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ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite 2TB NVMe Gen4 M.2 SSD Review

ADATA's XPG Gammix S50 Lite is the first SSD we've seen with a Gen4 controller by Silicon Motion (SMI). Let's check it out.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Thu, Oct 15 2020 12:43 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:54 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ADATA (AGAMMIXS50L-2T-C)

Introduction & Drive Details

ADATA, through its XPG line of SSDs, has launched a new 4-channel controlled Gen4 x4 NVMe SSD called the Gammix S50 Lite. This SSD is intriguing to us for several reasons. The XPG Gammix S50 Lite is the first Gen4 SSD we've come across powered by a 4-channel Gen4 controller. So far, we've seen only two Gen4 controllers on retail SSDs, Phison's E18 8-channel controller and Samsung's Elpis 8-channel controller.

Additionally, the S50 Lite represents the first time we've seen a Gen4 controller made by Silicon Motion Inc. (SMI) on a retail SSD. The XPG Gammix S50 Lite, like the name implies, is meant to be a low-cost alternative to the more powerful XPG Gammix S50 Gen4 x4 SSD powered by Phison's 8-channel E16 controller. The XPG Gammix S50 Lite is powered by SMI's 4-channel SM2267 controller.

4-channel controllers are more cost-effective than 8-channel controllers. However, they are also not as fast. Consequently, this is why the S50 Lite sports sequential ratings that are more like what we see from Gen3 SSDs than what we've seen so far from Gen4 SSDs already on the market. However, keep in mind, sequential speeds are not what makes an SSD fast. If you have doubts about that last statement, think Optane.

If there is one thing we've learned about SMI controlled NVMe SSDs over the years, no matter the channel count, they tend to excel at gaming, so we expect the S50 Lite to do the same. Well enough jawing around, let's get ADATA's latest XPG offering on the bench and see what it is made of.

Drive Details

ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite 2TB NVMe Gen4 M.2 SSD Review 888 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 44 IMAGES

Sequential ratings let us know this is a 4-channel controlled Gen4 SSD. TBW ratings let us know the S50 Lite is sporting a TLC flash array.

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A nice-looking semi-thick aluminum heat sink covers the controller side of the S50 Lite. ADATA claims it can effectively reduce temperatures by up to 20%.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite 2TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$259.99$259.99$279.99
* Prices last scanned on 11/27/2020 at 10:31 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Free SSD Software

ADATA SSD Toolbox/Acronis OEM

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ADATA's SSD Toolbox is one of the best in the business. You can download it here.

ADATA offers a free copy of Acronis OEM for cloning your system over to your new ADATA SSD, which you can download here.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM & Anvils

CrystalDiskMark

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We fall a bit short of factory sequential speeds (3900/3200) because ADATA used an old version of CDM that tests sequential speeds at Q32T1 to establish them. Random read performance at QD1 is among the best we've ever recorded, which is typically a great gaming performance indicator.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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The S50 Lite claws its way into a rather elite club by delivering a total read score of 7K plus. Impressive. Almost as impressive as its 18K IOPS performance at QD1 random reads. The overall score is impressive, as well.

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We can exceed factory MAX random IOPS figures for both read and write despite our more demanding user state of OS disk 50% filled. We don't see that every day.

Synthetic Benchmarks: AS SSD & ATTO

AS SSD

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SMI-controlled SSDs have never done AS SSD very well due to low 4K-64-Thrd performance. However, this is the best we've seen from any SMI-controlled SSD to date.

ATTO

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We are looking for full speed at 128K transfers. The S50 Lite essentially gives us that, which is nice to see. However, again, we see sequential performance that is more like Gen3 than Gen4.

Real-World Testing: Transfer Rates & Gaming

Transfer Rates

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Massive transfer is not easy to handle. The S50 Lite handles it surprisingly well, delivering one of the better performances we've seen to date.

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Having only 4-channels catches up with the S50 Lite, we expected a bit more. However, it is the best transfer rate we've seen from an SMI-controlled high capacity SSD.

Game Level Loading

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This is what the S50 Lite does best of all. It is a gaming juggernaut. This is a big deal for gamers and reason enough to call the S50 Lite a compelling choice for enthusiasts.

Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.

The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with user experience. Of the two tests, we feel that the Quick System Drive Test most accurately replicates a typical user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

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Surprisingly, the S50 Lite handles heavy consumer workloads with relative ease. Impressive.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

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When the workload is more read-intensive, the S50 Lite, as we saw with our transfer test, delivers a bit below average.

Final Thoughts

ADATA's 2TB XPG Gammix S50 Lite gives us our first insight into what Gen4 silicon from Silicon Motion is all about. Overall, it is looking pretty good, especially as it relates to gaming, which has always been a category where SMI-powered NVMe SSDs have excelled. Most PC enthusiasts are avid gamers, and the 2TB S50 Lite is truly a superior gaming SSD with enough capacity to satisfy most gamers' needs.

The XPG Gammix S50 Lite is just now starting to hit retailers, and street pricing is unclear at this point as the only place to get one seems to be directly from ADATA through Google shopping. We expect that as it is configured, the S50 Lite will end up being priced more like a value SSD than a flagship performer.

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The S50 Lite 2TB gives us a bit more than our 4K minimum user experience rating, which is good to see. It is within striking distance of several spots above it, so we can say it will deliver (gaming aside) an average user experience.

ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite 2TB NVMe Gen4 M.2 SSD Review 44 | TweakTown.com

The XPG Gammix S50 Lite is a quality build with a TLC flash array and a relatively thin yet substantial heat sink. It sports an impressive endurance rating, excels at gaming, and, surprisingly, handles heavy consumer workloads with ease. With these attributes in mind, ADATA's XPG Gammix Lite S50 2TB SSD is worthy of a TweakTown award.

Pros

  • Gaming
  • Endurance
  • Heavy Workloads

Cons

  • Not Single Sided
  • Lite Workloads
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Performance

88%

Quality

95%

Features

99%

Value

90%

Overall

93%

The Bottom Line

The 2TB XPG Gammix S50 Lite is as good as it gets for high capacity gaming usage.

TweakTown award
93%

ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite 2TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$259.99$259.99$279.99
* Prices last scanned on 11/27/2020 at 10:31 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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