News Not-So-Solid State: SSD Makers Swap Parts Without Telling Us

Thomas Wells

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Mar 27, 2015
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I was wondering about this because the reddit forums listed the Adata change right before black Friday and it absolutely had an impact on how many people bought their product. I was one that decided this is not acceptable and that particular thread has several thousand views and many, many comments about staying away from these SSDs for that reason.
 

husker

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"...the drive uses an SMI controller (not which one) and that it can get up to 3,500 / 3,000 MBps sequential reads and writes with up to 390K / 380K IOPS. "

The words "up to" should not be allowed in any advertising or specs because it is meaningless at best and deceptive at worst. For example if you thumb up my comment I will pay you up to one million U.S. dollars. That leaves me the option of paying you anything from 0 to a million. The only only thing I've guaranteed is that I won't exceed a million.
 

mac_angel

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I really hope someone puts together a class action suit against these companies. It seems that all storage companies are messing around and swapping parts. Seagate, Western Digital, now SSD drives, too. I don't see how this doesn't fall into the whole "bait and switch" scheme. Release a product, send them out for reviews, gain popularity, they start swapping out parts for cheaper models. Sadly, this isn't even in just the tech industry, but can be seen absolutely everywhere.
 
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I'm wondering, for SSDs (at least now), and possibly other products, when a change is made for the worse while trying to hide it by keeping the same SKU, if we should keep a sort of blacklist of brands/models, so we know what to avoid.

That said, if particular brands make a habit of this with multiple models, then I'd probably avoid buying even their known good models. If I am going to punish bad behavior, I want to mean it.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I'm wondering, for SSDs (at least now), and possibly other products, when a change is made for the worse while trying to hide it by keeping the same SKU, if we should keep a sort of blacklist of brands/models, so we know what to avoid.

That said, if particular brands make a habit of this with multiple models, then I'd probably avoid buying even their known good models. If I am going to punish bad behavior, I want to mean it.
SSD - Kingston and ADATA are on my DoNotBuy list. No matter which model.
 

Phaaze88

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Ambassador
I'm wondering, for SSDs (at least now), and possibly other products, when a change is made for the worse while trying to hide it by keeping the same SKU, if we should keep a sort of blacklist of brands/models, so we know what to avoid.

That said, if particular brands make a habit of this with multiple models, then I'd probably avoid buying even their known good models. If I am going to punish bad behavior, I want to mean it.
Just like Enermax is banned on the cpu hybrid cooler front.
And EVGA banned on the psu end - I'm sorry, but they have way too many models, to the point I believe they purposefully did it to confuse the market and discourage reviews.
 

jpe1701

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Mar 13, 2015
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This has me wondering about my hp ex950. I bought it way after it released and all the good reviews had been up for a long time and it was on sale. It has never been as fast as I saw in reviews and from looking online there are a bunch of others with the same problem. And hp doesn't handle the support for the ex950 in north america so it's a third party distributor you talk to.
 

eugenu

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Feb 7, 2014
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Is there a way to find out which controller is used in an ADATA drive?
Got one in May and a second one in October... it would be nice to know!
 

kelmen

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Now I will be more cautious about Taiwan products, knowing that a Taiwan based international company doing this kind of sheninagan.
 

Loadedaxe

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Jul 30, 2016
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"...the drive uses an SMI controller (not which one) and that it can get up to 3,500 / 3,000 MBps sequential reads and writes with up to 390K / 380K IOPS. "

The words "up to" should not be allowed in any advertising or specs because it is meaningless at best and deceptive at worst. For example if you thumb up my comment I will pay you up to one million U.S. dollars. That leaves me the option of paying you anything from 0 to a million. The only only thing I've guaranteed is that I won't exceed a million.
They are covered. They can't predict what everyones system is going to yield in performance. AMD, Intel chipsets both differ in performance, the fluctuations based of motherboard manufacturer and quality makes a difference and is what makes the "up to" standard language in SSDs.

That being said, switching components WITHOUT stating so is a problem.
 

cyrusfox

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Sep 24, 2009
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Is there a utility that lets you see what hardware version of controller your model is?
Not that I am aware of, typically have to pull the drive and the sticker and look up what is written on the controller chip and the nand chips to know for certain, Got me really curious which version of the SX8200 I've been rocking for the last year+, I also found the performance of it lackluster.
 

g-unit1111

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Very interesting stuff. For the most part I don't buy any SSDs not named Intel or Samsung for that reason. I bought a WD 750 that runs in my laptop and I use it mainly for file storage but after reading this I should check and see what model it is.
 
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seanwebster

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Aug 30, 2018
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Is there a way to find out which controller is used in an ADATA drive?
Got one in May and a second one in October... it would be nice to know!
The engraving on the controller states SM2262G or SM2262ENG.

Where do you get that SM2262 = SM2262G?

All reviews of the SX8200 (non-Pro) refer simply to SM2262.
That is because they are referred to as SM2262 and SM2262EN on their product sheets, but the packages have a G engraved in them after. All SM2262 reviews show G on the controller IHS and the "new" and "old" ROMs match.

Is there a utility that lets you see what hardware version of controller your model is?
I think AIDA64's device readout shows the controller as 2262ENG or SM2262G - with or without the Gs. Otherwise, it is on the controller package. The Micron 96L model is labeled as made in China while the Samsung 64L model is labeled as made in Taiwan.

Great article! This is Tom's at its best.
Thank you
 

LaminarFlow

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I think AIDA64's device readout shows the controller as 2262ENG or SM2262G - with or without the Gs. Otherwise, it is on the controller package.


Thank you
Can confirm this is the case. I just checked mine and it seems I have version "1.5": 2262ENG controller but Micron NAND
FWIW, I get about 2800MB/s seq. read and 3100MB/s seq. write with QD8. This result falls right between the numbers shown in the article.
 

escksu

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Aug 8, 2019
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I really hope someone puts together a class action suit against these companies. It seems that all storage companies are messing around and swapping parts. Seagate, Western Digital, now SSD drives, too. I don't see how this doesn't fall into the whole "bait and switch" scheme. Release a product, send them out for reviews, gain popularity, they start swapping out parts for cheaper models. Sadly, this isn't even in just the tech industry, but can be seen absolutely everywhere.
I am not sure if a lawsuit is remotely possible given that companies never state what components they are using other than the brand (its stated SMI in this case). Furthermore, its common practice for companies to revise their products over time. Tom's original SX8200 Pro review is 2yrs old.
 

KADC

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I'm feeling pretty irked that I made a purchase based on carefully considering performance reviews versus what I could afford and patiently waiting for a deal that didn't instantly sell out due to douche-bag scalpers only to end up playing some random component bait-and-switch lottery.
 

Gussv

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Apr 4, 2019
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Is there a way to find out which controller is used in an ADATA drive?
Got one in May and a second one in October... it would be nice to know!
Is there a utility that lets you see what hardware version of controller your model is?
Yes. Have a look in here:

 

ingtar33

Illustrious
SSD - Kingston and ADATA are on my DoNotBuy list. No matter which model.
As an IT guy, I'd like to say that in addition to Kingston and Adata, I also never buy Intel SSDs

The only SSDs I ever see fail in the wild are all intel SSDs (all makes and models). It's to the point I'm no longer surprised. They make trash SSDs and stuff them in everything, they fail at a higher rate then most hard drives did 15 years ago. It's a f-ing epidemic, any intel SSD over 18mo old is a giant failure risk (without warning).
 
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