Another day another super fast SSD with a four lane PCIe 4.0 interface. Ditch it for the Adata XPG Gammix S70, a new 80mm M.2 drive that has its work cut out for it to take on the Samsung 980 Pro, WD Black SN850 and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, to name a few- just one of the many PCIe 4.0 Drives you can now choose from.
Specifications Adata XPG Gammix S70
Capacity: 2 TB
Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4
Controller: InnoGrit IG5236
NAND: 96-layer micron TLC flash
DRAM cache: 1 GB
Seq. Lily: 7,400 MB / s
Seq. write: 6400MB / s
Endurance: 1,480 TBW
Guarantee: 5 years
Price: $ 560 (£ 329)
After all, just providing six or seven gigabytes of raw bandwidth isn’t going to make this drive stand out from the PCIe 4.0 crowd. Speaking of which, we can also fine tune the speeds and main streams of the Adata XPG Gammix S70 as well. Configured here with a capacity of 2TB, it is supposed to be good for 7400MB / s read and 6400MB / s write. IOPS peaks, on the other hand, are set at 650K and 740K for reads and writes, respectively.
The sequential numbers therefore seem as good as for a PCIe 4.0 SSD. But the performance of IOPS and therefore of random access is theoretically a little behind the best. For example, the WD Black SN850 will do 1M read IOPS and 710K write IOPS, while the Samsung 980 Pro is rated at 1M IOPS in both directions. Ouch.
Either way, Adata will sell you a 1TB variant as well and this 2TB drive and model comes with Micron’s 96-layer V-NAND V-NAND flash memory (TLC). When it comes to drive endurance, the 2TB drive is rated at 1480TB of write time, which is decent but not the best in its class. Samsung’s 980 Pro is good for 1200TB of writing, but the 2TB Corsair Force Series MP600 is way ahead at 3600TB. That said, not only are you covered by Adata’s five-year warranty, but that 1480TB endurance allows you to buy 810GB of write traffic every day, every day for five years. It really should be more than enough.
Digging a little deeper into the details, the Gammix S70 is powered by the InnoGrit IG5236 controller chipset, a relative newcomer that has yet to prove itself against more familiar competition, most obviously the Phison E18. In truth, SSD controllers are largely black boxes whose internal works are opaque at best to end users, or at least those of them who have no mastery in IC design with a margin in. the intricacies of NAND flash memory.
But, for the record, the InnoGrit IG5236 is an NVMe 1.4 compatible multicore controller with eight memory channels and a four-lane PCIe 4.0 interface. It’s also made using TSMC’s 12nm FinFET process, so it’s quite an advanced silicon wafer, which bodes well for efficiency and heat management. It also supports dynamic SLC caching and DRAM caching. In this implementation, Adata used up to 666 GB of SLC cache and 1 GB of DRAM cache. Overall, the InnoGrit IG5236 certainly looks competitive on paper.
It’s also worth noting that Adata claims that this player will maintain a static BOM throughout its lifetime. In other words, major components like controller and NAND flash chips will not change during the lifecycle of the drive. Buyers can be sure that the quality and detailed specifications will not change, which was not always the case.
Finally, the Gammix S70 is configured with a fairly thick and heavy heat sink. While that should be a good thing when it comes to thermals and sustained performance, it’s also ergonomically tricky. This M.2 drive is large enough at 1.5cm high that it can obstruct PCIe x16 slots and mounting graphics cards, depending on the precise layout of a given motherboard. This is something that deserves to be taken into account.
All of this probably leaves you gasping for air to find out, well, how fast this drive actually is. On raw sequentials, it is among the best. At 6,950MB / s, this is about as fast a USB drive as the one we tested. Only the Sabrent Rocket Plus borders it and then just barely. Meanwhile, it’s actually the fastest drive we’ve tested for 6,340MB / s writes, although most of the competition has been tested in a slower 1TB configuration.
Of course, these peak numbers reflect the performance of the drive in SLC cache mode. In our internal file copy tests, initial performance starts at 1.8 Gb / s, dropping to 1.1 Gb / s after the roughly 600GB of SLC cache is exhausted. After around 750GB of writes, we found that performance dropped a bit more, hovering between 500MB / s and 750MB / s. That’s enough, but not stellar.
Another aspect to classify as “slightly less impressive”, and perhaps predictably given the IOPS specifications, is the hit-or-miss 4K performance. At 66MB / s for reads and 202MB / s for writes and queue depth one, that’s a good distance behind the WD Black SN850, which eliminates 83MB / s and 274MB / s respectively .
As for how this all translates into actual performance, say, game load times, inevitably there’s not much in it. The Gammix S70 is only half a second behind in the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers level load benchmark. In reality, as long as you have a half-decent modern SSD, most of the bottlenecks in game load times lie elsewhere, although that may change when Windows 11 arrives later this year and with it the technology. direct storage first seen on the Xbox Series X.
It is therefore certainly a worthy contender in the PCIe 4.0 SSD war. Would we take it on the WD Black SN850? Only if it was a big discount. It can seem overwhelming with low praise. But the point is, this disc is good enough that we’d be happy to use it above all else, as long as it’s priced right. As of this writing, the prices are roughly on par with the WD Black SN850, which makes the Gammix a tough sell. But if it just gets a little cheaper, things will be very different.