A-DATA S592 128GB SSD Review

by AkG     |     October 25, 2009

A Closer Look at the A-Data S592 128GB SSD

As you can see from the above pictures, the S592 is finished in a solid black motif with the only colour besides that on the label being the large “warranty void” sticker and the brass inserts. The purpose of the brass inserts is to allow you to mount this SSD in a case with screws. As with all SSDs we have reviewed in the past, you can mount this lightweight kit with either the more typical side screws or the alternate bottom screws.

The label which provides the main splash of colour to this drive is not done in the same colour scheme as the exterior box. Unlike the box it comes in which uses a red and black background with a white lettering scheme, the label of 592 is done in a light red fading to white background colour with white and black lettering. While we do like this label it is lacking some of the finer points which we really would have liked to see like how much power it uses. We usually don’t make a big a deal over this omission but A-Data does make the claim in the S592s accompanying pamphlet that this drive has an “80% power consumption reduction over conventional HDD”. While SSDs are power efficient that is one big and bold claim to make.

A typical 2.5” high performance 7200rpm drive uses about 3 watts of power; this translates to 0.6A on the 5v line. To meet A-Data’s claim this drive would need to use at most 0.12A even though most SSDs of this size run in the .35A to .6A range. The only way this claim is possible is if A-Data are comparing this 2.5” form factor SSD to 3.5” form factor hard drives .

Once we got over the lack of details on the label the next thing which became abundantly clear is this is one light weight drive! While the other SSDs we have reviewed were not exactly “Jaba the Hut” in the weight department, this product is downright svelte in comparison. How they got it to be so light weight is simple: they swapped out all the metal in the case for lightweight and cheap plastic. It is obvious that this drive has been designed for ultra light weight laptops.

Honestly, we are not against plastic SSDs because they can’t protect the internal properly as this is a moot point to us. The real reason we dislike plastic cases is because of heat dissipation. Even this is a minor issue, as most NAND chips are rated to about 80°C, but a metal case does do a yeoman’s job at acting as a large heatsink for the chips, controller and other components.

Moving unto the ports of this unit, we come to another surprise. For all you readers who are familiar with Indilinx drives you all know what is missing from the above photo: jumper pins. No jumper pins means that this drive is either the very first Barefoot controller based SSD to never need jumpers to update the firmware, or this unit is not going to be end user upgradeable like literally every other Indilinx-bsed drive.

What makes this such a big deal is that Indilinx SSDs are not Native OS TRIM operational (ATA T13 “TRIM” capable) before firmware 1.4 and since our S592 came with firmware 1279 (PRE 1.1) this means when you move over to Windows 7, your shiny new S592 is going to be left in the past and obsolete. Heck, with such ancient firmware on it...it is already obsolete! To be fair, OCZ has shown that they can do firmware updates without the use of setting the jumper pins so its not entirely out of the realm of possibility that A-Data’s S592 will be upgradeable….but this is not an OCZ drive and no other company has been able to accomplish this feat.

Overall, this drive is certainly taking a totally different approach than any of the other Indilinx drives we have tested so far. It has no jumper pins and no metal casing but differences in design philosophies are a good thing as certain segments of the market may prefer this setup to the more typical and honestly, the more choices you the customer have the better things are.

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