Review of the Adata SE920 portable SSD: Faster, less expensive USB 4 storage

Review of the Adata SE920 portable SSD: Faster, less expensive USB 4 storage

To put it bluntly, this is our second look at a 40Gbps USB 4 SSD, and we like what we see in the Adata SE920. It boasts an elegant design, impressive speed, and a clever enclosure with a micro-fan you can turn on and off as needed. Amazing things.

What characteristics does the Adata SE920 have?

The SE920 has one of the most unusual features I’ve seen: half of the latching, spring-loaded outer shell slides out by roughly half an inch to turn on an internal fan. I’ll get to the stats in a moment. I decided to leave the drive in the open position most of the time because the said fan was quite silent. In the image above, it is shown open, and in the image below, it is closed.

In addition, the SE920 is a closed, 4.13-inch-long, 2.52-inch-wide, and 0.62-inch-thick USB 4 (40Gbps) external SSD that weighs roughly 7 ounces. The length is increased to 4.82 inches by sliding the case/switch open. Regardless, it is significantly slimmer than the finned OWC 1M2, another lightning-fast USB 4 SSD.

USB 4 produces nearly as much heat as Thunderbolt, based on the large fins on the 1M2 and the micro-fan within the SE920. if not at all at 40Gbps. As you are aware, heat generation from electronics is inevitable, but eliminating it is crucial for stability and endurance.

For the SE920, Adata offers a five-year warranty. Since the warranty is limited, physical abuse and the quantity of data written to the disk will both reduce its validity. If Adata adheres to the industry standard, the amount of data written cannot be greater than an acceptable level, which is probably 600TBW for 1TB of NAND.

What is the price of Adata SE920?

Adata states that the price of the 1TB SE920, 2TB model, and high-capacity 4TB will be $140, $200, and $380, respectively. It is not much faster than 20Gbps USB SSDs, but far less expensive than the OWC 1M2, the only other external USB 4 SSD we know.

I should mention that you’ll also get great performance on a Mac because it’s USB 4, not USB 3.2×2. For whatever reason, Apple only supports 10Gbps with USB 3.2, which means that 3.2×2 20Gbps SSDs can only reach half of their full capacity. Well done, Apple. Not to let the USB Forum off the hook, but USB 4 also has a 20Gbps mode in addition to the USB 3.2×2 mode, and it doesn’t seem like the two will ever mix in Apple Land. Ahh.

How fast is the Adata SE920?

The Adata SE920 surpassed the OWC 1M2 as the “fastest external drive we’ve tested,” but it wasn’t a blowout. utilizing synthetic benchmarks, at least 40 Gbps. Under the synthetics, the opposite resulted in roughly similar margins at 20Gbps (using USB 3.2×2). We considered all factors before making our decision, thus you should purchase USB 4 for the 40Gbps. Keep in mind that by right-clicking on the charts and choosing “View in a new tab,” you may view them in a larger size.

Conclusion

At the moment, drive testing is conducted using Windows 11, 64-bit, on an X790 (PCIe 4.0/5.0) motherboard, i5-12400 CPU combination, and two Kingston Fury 32GB DDR5 4800MHz memory modules (a total of 64GB of memory). The back panel integrates both Thunderbolt 4 and 20Gbps USB, and Intel CPU/GPU graphics are employed. An ImDisk RAM drive that uses up 58GB of the 64GB of available memory is used for the 48GB transfer tests. The OS is also run on a 2TB Samsung 990 Pro, from which the 450GB file was moved.

To provide the best results, every test is run on a freshly TRIMmed and NTFS-formatted drive. Note that under typical circumstances, performance may suffer as a drive fills up since there may be less NAND available for secondary caching, among other reasons. With their significantly quicker NAND, the current generation of SSDs makes this less of an issue.

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