively silent storage devices. It is possible that there could be a tiny bit of electronic noise (typically a high pitched squeal) being emitted, either intermittently depending on task, or continuously, but the neither of the mSATA drives we tested today made so much as a peep as far as we could tell. The only SSD we've ever tested that made any audible noise was the Zalman S Series 128GB model which produced an odd high frequency squeal whenever it was accessed.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The important thing to take away from our test results is that you're not going to give up anything by going with an mSATA SSD, at least as far as SandForce based drives are concerned. The ADATA XPG SX300 128GB and Intel 525 Series 180GB deliver the same performance as similar capacity SandForce SSDs using the more common SATA interface. Though the SX300 is a bit quicker overall, edging out the 525 and some of the better drives we've encountered in our real world performance test suite, in most cases we're talking a couple seconds — or just fractions of a second — so you may never be able to tell the difference.

Searching for a good SATA SSD is only difficult in that there are so many options — dozens upon dozens of models that are both widely available and competitively priced, many of which are indistinguishable from one another aside from brand. mSATA is another story, a less common interface primarily used in laptops and SFF desktop PCs. Naturally there are much fewer options (compounded by the capacity limit of the smaller form factor) and somewhat higher prices all around. In this limited market, the ADATA XPG SX300 128GB is a standout.

There is a slight price premium, with the SX300 going for approximately US$125, about US$20 more than its 120GB sized SandForce cousins. The extra 8GB offered by the SX300 helps soothe the difference somewhat. As for the Intel 525 Series 180GB, we have no information regarding pricing or release and when it does launch, it might be running better optimized firmware or be using higher grade and/or denser Flash chips than our sample. Our sample is not a final production model, so consider this more of a preview than review.

Many thanks to ADATA Technology and Intel for the respective samples.

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ADATA XPG SX300 128GB is Recommended by SPCR

SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD Review
Intel 520 Series 120GB SandForce SSD
Crucial M4 64GB: Solid-State on a Budget
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB vs. Samsung 830 Series 128GB
Corsair Force GS 240GB: SandForce with Toggle-Mode NAND
ADATA XPG SX910 128GB Solid State Drive

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