ADATA’s HDD/SSD storage portfolio is made up of six separate external hard drive series and three internal SSDs. The new N004 series adds three additional USB3/SATA combo SSD drives to the line-up (64GB, 128GB and 256GB) :

As the N004 isn’t designed solely for external use, the casing dimensions and connector placement are pretty much standard fare for an SSD, the only exception being the inclusion of the USB 3.0 port on the right side of the drive (cable included).

Let’s take a look at the USB 3.0 performance figures:

ADATA N004 128GB USB 3.0 Performance
  Sequential Read (128KB) Sequential Write (128KB) Random Read (4KB) Random Write (4KB)
ADATA N004 128GB USB 3.0 185.79 MB/s 167.85 MB/s 21.4 MB/s 14.62 MB/s
OCZ Enyo 128GB USB 3.0 178.1 MB/s 169.6 MB/s 21.9 MB/s 7.9 MB/s
ADATA N004 128GB USB 2.0 32.87 MB/s 22.56 MB/s 7.81 MB/s 7.81MB/s
OCZ Enyo 128GB USB 2.0 35.0 MB/s 31.1 MB/s 7.8 MB/s 7.4 MB/s
Corsair Nova 128GB SATA 222.1 MB/s 184.0 MB/s 37.5 MB/s 14.4 MB/s

A little bit of ground given up against the the Enyo as a USB 2.0 drive when it comes to write speeds, although as a USB 3.0 device the N004 seems to be the drive to go for.  There is one irksome niggle with the N004; end-user firmware updates aren't possible. It's not a complete deal breaker in our eyes, though small performance enhnacing firmware changes are always welcome - no chance of those here.

 

We also checked out if garbage collection works over USB (no Trim over USB obviosuly):

Performace after torture

 

After 1 hour...
 

 

After several hours...

While the garabage collection obviously works, it isn't as good as what we've seen from Toshiba. If absolute transfer speed under constant usage is of the essence, the Indilinx Barefoot controller isn't the one to go for.

 

The nitty -gritty of give and take against present competition from OCZ is all in the pricing:

ADATA N004 Pricing
  64GB 128GB 256GB
ADATA N004 $139 $213 $699
OCZ Enyo $199 $305 $715

At 64GB and 128GB capacities, the N004 series is conderably cheaper than the Enyo. This is a big deal when you consider that the Enyo is limited to USB operation only. Obviously outright performance of the N004 isn't going to rival newer controller architectures over the SATA bus, but as a combination drive it stands alone right now.

SATA Performance - Random Read and Write
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  • SteelCity1981 - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    You'd think that paying that much for a 128gb SSD portable USB 3.0 hard drive would at the very least include frimware updates. I mean, this isn't some random 45 dollar HDD 120gb Portable USB 2.0 hard drive we are talking about here. Reply
  • StormyParis - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    thoughput and latency are fine and all, but in my experience USB is mainly about very sucky CPU usage.

    a test on that front, with various chipsets, would be faaaaaabulous.
    Reply
  • jaydee - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    I'd be interested in seeing some numbers using eSata via an external enclosure. Reply
  • StormyParis - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    any SSD can do that, and the results will be the same as an internal one. Reply
  • Qapa - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    1 - Probably the most important one: when are we going to see the promised price cuts due to the move to lower nm? It was supposed to be this quarter right...?

    2 - When is the Jet Stream now supposed to come out?

    3 - I read somewhere that Intel G3 was put on hold due to the presentation of SandForce 2000 series?

    4 - When is this SandForce 2000 series expected to come out?

    I want a new generation SSD with 64Gb @ around $64!! (yes, this one is not really a question.. :P)
    Reply
  • mpx - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    It would be interesting to find out how well such USB 3 SSDs perform as ReadyBoost caches. Or caches with other products - NVELO Dataplex, eBoostr. Reply

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