ADATA Legend 960 1TB Review (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

The ADATA Legend 960 1TB is the company's latest PCIe 4.0-based performance NVMe SSD. It comes with a low profile heatsink for universal compatibility, including the PlayStation 5, just like the Gammix S70 Blade 1TB I looked at last year. As aforementioned, the Legend 960 is sold under the ADATA brand rather than the XPG brand, which is strange not only because of its performance credentials, but also the fact this product can be found on both websites.

The ADATA Legend 960 1TB is an M.2 2280 format SSD. If you are not familiar with the M.2 physical standard, M.2 2280 means it the size of the drive is 22mm by 80mm, hence its numerical designation. Its components are located on the black printed circuit board, which we will take a closer look at in just a moment. A black ADATA-branded aluminum heatsink can be placed on by yourself. It comes with double-sided tape from the factory. I find it nice it is not attached by default, so you can choose whether to put it on or not. The ADATA Legend 960 1TB works on the NVMe 1.4 logical device interface and plugs into compatible motherboards directly. Electrically, M.2 NVMe interfaces with PCIe 4.0. The Legend 960 1TB uses four lanes for up to 8000MB/s bandwidth in each direction. The specified weight is a paltry 11g for this SSD with the heatsink on and 8g with it off.

Flipping the ADATA Legend 960 1TB around, and you will find some components of interest located behind a label. This includes two flash memory and one DRAM chip; more on this in just a moment. The label carries miscellaneous information such as its model name, serial number, and regulatory certifications. Like many ADATA products we have reviewed in the past, this SSD is made in Taiwan.

Behind where you would normally put the heatsink, you can see what the ADATA Legend 960 1TB is made from. There are four different components that can be seen. At the heart of ADATA's Legend 960 1TB is a Silicon Motion SM2264. It is an NVMe solution on the M.2 socket to utilize the bandwidth afforded by the PCIe 4.0 standard. The 12nm controller has a quad-core ARM Cortex R8 CPU and features the company's NANDXtend ECC technology and AES 256-bit encryption support. Two Samsung K4A4G165WE-BCRC DDR4-2400 512MB memory chips, one on each side of the PCB, is used by the controller for system memory.

The ADATA Legend 960's flash memory are ADATA-rebranded Micron B47R 176-layer 3D triple-level cells in four chips labeled 60079146, with two on each side. Its rated write endurance is an excellent 780TBW, which equates to about 427GB per day for five years. This is better than the Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB at 600TBW, which is very good, but a little bit lower than the Kingston FURY Renegade 1TB at 1000TBW. Its rated power consumption is not published. Nothing out of the 1024GB total capacity is provisioned for the drive controller for overhead, so the actual usable space is 1024GB. You will see 953GB in Windows, which is a little more than the 931GB you typically see with 1TB drives.

Specified at 7400MB/s read, 6000MB/s write, up to 730,000 IOPS read, and up to 610,000 IOPS write over NVMe 1.4 on PCIe 4.0 x4, these figures are impressive. It has a slightly higher write speed, but lower IOPS rating compared to the XPG Gammix S70 Blade 1TB. The Legend 960 is about twice as fast as most PCIe 3.0-based drives, and comparable against other performance PCIe 4.0-based SSDs. To see how all this hardware translates to numbers in our benchmarks, we will pit the Legend 960 1TB against the big boys of this game to see how this new performance PCIe 4.0-based storage device from ADATA steps up against some popular NVMe-based SSDs from manufacturers like Crucial, Kingston, Patriot, Western Digital, and even ADATA/XPG themselves in the next seven pages or so.

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D15S
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming B550-Plus
RAM: Patriot Viper Steel RGB DDR4-3200 2x16GB
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: NZXT H700i
Storage: Crucial P5 Plus 1TB
Power: Seasonic PRIME Ultra Titanium 850W
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro

Compared Hardware:
- ADATA Legend 960 1TB
- Crucial P3 Plus 1TB
- Crucial P5 Plus 1TB
- Kingston FURY Renegade 1TB
- Kingston KC3000 1TB
- Patriot P400 1TB
- Western Digital WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD 1TB
- Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB
- XPG Atom 50 1TB
- XPG Gammix S70 Blade 1TB

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 8.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 5.70
7. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 10
8. Benchmark: PCMark 10
9. Benchmark: 3DMark
10. Conclusion