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Silicon Power Ace A56 512GB 7mm SATA 2.5” SSD Review

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Introduction

Despite all the flashy claims about the latest PCIe-bus crushing NVMe drives, SATA drives are still in high demand. From a price perspective, there may not be that large of a divide, but from a compatibility perspective, SATA drives still rule the PC world. No matter if you are doing upgrades to an older machine, or building a new one, a high capacity SATA drive such as Silicon Power’s Ace A56 series can give you a little breathing room for a competitive price. Let’s see how it does!

 

ProClockers would like to thank Silicon Power for sending us the Ace A56 SSD drive over to check out!

 

Silicon Power’s take on the Ace A56 SSD:

More Than Just a Solid Performance – Can You Keep Up?

Equipped with a high-quality controller and 3D NAND flash, the A56 provides outstanding system performance. It will give your computer a powerful boost with significantly reduced boot times and accelerated response processes. Can you keep up?

  • TLC 3D NAND flash and “SLC Cache Technology” to improve overall performance
  • 15 x faster than a standard 5400 HDD*
  • 7mm slim design suitable for ultrabooks and ultra-slim laptops
  • Supports TRIM command and garbage collection technology
  • NCQ and RAID ready
  • ECC (error correction code) technology to guarantee reliable data transmission
  • S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system
  • Low power consumption, shock- and vibration-proof, noiseless and low latency
  • Free SP ToolBox software download to easily obtain disk information such as self-monitoring analysis report, the extent of consumption and SSD diagnostics

Features & Specifications

Time Is Money! Don’t Waste It on a Slow System

The ultra-fast SATA III 6Gb/s transfer interface delivers incredible sequential transfer rates of up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write. It enables boot-ups in the blink of an eye, faster application loading and speedier file execution.

Bad Block Management for Higher Reliability

Even new disks can contain one or more bad blocks which may cause irreparable damage to your system. But have no fear! To prevent flash memory corruption, the A56 is built with bad block management technology. Bad blocks are continually monitored and replaced to keep your system in good condition and to improve reliability and endurance of the SSD. Because we do care about your data. The A56 applies ”SLC Cache technology” with a new caching architecture that combines both SLC and TLC flash blocks. This technology enables all data to be written in the SLC section before being sequentially copied to the TLC block, and as a consequence allows for higher peak writing performance.

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Internal Auto-Copy Technology

The A56’s auto-copy technology allows automatic copy operations from the SLC cache to the TLC blocks inside the NAND without using the controller or DDR. This supports higher efficiency by reducing the controller’s and DRAM’s workload.

Bad Block Management for Higher Reliability

Even new disks can contain one or more bad blocks which may cause irreparable damage to your system. But have no fear! To prevent flash memory corruption, the A56 is built with bad block management technology. Bad blocks are continually monitored and replaced to keep your system in good condition and to improve the reliability and endurance of the SSD. Because we do care about your data.

Light and S.M.A.R.T.

The A56 is one of the lightest and thinnest SSDs of its kind yet it is shock- and vibration-proof, because it contains no moving parts. Equipped with a S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system and ECC (error correction code) technology, it also promises higher data transmission safety.

Free-Download of SSD Health Monitor – SP Toolbox

Easily monitor your new SSD’s health with our free-download software – SP Toolbox. Run performance tests on the A56, get an overall function evaluation or check detailed information about your device, including used space, device temperature, total bytes written, and many more.

 

Specifications:

  • Capacity
    • 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • Dimensions
    • 100.0 x 69.9 x 7.0mm
  • Weight
    • 63g (max.)
  • Controller
    • Phison
  • Interface
    • SATA III
  • Performance
    • Read(max.)ATTO:
      • 1TB, 512GB, 256GB, 128GB – 560MB/s
    • CDM:
      • 1TB, 512GB – 500MB/s
      • 256GB, 128GB – 460MB/s
    • Performance Write(max.)ATTO:
      • 1TB, 512GB, 256GB, 128GB – 530MB/s
    • CDM:
      • 1TB, 512GB – 490MB/s
      • 256GB, 128GB – 430MB/s
  • MTBF
    • 1,500,000 hours
  • Operation Voltage
    • 5V
  • Vibration Resistance Test
    • 20G
  • Shock Resistance Test
    • 1500G Max
  • Warranty
  • 3 years

Packaging & A Closer Look

Silicon Power’s Ace A56 drive comes in a card style blister pack only a bit larger than the drive itself.

The back has some information in a few languages.

There are small openings on each side you can start pealing the blister pack open to get the drive out.

The Ace A56 is a very slim 7mm drive with a black plastic shell. The capacity and serial number on right on the front of the drive.

There is nothing on the back to see.

The Ace A56 uses a standard 7+15p SATA connection.

Since the case is plastic, Silicon Power uses brass inserts for the screw holes.

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System Configuration & Software

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K

Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex

RAM: 32GB HyperX Predator RGB 3200Mhz

GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 FE

Drive: SP Ace A56 512GB

OS: Windows 10 Professional X64 (1903)

 

Silicon Power SP Toolbox

SP Toolbox was developed for using with SP SSDs and Industrial Flash products and provides multiple ways for users to obtain disk information, and to change settings easily. Additionally, it is an advanced and user-friendly software that makes it easier than ever to maintain a healthy and efficient device. The useful features include: View Drive Information, View S.M.A.R.T. Status, Wear Out Count, Block Information, Diagnostic Scan, Performance Test and Secure Erase.

Toolbox has a few less things for this drive than some of its NVMe drives, but you still get the basics. The first button gives you this page where you can see all the important information at a glance.

You shouldn’t need to spend much time on the health tab early on.

If you click the S.M.A.R.T. button, you get to see all of the raw data

Testing

Initialized as GPT and formatted as NTFS in windows, we get a useable space of 476GB.

 

CrystalDiskInfo

An HDD/SSD utility software which supports a part of USB, Intel RAID, and NVMe.

CrystalDiskInfo shows we are connected to the host machine at SATA-III 6.0Gbps as expected.

 

ATTO Disk Benchmark

“As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid-state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark”

ATTO shows pretty close to the 525/s on reads and 473MB/s on writes, both just a bit slower than the advertised specs for ATTO, but not really enough to matter.

 

CrystalDiskMark 6.0

“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows measuring sequential and random read/write speeds.”

CrystalDiskMark shows close to the rated write speeds but again falls a bit short on the read speeds.

 

Anvil’s Storage Utilities

Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a powerful tool that was designed in order to provide you with a simple means of assessing the read and write performance of your Solid State Drive or Hard Disk Drive.

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The benchmark tool helps you monitor and check the response time of your unit as well as view the system information collected using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

The overall score is decent for a SATA SSD, but not quite the highest we’ve seen. Reads again come in lower than we would like to see, while writes are only a touch slower.

AS SSD

The AS SSD benchmark determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains six synthetic and three copy tests.

The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are carried out without using the operating system cache. In Seq-test the program measures how long it takes to read a 1 GB file to write respectively. 4K test the read and write performance is determined at random 4K blocks. The 4K-64 corresponds to the test Third 4K procedure except that the read and write operations are distributed to 64 threads. This test should SSDs pose with Native Command Queuing (NCQ), differences between the IDE operation mode where NCQ is not supported, and the AHCI mode. The additional compression test can measure the power of the SSD in response to the compressibility of the data. This is especially for the controllers that use to increase the performance and life of the cell compression, important.

In the first three synthetic tests and the compression test, the size of the test file 1 GB. Finally, the access time of the SSD is calculated, wherein the access to read over the entire capacity of the SSD (Full Stroke) is determined. The write access test, however, is done with a 1 GB big test file.

AS SSD always shows a bit lower than most of our other tests and again shows slightly lower sequential speeds.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

Silicon Power’s A56 drive provides substantial and highly compatible storage to even the thinnest devices. At 7mm thick, even ultra-books can handle up to 1TB more storage. While the A56 doesn’t always keep benchmarks pegged at maximum values for a SATA drive, it does provide good performance in real-world use which is what really matters. If you’re shopping around for a new drive for a thin and light device, or even your desktop, Silicon Power provides great performance and even better value with the Ace A56 series drives.

 

Great job Silicon Power!

ProClockers was founded way back in 2004, with a goal to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews. Whilst the first products we reviewed are long gone, we're continuing to review the latest and greatest every month.

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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