ADATA’s HDD/SSD storage portfolio is made up of six separate external hard drive series and three internal SSDs. The new N004 series adds three additional USB3/SATA combo SSD drives to the line-up (64GB, 128GB and 256GB) :

As the N004 isn’t designed solely for external use, the casing dimensions and connector placement are pretty much standard fare for an SSD, the only exception being the inclusion of the USB 3.0 port on the right side of the drive (cable included).

Let’s take a look at the USB 3.0 performance figures:

ADATA N004 128GB USB 3.0 Performance
  Sequential Read (128KB) Sequential Write (128KB) Random Read (4KB) Random Write (4KB)
ADATA N004 128GB USB 3.0 185.79 MB/s 167.85 MB/s 21.4 MB/s 14.62 MB/s
OCZ Enyo 128GB USB 3.0 178.1 MB/s 169.6 MB/s 21.9 MB/s 7.9 MB/s
ADATA N004 128GB USB 2.0 32.87 MB/s 22.56 MB/s 7.81 MB/s 7.81MB/s
OCZ Enyo 128GB USB 2.0 35.0 MB/s 31.1 MB/s 7.8 MB/s 7.4 MB/s
Corsair Nova 128GB SATA 222.1 MB/s 184.0 MB/s 37.5 MB/s 14.4 MB/s

A little bit of ground given up against the the Enyo as a USB 2.0 drive when it comes to write speeds, although as a USB 3.0 device the N004 seems to be the drive to go for.  There is one irksome niggle with the N004; end-user firmware updates aren't possible. It's not a complete deal breaker in our eyes, though small performance enhnacing firmware changes are always welcome - no chance of those here.

 

We also checked out if garbage collection works over USB (no Trim over USB obviosuly):

Performace after torture

 

After 1 hour...
 

 

After several hours...

While the garabage collection obviously works, it isn't as good as what we've seen from Toshiba. If absolute transfer speed under constant usage is of the essence, the Indilinx Barefoot controller isn't the one to go for.

 

The nitty -gritty of give and take against present competition from OCZ is all in the pricing:

ADATA N004 Pricing
  64GB 128GB 256GB
ADATA N004 $139 $213 $699
OCZ Enyo $199 $305 $715

At 64GB and 128GB capacities, the N004 series is conderably cheaper than the Enyo. This is a big deal when you consider that the Enyo is limited to USB operation only. Obviously outright performance of the N004 isn't going to rival newer controller architectures over the SATA bus, but as a combination drive it stands alone right now.

SATA Performance - Random Read and Write
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  • DigitalFreak - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    No end-user upgradeable firmware = no sale Reply
  • semo - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    There are a whole lot of other SSDs on the market that make no sense but exactly why did a barefoot one appeared on AT is puzzling.

    This product might have had relevance a year ago but not today
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    Relevance?

    Other than the OCZ Enyo, Iomega and the forthcoming Kingston that Rajinder mentioned, how many other external SSD's with a USB 3 interface are out there?

    How about any other SSD that can be used both as an internal SATA drive and an external drive with a USB 3 interface?
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    It may have some relevance as a USB 3.0 drive (very niche considering you can buy very fast and slightly smaller USB 3.0 pendrives) but it is totally pointless as an internal drive. It would have to drop to at least half the price of a SF or Intel controller powered drive before it makes sense as a SATA drive.

    It is a barefoot drive... I don't know how were they priced in the states but here in the UK barefoot drives used to cost MORE than the X25s. I really hate Indilinx for failing to provide a decent competition when it was needed the most. They deserve all the ass whopping coming their way...
    Reply
  • bji - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    Sounds like you're speaking from a context of having a bone to pick with Indilinx rather than an objective analysis of the drive.

    The performance looks decent in many respects and this drive could be just fine for many different types of workloads. Indilinux-hating aside, I don't see how anyone could possibly claim that there is no value to this drive. And your comments about the Indilinx controller drives being half the value of same-size Sandforce and Intel controller drives is way off-base.

    Also, I'd like to know what pen drives you are talking about that can read/write hundreds of megabytes per second sequentially, and read 37 megabytes per second randomly.
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/26/super-talent-us...

    This is a very fast USB 3.0 pendrive and is smaller than the reviewed product here (note that I never said it is faster).

    Don't tell me that you would prefer a barefoot SSD over SF, Intel or Toshiba? Many people have said that there is a tangible difference of performance between the vertex (1) and x25s and considering that they were more expensive (at least here in the UK), I fail to realize the relevance of barefoot controllers in this day and age. We're yet to see how the updated barefoot behave but with imminent updates coming from Intel and SF, I don't think this would matter much.
    Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    You said before that the drive was "totally pointless as an internal drive". That is the comment that I have issue with. It is not pointless, it just has performance and cost characteristics that make it suitable for some workloads and not others.

    Also, the pen drive you linked to costs $599 for 128 GB. And the only customers reviews I could find on it are not positive (losing connectivity with the device repeatedly, possibly due to USB power draw issues). So I don't really think you can use that drive as any kind of foil to compare the Indilinx drive against.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    The way I remember it, Indilinix DID provide relief in a way, and that was relief from the horror of the jmicron drives, and not necessarily the Intel ones. Reply
  • bji - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    Yes, if there is a company that is worthy of your scorn, it is surely JMicron, and not Indilinx. JMicron really should have been sued out of existence for their faulty designs (not just SSDs either, their other controllers have been buggy and problematic also). Reply
  • Nataku - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    no offense... but... how many users do you know that actually bothers with firmware update unless something is broken?

    I know I don't usually bother with it...
    Reply

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