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ADATA Elite SE880 Review: Pros, Cons, and Performance

Looking for the fastest USB external SSD? Consider this contender. A Gen 2×2 port is required. However, sustained top speed is limited, and encryption is absent.

NewForTech Opinion:

Pros:

  • USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 support
  • 5-year warranty
  • Affordable
  • Includes both USB cables

Cons:

  • No 4TB option
  • Lacks hardware encryption
  • Top speeds cannot be sustained
ADATA Elite SE880 Review: Pros, Cons, and Performance
(Image Credit: ADATA)

QUICK REVIEW: ADATA ELITE SE880 SPECS

SpecificationDetails
Capacities500GB, 1TB, 2TB
InterfaceUSB 3.2 Gen 2×2
Quoted Speed2,000MB/s read, 2,000MB/s write
Dimensions64.8 x 35 x 12.25mm
Weight31g
Casing MaterialAluminum + plastic
Operating Temp5°C~50°C
Hardware EncryptionN/A
Warranty/SupportLimited 5-year warranty with free tech support
Compatible OSWindows 8, 8.1, 10 or 11, macOS (v.10.6 +), Linux (Kernel 2.6+), Android (5.0+)
In the BoxElite SE880, USB 3.2 Type-C to C cable, USB 3.2 Type-C to A cable, Quick Start Guide

Amidst the wait for USB 4.0, external SSD manufacturers are revisiting the often-neglected USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 technology.

The Adata Elite SE880 supports Gen 2×2, functioning as Gen2 or Gen1 when needed, provided you have a compatible USB port.

The SE880, like many external SSDs, features a USB-C port on its uniquely shaped build, and Adata includes both USB-C and USB-A cables, not just an adapter.

Unfortunately, no pouch is provided for cable and drive storage, though its 64.8mm length makes it highly portable.

QUICK REVIEW: ADATA ELITE SE880 SPECS
(Image Credit: ADATA)

Capacity options are 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB; however, a 4TB version is not available, and the 2TB variant may be challenging to find.

Adata offers a suite of utilities to enhance drive performance and automate folder and file security, including a firmware update tool, a crucial resource in case of firmware issues.

Priced at around $85 for the 1TB version, it’s not the most budget-friendly Gen 2×2 performer. Nevertheless, considering the inclusion of both USB cables and a five-year warranty, the cost is justifiable.

In summary, the Adata Elite SE880 is a compact, durable external SSD offering solid performance for small file transfers with Gen 2×2 ports. However, it may not be the best value for those lacking compatible ports or seeking to secure large video files.

Adata Elite SE880: Pricing and Availability

  • Price: $49.99/£57.10/€65.89
  • Availability: Now
  • Purchase: Direct from Adata or online retailers like Amazon

Adata supports sizes below 1TB, offering the Elite SE880 in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB options.

In the UK on Amazon, you can find the 500GB and 1TB models at £57.10 and £84.37, respectively.

US customers get a better deal, with prices at $49.99 and $79.99. However, the 2TB model is missing.

Adata Elite SE880: Pricing and Availability
(Image Credit: ADATA)

In Europe, the prices are €65.89 and €83.95, but there’s no sign of the 2TB variant.

The major competitors include Corsair EX100U, Crucial X10 Pro, and Kingston XS2000. Among them, the Adata Elite SE880 is pricier than all except the Crucial X10 Pro, with a difference of roughly $5 or more. The Corsair EX100U, in particular, is a bargain at around $60.

Value: 4 / 5

ADATA ELITE SE880: BENCHMARK

  • Great performance
  • No hardware encryption
  • Simple but effective software
Video from ADATA Youtube Channel

The Elite SE880 doesn’t achieve its maximum 2000MB/s read performance on just any computer. It relies on a specific USB port type, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. Most systems have USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) or at least USB 3.2 Gen 2, but fewer support Gen 2×2. If you lack that port, this SSD may not be a wise choice.

For USB 3.0 ports, expect around 400MB/s performance, which jumps to 1,000MB/s with USB 3.2 Gen 2. Testing with a PCIe card in Gen 2×2 mode, we achieved impressive results on CrystalDiskMark: 2062MB/s read and 1856MB/s write, close to the theoretical limits.

Using real-world benchmarks, it maintained strong performance, with 1874MB/s reads and 1709MB/s writes. Among USB SSDs, it ranks among the fastest, only outpaced by the Kingston XS2000.

SE880: BENCHMARKS
(Image Credit: ADATA)

However, for large files exceeding 32GB, performance declines sharply, possibly due to inefficient NAND caching or thermal throttling.

One drawback compared to competitors like the Crucial X10 Pro and SanDisk Extreme Pro V2 is the lack of hardware encryption. While software encryption options like BitLocker are available, they may affect file transfer speed.

Adata provides useful software tools to maximize the drive’s capabilities, offering decent data security for most users.

In summary, the Adata Elite SE880 delivers impressive short-distance speed but falls short in endurance for sustained heavy use.

ADATA ELITE SE880: BENCHMARKS

BenchmarkRead (MBps)Write (MBps)
AJA18931671
CrystalDiskMark Default20621856
CrystalDiskMark Real World18741709
ATTO19301730
AS SSD18931633

Performance: 4 / 5

Recommending Gen 2×2 drives presents challenges. USB 4.0 won’t support it in the future, despite its current benefits. The packaging boasts compatibility with the PS5 and XBOX Series X/S, but these consoles lack 2×2 USB ports. They work no faster than cheap USB 3.2 Gen 2 drives.

For those with this port, the SE880 is a compact, sturdy drive, excelling in speed over short distances but struggling with large file writes.

ADATA ELITE SE880
(Image Credit: ADATA)

The asking price aligns with its lack of encryption, and the inclusion of both USB cables is a plus.

Adata should consider an affordable 4TB model and address throttling during large file transfers for the SE880‘s future improvement.

ADATA ELITE SE880: DESIGN

  • Unique lozenge shape
  • Both cables included

The Elite SE880‘s design prioritizes structural integrity, featuring a curved profile that adds strength to its tubular enclosure. The plastic ends resemble a dog’s bone, with one end hosting the USB-C port for system connection and a discreet, albeit somewhat challenging to see, blue activity LED.

While the plastic components, including the USB-C port, may be potential weak points, the alloy tube forming the majority of the enclosure feels exceptionally robust, requiring substantial force to deform.

DESIGN
(Image Credit: ADATA)

Adata thoughtfully includes two USB cables: a 30cm USB-C cable and a 20cm USB-A cable. It’s worth noting that the USB-C cable is thicker and less flexible.

The packaging includes a Quick Start Guide with a QR code leading to the download location for Backup ToGo software. Additionally, you can access the Adata SSD Toolbox, which offers tools for drive maintenance and cloning from one SSD to another.

Design: 4 / 5

SHOULD I BUY THE ADATA ELITE SE880

proscons
✔ If you have USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports✘ No hardware encryption
✔ Fast and easy for live document use✘ Limited to 2TB capacity
✘ Slower for large file writes

Consider buying the ADATA Elite SE880 if you have USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports and need fast, convenient access to live documents.

However, don’t buy it if you require hardware encryption or more than 2TB capacity. Cheaper alternatives with encryption are available for slower USB ports, saving you money.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

NewForTech Rate

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Looking for the fastest USB external SSD? Consider this contender. A Gen 2x2 port is required. However, sustained top speed is limited, and encryption is absent. NewForTech Opinion: Pros: USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 support 5-year warranty Affordable Includes both USB cables Cons: No 4TB option Lacks hardware encryption Top speeds cannot be sustained QUICK REVIEW:...ADATA Elite SE880 Review: Pros, Cons, and Performance