- Excellent real-world performance
- Very affordable
- An attractive design-style radiator is available.
- 512 GB capacity – relatively slow writer
At $50, it’s hard to beat the 512GB Legend 850, which actually outperformed a range of 1TB and 2TB SSDs in our actual 48GB file transfers.
Best Prices Today: Adata Legend 850 512GB SSD
I was a bit surprised when Adata rated the capacity of their latest 512GB Legend 850 NVMe 1.4 M.2 SSD. Higher capacity drives (1TB, 2TB and above) typically provide better performance due to more NAND available for use as a secondary cache.
That’s what I was thinking when the 512GB Legend 850 fell behind in the first two tests. But then, amazingly, the drive ranked 4th in 48GB file transfer among all the drives we tested, most of which are 1TB and 2TB contenders. This is the test that most mimics real use. The color impressed us.
Note. Check out our roundup of the best SSDs to learn about competing products, what to look for in an SSD, and get buying advice.
Adata Legend 850: design and specifications
Adata sent us a limited edition Legend 850 designed by German designer Mr. Fred (not ed.). The colorful floral motif is evocative, though not particularly indicative of digital storage. If that’s not to your liking, there’s the more common charcoal gray and gold color scheme, as shown below.
The 512GB capacity of the Legend 850 we tested costs just $48, but there are also 1TB and 2TB versions available for $90 and $216, respectively. This is a very good price for 1 TB, and 2 TB is about the norm for this class of drives.
The Legend 850 is a 2280 (22x80mm), M.2, PCIe 4.0 SSD form factor that uses a DRAM-free HBM (Home Bus Memory) design. In other words, it uses some of your system memory for basic caching tasks.
Using an SM2269XT Silicon Motion controller, it also very sensibly dedicated NAND for secondary caching purposes (written as 1-bit SLC, not 176-layer 3-bit TLC, which is the cells’ native capacity).
The Legend 850 is guaranteed for five years or 500 TBW (terabytes of recorded data) for every 512 GB of capacity, whichever comes first. That’s a pretty generous TBW rating for the price.
The 512GB Legend 850 really came to life when reading and writing our 48GB file and dataset, outperforming many 1TB or 2TB NAND drives.
Adata Legend 850: Performance
As noted above, the results of the Legend 850’s synthetic benchmarks were mixed, with very good read performance and out-of-the-box write performance.
However, the drive really came to life when reading and writing our 48GB single file and dataset, outperforming many 1TB/2TB NAND drives. That’s no small feat, and probably thanks to the clever handling of secondary cache by the new Silicon Motion controller.
The Legend 850 is back on the ground in our 450GB entry after a very good start.
There’s simply no way around the fact that it only had 62GB of NAND in this particular test. You can see in the screenshot below that performance dropped a bit after the 100GB mark and again around 350GB.
However, it dropped to just 450MB/s, which while not NVMe-like, isn’t the lazy hard drive speed we’ve seen on some cache-busting SSDs.
We also note that the Legend 850 formats and optimizes very quickly. Some inexpensive drives require comparative lifetimes to perform these operations.
Internal storage tests currently using Windows 11 64-bit running an MSI MEG X570/AMD Ryzen 3700X combo machine with four x 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (Nvidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and ASMedia ASM3242 USB 3.2×2. map. The copy tests use an ImDisk RAM disk using 58 GB of the 64 GB total memory.
Each test is performed on a freshly formatted TRIM drive so results are optimal. Over time, as the drive fills up, performance will degrade due to less NAND for caching and other factors.
The performance figures shown are only for the drive we shipped and the capacity tested. SSD performance may vary by capacity due to more or less shotgun read/write chips and the amount of NAND memory available for secondary caching. Vendors also occasionally change components, and Adata has not excluded this drive from this practice. If you ever notice a big discrepancy between the performance you’re experiencing and the one we’re reporting (the systems are about the same), please let us know.
Should I buy Adata Legend 850?
Okay, you’re unlikely to need the 512GB Legend 850 as your primary SSD in a fast gaming or creative PC. But for an average low-cost PC or laptop, this is a very good base or upgrade.