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ADATA XPG ATOM 50 1TB NVMe Review

Fast and affordable

Damien Gula Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

If you were lucky enough to snag a Playstation 5 this holiday season or you are looking to upgrade your PC storage, you have likely looked at a few NVMe drives. Why wouldn’t you? The combination of speedy access to your applications and the absences of moving physical parts makes it a winning combo… but costs can be prohibitive.  

Enter the XPG ATOM 50. 

In a veritable arena of options, XPG places a contender into the high-speed storage market with an NVMe drive boasting high transfer speeds and PS5-compatibility. But, can XPG deliver performance AND be cost-effective? Let’s find out. 

Specifications

  • MSRP: $119.99 (Amazon)
  • Controller: Realtek RTS5766DL
  • Storage Memory: 1TB Micron 3D TLC NAND
  • Bus: PCIe Gen 4.0 x4
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Sequential Read: up to 5,000 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: up to 4,500 MB/s
  • MTBF: 2,000,000 hours
  • Warranty: Limited 5-years
  • PS5 Compatible 

If you have ever researched NVMe drives, there are a lot of options on the market to choose from. So, what makes XPG stand out? In order to answer that question, you need to look at ADATA, XPG’s parent company. 

Based in Taiwan, ADATA has become a global powerhouse providing storage solutions (hard drives, SSDs, flash memory), DRAM modules, mobile accessories, and beyond in consumer and industry markets. XPG comes into the picture as ADATA’s arm focused on the gaming market. From cases to coolers, RAM kits to laptops, XPG’s stated goal is to “innovate the future defined by ambition.” A lofty goal; let’s start digging into the ATOM 50 to see if it is worthy of the legend.

Under the hood, the ATOM 50 has 1TB of 3D NAND memory. While there are other drives in the ATOM’s family, the ATOM 50 is the only one that utilizes four lanes of PCIe 4.0. When the possibilities of this PCIe bandwidth are combined with SLC cache and Host Memory Buffer, the ATOM 50 is advertised to reach high speeds of 5,000 MB/s Sequential Read and 4,500 MB/s Sequential Write. Advertised write speeds are great, but seeing the ATOM 50 at work will give us a clearer picture of what it’s capable of. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Synthetic Benchmarks

For our first battery of tests, we ran a series of synthetic benchmarks to give us baseline performance numbers for the XPG ATOM 50. To collect these, we ran AS SSD Benchmark, CrystalDiskMark64, and ATTO Disk Benchmark. 

Before we get into the data, here are the system specifications for our test bench:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 
  • Cooler: Corsair H150i ELITE CAPELLIX 360mm
  • RAM: 32GB Crucial Ballistix MAX 4000MHz DDR4 
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte X570S AERO G
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition
  • Storage: 1TB XPG ATOM 50, 1TB AORUS Gen4, 500GB Samsung 980 PRO,
  •  2 TB Seagate FireCuda
  • PSU: Corsair RM850x
  • Case: Corsair 4000X

Within the test results, you will find the 1TB AORUS Gen4, 1TB Kingston KC2500, 1TB WD_Black SN750, 250GB WD Blue SN500, 500GB Samsung 980 Pro, and 256GB Patriot Scorch NVMe drives referenced. We will also be showing numbers from one of the strongest SATA III SSD offerings we’ve seen, the SK Hynix Gold S31

Much of our focused comparison will center around the AORUS Gen4 and the Samsung 980 PRO as these are both PCIe 4.0 x4 offerings. While many of the drives listed above are outclassed by differences in protocol and product generations, they are included to highlight the difference in performance between PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 as well as the vast delta between PCI3 4.0 and SATA III.

On to the data!

We begin our testing with ATTO Disk Benchmark. If you aren’t familiar with how ATTO Disk works, here is the quick breakdown: the test will queue up chunks of data, all varying in size. Then, it provides a breakdown on how the drive handles the reading and writing of these data packets onto the drive. So, how did the ATOM 50 do? 

In ATTO Disk, the ATOM 50 tested at 4.70 GB/s (read) and 4.56 MB/s (write). It falls a bit behind where the top end of the advertised read speeds,  but the write speeds land in the ballpark of where they are supposed to be. Make note that it is not uncommon during these tests to see some variation. Remember: these are advertised peek speeds. We saw a similar picture with the AORUS Gen4 as well.

In AS SSD the ATOM 50 showed sequential speeds of 4329 MB/s (read) and 4597MB/s (write). Comparatively, Gigabyte’s AORUS Gen4 MVNe capped its read speed performance at 4217 MB/s while reading, but couldn’t quite catch up to the ATOM 50 with write speeds of 3910 MB/s. Both came up short of the Samsung 980 PRO’s 5562 MB/s read speeds, but the ATOM showed the delta between itself and PCIe 3.0’s performance leaders the WD_black SN750… which topped out at 2795 MB/s (read) and 2590 MB/s (write).

The final piece of data for our synthetic tests will come from CrystalDiskMark. If you look at the charts, the XPG ATOM 50 performs modestly among the PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives we have had the opportunity to test. It goes toe-to-toe with the AORUS Gen4 in read speeds, but overtakes it in write speeds by a significant margin.

Real-World Performance

To give us a better picture of the ATOM 50 out in the wild, we ran a series of gaming tests to collect information on load times between scenes and into specific portions of a few games. We also recorded cold boot times to give a picture of how fast an NVMe drive will get to your login screen.

For the XPG ATOM 50, we had a boot time of 26.73 seconds. In the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadow Bringers benchmark at maximum settings in 1440p, we saw a total scene loading time of 9.443 between the five scenes, making this test’s average load time of 1.888 seconds between scenes. Keeping it in the Final Fantasy family, the front-end loading of the Final Fantasy XV benchmark took 21.15 seconds and transitions between scenes were barely noticeable. Finally, loading from the director into Destiny 2’s Tangled Shore took around 23 seconds.

Final Thoughts

Out of the box, the ATOM 50 made an impressive showing. This high-speed NVMe drive utilizes a decent enough portion of PCIe 4.0’s capabilities to push it ahead of its predecessors, it fits the needs of the Playstation 5 (for those who have one), and it does the seemingly impossible in the dawning of 2022: it remains a modestly priced piece of modern technology. 

One place that we do need to give a slight critique to is the included heatsink. It is a very thin thermal spreader that the end-user needs to apply to the NVMe drive themselves. This isn’t a problem if you are super precise with these kinds of things, but there is a reason why I never applied stickers to things as a kid: I am not. While I can appreciate the option to use with or without (for those with heatsink-equipped motherboards), the idea of removing or reseating a catawampus heatsink gives me pause. 

All things considered, if you are looking for a PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe drive for your PC or PS5 that performs well within the protocol’s performance spectrum and you don’t want to break the bank doing so, this may be a drive worth considering. At $119.99 USD, the XPG ATOM 50 serves as a cost-effective option for expansion or a higher-capacity boot drive.

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.

8.0Great
Pros
  • Cost-conscious PCIe 4.0x4 option
  • PS5 Compatibility
  • Optional adhesive heatsink included
Cons
  • Heatsink must be applied by the user


Pastor_Dame

Damien Gula

Born in the heyday of mullets and the El Camino to a tech-foward family, Damien joined the MMORPG.com team back in 2017 to review hardware and games as well as provide coverage for press preview events. He has participated in a number of MMOs over the years, including World of Warcraft, RIFT, Guild Wars 2, and the Destiny series. When he isn't writing for MMORPG.com, Damien is a pastor by trade who loves talking with anyone interested about life, God, and video games (in no particular order). He also co-hosts a podcast dedicated to these conversation with fellow MMORPG writer Matt Keith called Roll The Level.