Info Netac N530S 256GB SATA III SSD Review - Just how good can a $21.99 256GB SSD be?

NightHawkRMX

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I was on the market for an inexpensive SSD to use in older systems for short term testing, and I came across this listing, a Netac 256gb SATA III 6Gbp/s 2.5in SSD for just $21.99 at time of purchase. Similar budget drives from more reputable brands start at $28-30. Out of curiosity I purchased the drive and decided to give it a teardown and see how it performed.

Netac claims: "Incredible Performance: Read speeds up to 500MB/s..." as well as "Write Speed: Up to 450MB/s..." It also claims to use "3d nand technology" I will be verifying these claims later on.

I cannot find any information about warranty length or endurance rating.

The drive comes in rather basic packaging, with just basic information about the drive on the front.

View: https://imgur.com/fUOeMe3


The reverse has even less information.

View: https://imgur.com/did2mbN


A disclaimer about why the drive may not appear as 256gb in windows due to the differences in capacity measurement is prominently shown at the top. Below that the phrase "SATA Revision 3.0" is printed in no fewer than 10 languages. The back also contains information about the manufacturer as well as regulatory icons.

Inside, the drive is packed in a standard plastic trey. Tucked underneath is a small booklet containing installation instructions written in fairly decent English, accompanied by some diagrams.

The drive itself uses a plastic chassis that feels fairly sturdy with a design on top, as well as an information about the drive on the bottom. It appears this drive is model number N530S.

View: https://imgur.com/F1PDjJ1


Opening the drive to reveal its contents was simple. The bottom is simply snapped on. Removing the bottom didn't even disturb the "Warranty Void if Removed" sticker.

View: https://imgur.com/4YC1QYh


Controller: YeeStor YS9082HC
Dram: N/A
Nand Flash: 2x Spectek PN: FBNM16A256G1KDBANJ4

This controller is a lower end dramless model that I have never heard of before. Some research yielded that this controller appears in other Chinese models from companies like Kingfir. The nand is from Spectek, a sub brand of Micron. I cannot find much information on it, but I believe it is TLC. Judging by the internals, I expect this drive to perform fairly average for a low end model, but there is only one way to find out.

Plugging it in it showed up properly. I ran crystal disk mark and ran some tests.

View: https://imgur.com/GyX0oZu


Performance is on par with other inexpensive drives. This was tested plugged into a sata iii port of my MSI b350 gaming plus.

Given the unknown brand, unknown tbw rating, and off-brand controller, as well some rumors that Netac might sell fake capacity drives, I don't think I would trust this drive. But as it sits, it should work fine for what I need.
 
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punkncat

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Nice review. It seems to match its marketing keywords and for the price would be hard to beat so long as it lasts more than a year or so.

I had experience a while back with a brand, I thought was called Kinguin or some such...they had a Shark on the front label of a blue casing. A friend had picked them up at a similar price point to install in his glass cube of hot PC death pre built to match the color scheme he was shooting for. They have been in service a bit over a year and no reported issue. Seems like (some of) these cheap drives are worth consideration.
 

NightHawkRMX

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Nice review. It seems to match its marketing keywords and for the price would be hard to beat so long as it lasts more than a year or so
Honestly as long as the controller is halfway acceptable about wear leveling etc, I would expect it to last awhile under normal usage.

From what I see, the bottom floor of performance for a modern drive is pretty high. Even the cheapest drives I've tested will perform similarly to this, nearly maxing out the SATA iii bus.

These inexpensive drives will outperform older high quality drives now. It scores higher in most measurements than my Samsung 830 128gb SSDs, which are quality drives with dram etc, but a decade old.

Of course if you do an extended write or fill the drive up the lack of dram is going to kill performance. But the slc caching really does work pretty well untill it runs out.


These guys are saying that the controller identifies itself as "SG9081CC-1" in ROM mode.

https://www.usbdev.ru/f/index.php?topic=5312.0

To get into ROM mode, short the two ROM pads in the bottom left corner of the PCB with tweezers while powering on the drive, then release the short.

SiliconGo and Auspitek Merged to Establish YEESTOR.

Here is some info on the controller:

http://silicongo.com/en/products.php?proid=1
Why would you want to put the controller in ROM mode? Doesn't that defeat a lot of the purpose of an drive?
 

USAFRet

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Yeah, the performance may be almost but not quite on par with other, better known and quality drives.

But for that extra $10, you're also paying for the warranty and reputation.

For instance, with my dead SSD a couple years ago...it was 33 days past the 3 year warranty. I knew it, Sandisk knew it, they replaced it for free anyway.
Would this company do the same for a dead drive?


These inexpensive drives will outperform older high quality drives now.
My 7 year old 250GB 840 EVOs still outperform this.
 

NightHawkRMX

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Would this company do the same for a dead drive?
What warranty? I'm still not sure there is one, or how long it is if there is one :D

I would recommend spending more for a better drive if you were to use this for a mission critical application. I wouldn't use this as a boot drive in my daily system for example.

But for this use I really don't care about a warranty. For the light use it's going to be used for, it should last awhile. And if it doesn't, it won't contain any precious data and at the price this is, I probably wouldn't bother to warranty claim it anyhow.
 

NightHawkRMX

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My 7 year old 250GB 840 EVOs still outperform this.
Probably, and definitely under extended writes etc. And those drives will most likely last much longer.

But I don't think the performance difference between this and even a top tier brand new 870 Evo would be noticable for your average person just navigating an os and loading application
 

NightHawkRMX

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Those Russian guys claim that there is currently nothing in the wild. Normally you would look for an MPTool provided by the manufacturer of the flash controller.

Here are some SSD tools (WARNING - they may be data destructive).

SSD tools (for repair and info, not data recovery):
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=2819
Okay I'll look into that! Not sure if it will show much information that we don't already know but will be worth a shot.
 

USAFRet

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Probably, and definitely under extended writes etc. And those drives will most likely last much longer.

But I don't think the performance difference between this and even a top tier brand new 870 Evo would be noticable for your average person just navigating an os and loading application
Basic performance, pretty much the same.
As said, though...what you're paying for is reliability and warranty.

When one of these dies, for whatever reason...will you get a new one from the manufacturer?
 

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