The Great High-end SSD Shootout

ADATA XPG SX900, Corsair Neutron GTX, Crucial M4


Controller: LSI SandForce SF-2281
Memory type: Synchronous MLC NAND (Intel)

The name ADATA might not ring any bells to most users here in Singapore, but they are amongst the world’s largest manufacturer of flash memory products. The SX900 is the company’s flagship drive and it is driven by the ubiquitous LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller. The memory chips themselves are 25nm synchronous NAND memory chips and are provided for by Intel. Included with the drive is a 3.5-inch HDD bay installation bracket and a copy of Acronis TrueImage, which is useful if you need to migrate data from an older hard disk.

The ADATA XPG SX900 is sturdily built and comes in a 9mm form factor. This could be problematic if you are trying to fit it into your notebook.

Here we can see the SandForce SF-2281 controller on the left. To the right are Intel MLC NAND chips of 16GB density.


Corsair Neutron GTX

Controller: Link_A_Media Device LM87800
Memory type: Toggle-Mode NAND (Toshiba / Samsung)

In recent times, we’ve seen Corsair expanding on its product offerings to include all manners of PC components. Traditionally known for making memory, Corsair has since expanded its portfolio to include SSDs, computer chassis and gaming peripherals. The Corsair Neutron GTX is the company’s top dog SSD. Bucking the current trend of LSI SandForce and Marvell controllers, the Neutron GTX uses a controller from Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD). Also, it is one of SSDs to use arguably faster Toggle-Mode NAND. The drive comes with a 3.5-inch HDD bay adapter.

The Corsair Neutron GTX comes in a 7mm format, which makes it suitable for notebooks and Ultrabooks.

The LAMD LM87800 controller is concealed by a thermal pad, but the Toshiba toggle mode NAND chips are clearly visible.


Crucial M4

Controller: Marvell 88SS9174
Memory type: Synchronous MLC NAND (Micron)

The Crucial M4 was updated for 2012, and most notably, it features Marvell’s brand new 88SS9174 controller. Apart from that, the drive has remained relatively the same and continues to use synchronous NAND memory from its parent company, Micron. The drive is one of the most modestly packaged, as it comes with the drive itself with no accessories whatsoever.

The Crucial M4 is one of the thicker drives, coming in at 9.5mm thick.

The Marvell 88SS9174 controller is to the right, while to the left are Micron memory chips.

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