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A 960 GB SSD for $188

If you’re in the market for a 960 GB SSD but you’ve been waiting for a deal, here’s one that’s been worth waiting for: an A-Data SP550 for $188. It’s remarkable only for the price, but what a price.

A-Data is a second-tier manufacturer, which puts them in the same league as companies like PNY and below companies that make their own memory, like Micron/Crucial, Intel, Sandisk, and Toshiba. This particular drive uses a Silicon Motion controller and Hynix flash memory. The interesting thing about using Hynix memory is that Hynix, unlike other flash makers, doesn’t sell its own drives, so A-Data doesn’t have to compete with its supplier for the best chips.

Performance-wise, it’s a slower drive, delivering around 48 MB/second doing random IO (which is the majority of what you’ll be doing), which is more than 10 times what you can expect from a so-called performance hard drive. A performance SSD will deliver 80-85 MB/second, so while you may notice the difference between a performance SSD and a budget SSD, the budget SSD still blows the doors off a traditional hard drive.

This is a faster drive than a Crucial BX200, and it’s priced a good $60 lower than a Crucial BX200 of the same capacity. All things being equal, I’d opt for the Crucial drive, but when the price difference is 24 percent, the A-Data is tempting indeed.

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