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ADATA Premier Pro SP300 24GB mSATA Cache Solid State Drive Review

In the SP300, ADATA has produced a Solid State Drive that offers a good real world performance increase over a HDD-based system.

For most of our testing, the mSATA SP300 was able to surpass the performance of Kingston’s price vs performance designed V100 SSD. Some people may question the relevance of comparing the SP300 to such an old drive, but users looking to upgrade from a HDD are spoilt for choice when it comes to alluring deals on previous generation SSDs.

If you have enough money to buy a modern, SATA 6GB/s 60GB+ SSD, there is little benefit in looking at a drive intended for caching. Readers that can’t afford or justify a modern drive of sufficient capacity have 2 choices; buy a sub-60GB cache SSD or pick up a previous generation drive with adequate storage. For this reason, comparing the SP300 against a previous generation and now cheaply available SSD gives a good indication of each option’s pros and cons.

Random read scenarios are where the SP300 is able to offer a substantial and meaningful performance increase over even the fastest of hard drives. Windows and game load times were both decreased by an equally impressive margin, proving that a low capacity SSD used with Intel SRT is a feasible option for budget-conscious users craving a speed boost.

Performance with incompressible data is lacking in comparison to the results obtained with compressible data. This is a clear weakness of the SF-2141 controller and may be enough to sway the purchase of users that demand peak performance in every scenario.

Good sequential numbers make the SP300 a feasible option for a miniature portable storage device that is capable of rapid transfers.

The increasingly popular mSATA connection is of great convenience to laptop users as well as buyers of modern mSATA-equipped motherboards from the likes of Gigabyte. The device’s small form factor allows for clearance issues to be eliminated and makes mSATA drives perfect for users with a limited number of HDD/SSD bays in their mATX or m-ITX case.

Pricing and availability are where the ADATA SP300 mSATA SSD clearly falls short. The drive is practically non-existent in the UK and US. European users can grab the 24GB variant for around €45, but at this price it is almost impossible to recommend to users that don’t require the mSATA form factor when a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 will cost just €5 more.

At around €50, the 32GB variant is priced far more competitively than its 24GB sibling, but it still lacks a competitive price tag in today’s cut-throat market. The 64GB version is almost identical in price to the superior XPG SX300 drive which also operates via the mSATA connection.

If the mSATA connection and form factor aren’t crucial, you are going to get better value from a 2.5″ Solid State Drive. If an mSATA SDD that offers a good speed boost over a mechanical hard drive is what you’re after, the ADATA SP300 is worth considering, but be aware, better deals are to be had.

Pros:

  • Minuscule non-restricting dimensions.
  • Good real world performance.
  • mSATA connector makes it an easy upgrade for laptop users.
  • Good sequential performance.

Cons:

  • Currently non-existent in the UK and US.
  • Price isn’t competitive against opposing drives that offer a greater capacity.
  • Poor incompressible data performance.

KitGuru says: A conveniently-sized drive that offers good performance but is let-down by its price per GB ratio that restricts competition in such a crowded market.

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Rating: 7.5.

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