Note: this review is by a Geekzone user (maoriboy) selected randomly to receive an ADATA SP610 SSD.
Having never had an SSD in a computer of mine I was not sure what to expect. Is it really as fast as people say? Does it really make that big a difference to start up and loading times? Would I even notice the difference?
The kid behind the counter at the local Jaycar was gushing in his praise of how fast his computer now was with an SSD, and who was I to disagree with this 20-something year old technologically obsessed man child? It was time for me to do my own research.
Bring forth the ADATA SP610, one of which I was lucky to have provided to me courtesy of Geekzone. It is a 2.5" drive with a 256GB (also available in 128, 512 and 1TB) storage capacity and has the following specifications:
Specifications don't mean a lot to me. I was more interested in ripping open the packaging, like an excited kid on Christmas Day, and getting to play with it.
As you can see the front of the box is fairly plain, simple and easy to understand. A clear window on the front shows the drive itself. One thing that really surprised me was how light the package was, and this is something that would continue to impress me. Having being used to dealing with the standard hard disk drives of old this was truly impressive.
Opening the package revealed the contents which, like the front of the box, was pretty minimal.
Consisting of the drive itself, instructions, 3.5" bracket pack for use in a desktop computer, and what I believe to be a spacer for a laptop installation. No cables whatsoever, hence the reason for my visit to JayCar as mentioned earlier.
Once again I had to marvel at the size, or rather, the lack of size of the drive itself. It is tiny! This is a side on shot of the drive and for comparison's sake I stood a AAA battery next to it. Yep it's that small:
Installation was a piece of cake. All that was required was to screw the drive into the 3.5" caddy, then slide the caddy into the spare bay I had in my tower, screw that in and attach the cables. Easy as.
What I was not looking forward to however, was the transferring of the OS and programs across to the SSD from my current drive. Adata makes this process a lot easier however by including a copy of Acronis True Image HD in the package. On the SSD itself is a sticker with a code which can be used to get the product key and install it on your computer. Having a look at the software itself, this seems like it would be a fairly simple process, but I had already decided that it was time for a fresh OS install so that's the route I decided to go.
After copying all the stuff I wanted to keep I formatted the old drive, removed the two partitions and then went through the process of installing Windows 7 onto the SSD.
Here are my computer's specifications:
It's a bit of a mish mash of old and newish parts, but it runs well and has barely given me any problems.
Right, after a lengthy prepping process, the task of installing Win 7 began... and finished. Having not done this for quite some time my memory may be pretty hazy but the installation definitely felt a lot faster than last time.
Alright, install complete and time to restart and wow! Up pops the Win 7 login screen. That can't be right I tell myself. Type in my password and, BAM, there's the home screen. I've barely had time to sip on my green tea. This is fast.
After installing the updates and essential programs, it was time to do a speed test. After searching around the net I've found CrystalDiskMark to be what most reviewers use so have downloaded and measured the speeds.
Below top is the ADATA SSD and then the 1TB drive I now have as a data drive:
The numbers are quite compelling and show what a big difference there is between the two. In everyday use the difference is so tangible that it feels like night and day.
Starting my computer used to give me time to be able to press the power button, go and make a cup of tea (or get a beer from the fridge outside), come back in and wait a minute or 2 before the sign in screen. Now it's press the power button, turn on the screen and wait for that to power on and there we go, the sign in screen is waiting. All in all I would say approx 10 seconds. It has made other tasks equally as fast too. Loading up Football Manager 2014 on the old hdd would take an age as I liked to have a large data base and 10 leagues loaded. Now? Whoosh it's done just like that. It really has made that big a difference.
After having it for a week, I'm really disappointed. Not in the SSD of course, no way. The Adata SSD has far surpassed my expectations. It really has made a big difference to how I use my computer.
I'm really disappointed in myself. Disappointed in the fact that I should've upgraded so much earlier than now. Disappointed that I did not take much notice to all those people raving online about their SSDs and disappointed that I listened to that lovely young gentleman at JayCar with such scepticism.
I shall now be one of the many raving about the benefits of having an SSD. The next time I see that JayCar employee I will smile, nod and discuss with him the enthusiasm we have for this marvellous piece of technology known as the SSD. With prices starting from around NZ$180 according to price comparison sites, the ADATA SP610 comes highly recommended. Seriously, if you haven't already got an SSD, get one. You won't regret it.
Many thanks go to ADATA for providing the drive and for Geekzone for selecting me to review this product.