ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro vs Samsung 970 EVO: Which is Best Value?

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sx8200 pro vs 970 evo
sx8200 pro vs 970 evo

Third generation PCI Express lanes are soon to be obsolete, as Intel has finally embraced the fourth-generation interface with their upcoming 11th generation Rocket Lake-S & Comet Lake-S CPUs. AMD has been PCIe 4.0 compatible since the release of their Zen 2 processors, so, moving forward, motherboards are unlikely to ever feature PCIe 3.0 again in the future – though PCIe 4.0 is backwards compatible.

The good news about this transition? PCIe 3.0 compatible NVMe SSDs have dropped considerably in price, to the point where one can find some of the best SSDs PCIe Gen 3 had to offer, at almost more than half initial MSRP. Two prime such examples are ADATA’s XPG SX8200 Pro, and Samsung’s 970 EVO. Both these M.2 NVMe TLC NAND hard drives can currently be purchased for less than $150 for 1 TB of storage. 

This means that PC enthusiasts that are looking to upgrade their storage size are now in the pleasant position of pondering which high-end NVMe SSD to choose from, at the cost of about a couple of triple-A games.

Speaking of gaming, it is important to note that even the most hardware-demanding games, or competitive multiplayers, will see little to no difference between a PCIe Gen 3 and a PCIe Gen 4 SSD, and, as a matter of fact, there is hardly even a noticeable upgrade between SATA III and NVMe SSDs when it comes to load times. The performance upscaling will mainly be noticed during workstation tasks that require large file transfers, or content creation like video editing.

That being said, let’s take a look at two of the best PCIe Gen 3 NVMe SSDs the market has to offer: the aforementioned ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro and the Samsung 970 EVO, and with their now significantly lowered price, determine which hard drive provides the best performance for its price.   


Specifications

ModelADATA XPG SX8200 ProSamsung 970 EVO
DesignADATA XPG SX8200 Pro M.2Samsung-970-Evo
Release Date20182018
Storage Sizes256 GB, 512 GB, 1TB, 2 TB250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
Sequential Read3500 MB/s3400 MB/s, 3500 MB/s (2TB)
Sequential Write1200 MB/s, 2300 MB/s, 3000 MB/s, 3000 MB/s1500 MB/s, 2300 MB/s, 2500 MB/s, 2500 MB/s
4KB Random Read220K IOPS, 390K IOPS, 390K IOPS, 390K IOPS200K IOPS, 370K IOPS, 500K IOPS, 500K IOPS
4KB Random Write290K IOPS, 380K IOPS, 380K IOPS, 360K IOPS350K IOPS, 450K IOPS, 450K IOPS, 480K IOPS
Bus TypePCIe 3.0 x4PCIe 3.0 x4
ControllerSilicon Motion SM2262ENSamsung Phoenix
NAND TypeMicron 64-layer TLCSamsung 64-layer TLC
TBW160 TBW, 320 TBW, 640 TBW, 1280 TBW150 TBW, 300 TBW, 600 TBW, 1200 TBW
Warranty5 years5 years
MSRP$75, $115, $220, $480$120, $230, $445, $850
1 TB Price (As of writing)$119$139
AvailabilityAmazon.comAmazon.com

Since each individual storage size variant will differ in regards to its specifications, and how well it fares to its competition, we will only be comparing the 1 TB option for each model, which will give us a good idea for the overall quality of these two options. 

The ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro has a slightly faster (3%) sequential read speed than the Samsung 970 EVO, and a substantially faster (20%) sequential write speed. However, it does trail in 4KB random read and write speeds by 28% and 18% respectively. 4KB random read and write speeds refer to the speed at which the SSD can retrieve or write randomly positioned 4 KB data chunks. This can be especially important when it comes to accessing functions of the operating system, software applications, and even gaming. However, before passing judgement on which SSD has the superior read and write speeds, we should first check the real-world benchmarked data.

In terms of reliability, both ADATA and Samsung offer a 5-year warranty with their product, though the XPG SX8200 Pro does have a slightly better TBW (Terabytes Written) value than the 970 EVO: with a 640 vs 600 TBW for the 1 TB version. 

Finally, the current price for both these options ranges between $120 for the XPG SX8200 Pro, to $140 for the 970 EVO. 

So, is the 970 EVO worth the additional $20 it asks for? Let’s now compare their benchmarks in order to find out.


Benchmarks

1TB ModelADATA XPG SX8200 ProSamsung 970 EVO
Peak Sequential Read13531 MB/s3617 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write13160 MB/s2462 MB/s
Average Sequential Read12153 MB/s2144 MB/s
Average Sequential Write12019 MB/s2090 MB/s
4K Random Read1 453 MB/s450 MB/s
4K Random Write1313 MB/s388 MB/s
Max Power Consumption24.05 Watts7.15 Watts
Software Install Time3891 Seconds909 Seconds
Game Scene Loading419.91 Seconds20.53 Seconds
PCMark 8 Bandwidth765 MB/s598 MB/s

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1 CrystalDiskMark – All benchmarks by Tom’s Hardware
2 50 GB copy benchmark.
3 SYSmark 2014 SE installation.
4 Final Fantasy XIV StormBlood.

Funny enough, when it comes to read speeds, it is apparent that where the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro should have been superior to the Samsung 970 EVO, it ends up trailing to its performance, and where it should be falling behind, it actually excels. It has slightly slower peak sequential read speeds, by about 86 MB/s, though is faster on average by only 8 MB/s. Where the manufacturer specifications mentioned it trailed by 28%, it actually proved to be faster in 4K random read speeds – though within the margin of error.

In terms of write speeds, it has a 28% faster peak write speed, but is slightly slower on average by about 69 MB/s… nice. It does, however, trail in 4K random write speeds by about 24%.

Another surprising find is the fact that the XPG SX8200 Pro is far more energy efficient than the 970 EVO: showing a 43% less max energy expenditure (44% less on average) during a 50 GB copy.

Software installation time shows a slight advantage for the XPG SX8200 Pro, but it’s only 18 seconds for a 15-minute operation: about a 2% increase. A similar negligible advantage can also be found for the game-stage load time, of 0.62 seconds, which is ultimately unnoticeable.


Verdict

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB 3D NAND NVMe

Going back to the question of whether or not the Samsung 970 EVO is worth its current extra $20 cost over the XPG SX8200 Pro, the answer appears to be negative. The XPG SX8200 Pro has overall better practical results when tested, and this is also apparent in the PCMark 8 Storage 2.0 test, where it scores higher than the 970 EVO by 21 points (5109 vs 5088), and only trails to the Samsung 970 PRO by 6 points. Add to this the fact that the XPG SX8200 Pro is far more energy efficient (and less prone to overheating), as well as more durable than the 970 EVO, and it is safe to say that even if the prices were identical, the XPG SX8200 PRO would be the superior choice. 

So, you can save the extra $20 for your next component, and invest safely into the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro, which displays amazing value for its current price. 


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