Adata Ultimate SU900 256GB review
This SSD might not be blindingly fast, but it's a solid all-round performer
It's hard for a SATA SSD to distinguish itself. The SATA interface itself acts as a bottleneck on bandwidth, so no matter how fast and flashy the technology inside your drive, it's simply impossible for a drive to race ahead of its rivals.
That's not to say that all drives are identical. The Adata Ultimate SU900 is one of the fastest SATA drives in our sequential read benchmark, and that counts for something. But looking at the collated results, it's clear that we're dealing with small margins. For most practical purposes, the SU900 delivers the same overall performance as any other drive in its class.
That being the case, you might wonder what makes it a winner compared to, say, the Corsair Force LE. One factor is the price: if 256GB of solid-state storage is enough for you then the SU900 is a very affordable way to get it. (Oddly, the 512GB model actually works out slightly more expensive on a per-gigabyte basis - the best online price we've seen is 158.)
Then there's the software. Registering your drive entitles you to download a copy of Acronis True Image HD 2015, to help move your operating system and personal files onto your shiny new SSD. To be clear, this isn't the full Acronis backup suite - it's a much simpler tool, designed for the single job of moving Windows from an old disk to a new one. But it can take some of the stress out of upgrading.
The box also includes a 2.5mm spacer - helpful if you're replacing a laptop drive - and, uniquely among this month's drives, a 3.5in bracket, so you can easily slot the SU900 into a desktop chassis.
The only thing missing is hardware encryption; you can of course use third-party disk-encryption software with any SSD, but this runs on your CPU rather than the hardware controller, so it's a slightly less elegant solution. If that's a deal-breaker for you, consider the Crucial MX300 instead.
It's perhaps a bit cheeky of Adata to describe the U900 as an "Ultimate" SSD; that implies that there's something exceptional about it, which really there isn't. However, a fair price, a decent software bundle and some thoughtful in-box accessories make this an SSD we're happy to recommend.
This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 275
It may not be streaks ahead of rivals in terms of performance, but the Adata Ultimate SU900 earns a recommendation thanks to a fair price and the addition of some helpful extras like brackets and software.