ADATA AS596B-128GM-C 128GB SSD Review :: Features

03-20-2010 · Category: Hardware - Hard Drives

By Benjamin Sun
  • Connector :Dual interface 7+15 pin SATA II and MINI-USB***
  • Form Factor: 2.5
  • Cache Buffer: 128MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Flash Type: MLC
  • Performance:
  • Read: up to 240-250MB/s
  • Write: Up to 170-180MB/s

Brand A-DATA
Series S500
Model S596
Device Type Internal Solid state disk (SSD), External SSD
Architecture MLC
Width 3.94
Depth 2.75"
Height 0.39"
Expansion / Connectivity
Form Factor 2.5"
Capacity 128GB
Interface Type SATA II, USB 3.0
Features MLC NAND Flash
Compatibility: Most SATA compatible Notebooks and Desktops,
Max Shock Resistance 1500G
Max Vibration Resistance 16G
Sequential Access - Read Up to 250MB/sec
Sequential Access - Write Up to 180MB/sec
Warranty2 years Parts and Labor

So what is a SSD drive anyway? A solid-state drive is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store data. A ferrite memory SSD drive was introduced in the time of the vacuum tube computer. A company called StorageTek developed the modern SSD drive in the middle 1980s with a product called BatRam, which used 1 megabit DIP RAM chips and a controller card that emulated a hard disk.

Single Level memory cells store a single bit of information. The A-DATA S596 drive uses MLC NAND Flash memory cells which can store more than a single bit of information. MLC NAND is cheaper to use than SLC due to the denser storage method used. NAND Flash memory is the same type of memory used on USB Flash drives and other devices like the Apple IPhone.

The SSD drive has many advantages over the Hard disk drive including: Fast Random access, faster start-up , silent operation, low power consumption, high mechanical reliability, high shock resistance, lower weight and size, higher data density, and less chance of a mechanical failure while using the drive. There are two types of Flash-based SSD Drive: Single Level Cell and Multi-Level Cell.

Some of the problems with SSD drives are the prohibitive cost compared to the more readily available and inexpensive Hard disk, the capacity of the SSD drive was generally lower than that of a Hard Disk, the Asymmetric read versus write performance, and the fact that the drives cannot be defragmented due to wear leveling. Recent Flash based SSD drives have come down drastically in price, allowing more consumers to use them.

A-DATA chose to use dual interfaces with the S596 drive, SATA II and USB 2.0. The Serial ATA interface replaced IDE as the interface of choice for storage. SATA II allows up to 3Gigabits/second transfer rate. This is compared to the IDE HDD that has a maximum transfer rate of 133Megabits a second or up to 20x+ faster transfer rates than the IDE drive. The Universal Serial Bus 2.0 standard calls for a maximum transfer rate of 480 Megabits/second or 60MB/second. Motherboard manufacturers have released USB 3.0 compatible motherboards but the vast majority of users still use the USB 2.0 interface.

This has the advantage of a wide compatibility across hundreds of millions of motherboards and computers as almost every computer on the market has USB 2.0 ports. Few on the market today have USB 3.0 ports and in any event, a USB 3.0 device installed on a USB 2.0 motherboard would default to the lower transfer speed. A-DATA felt that the wider market would welcome a SATA II drive that also has a USB 2.0 interface as it gives the user a choice on which interface to use. The computer user can use the drive as either an internal SATA II device or as an external USB 2.0 device easily transferring files between computers. One thing to note is that while the numbers I have been indicating is in Megabits or Gigabits per second, performance is measured in terms of Megabytes or Gigabyte per second. The USB 2.0 interface has a maximum transfer rate of 60MB/second. This compares with the nearly 400MB/second on SATAII or 600MB per second on USB 3.0 maximum. The drive has 128MB of DDR2 memory for its cache. By way of comparison most hard disks have a maximum of 64MB of cache for their 2TB capacity drives. A-DATA offers a 2 year limited Parts and Labor warranty on this drive.