ADATA XPG SX900 (128GB) Review: Maximizing SandForce Capacityby Kristian Vättö on June 8, 2012 1:25 AM EST
If you've seen one SF-2281 drive with synchronous NAND, you've seen them all. From a performance perspective, the ADATA XPG SX900 is as fast as every other SF-2281 SSD with synchronous NAND. The only thing that separates ADATA from the competition is the fact that they have disabled RAISE and hence offer 8GB more capacity than other drives.
Since we are dealing with such similar drives, it all boils down to price. This is where ADATA appears to be making a mistake. With higher capacities than the competition, ADATA's advantage should be lower price per GB, but it's not. Instead, the SX900 series is either more expensive or equivalent to other SF-2281 drives.
The only scenario where I can see ADATA XPG SX900 being better than the rest is if you seriously need or want a SandForce drive with a tiny bit more capacity than the others. However, that's unlikely because if you know you need more than 120GB, then it's likely that 128GB won't suffice either. It's better to buy 180GB or 240GB straightaway so you won't have to deal with a constantly full drive.
In any other case, you will get a better dollar per GB ratio by going with another brand, and on other SF-2281 drives you also get support for RAISE (outside of the 60GB models). While RAISE may sound a bit useless, it's something you won't appreciate unless something goes bad. My feeling is that it's better to have it and not need it than to not have it and need it. It comes down to the importance you place on reliability and data integrity, and right now there's just not enough data to really let us know how non-RAISE SF-2281 will compare over the long haul. Ideally, RAISE would be something that the end-user could trigger on or off depending on one's workload and setup but apparently that is not possible, or at least no manufacturer has offered a tool for that.
At the end of the day the SX900's appeal is determined entirely by price. As noted in the introduction, keeping an eye on SSD prices for at least a few days before pulling the trigger is a good idea because prices fluctuate all the time. If price is a major factor, Crucial's m4 along with the asychronous NAND Mushkin Chronos and OCZ Agility 3 are generally the drives to beat. They may not be the fastest offerings, but unless you really need every last bit of performance, they're still substantially better than any HDD and nearly as good as other offerings.