ADATA Legend 960 Max PCIe 4.0 SSD Review: A Compact M.2 Drive with Efficient Heatsink for Compact Systems

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As Solid-State Drives (SSDs) improve and become faster, particularly those that leverage the full potential of PCIe 4.0, they can also become very hot. This additional heat is a common problem for most SSDs in the market, and it can cause the SSD to perform poorly. To address this, manufacturers are now focusing on incorporating heatsinks into their SSDs to aid in cooling. The primary goal is to design a heatsink that is highly effective and versatile enough for use in various compact devices. In response to these challenges, ADATA offers a solution with one of their top SSD lineups. The ADATA Legend 960 Max PCIe 4.0 SSD features a built-in heatsink and is designed with enough clearance to fit in most compact PCs, gaming laptops, and the PlayStation 5.

The ADATA Legend 960 Max PCIe 4.0 SSD boast an advertised read and write speeds of up to 7,400 MB/s and 6,800 MB/s, respectively. This SSD is also available in capacities of up to 4TB. A key feature is its integrated heatsink, which is designed to mitigate heat-related performance issues. It is compatible with recent Intel and AMD platforms and can be used as additional storage for the PlayStation 5. Additionally, ADATA offers a 5-year warranty, reflecting their commitment to product reliability and customer assurance.

The ADATA Legend 960 Max SSD 1TB variant is priced in the Philippines for PHP 4,595.

In this review, we will rigorously examine the performance of the ADATA Legend 960 Max across various tests to determine if it lives up to its claims and justifies its price point.


The ADATA Legend 960 Max PCIe 4.0 SSD is packaged in a glossy black carton, which features an eye-catching detail – a rainbow color effect that appears as a filter when light is reflected on it. This iridescent play of colors is elegantly complemented by gold prints that enhances its aesthetic appeal. The front of the box prominently displays the three parts of the SSD (The heatsink, SSD and the back cover), together with the capacity label.

The back of the package is simpler in terms of information. It includes basic product labeling and directs consumers to scan a QR code for more detailed specifications.

For complete list of specification, here it is:

Capacity1TB / 2TB / 4TB
Form FactorM.2 2280
ControllerSMI SM2264
Dimension80.6 x 23.2 x 10.65mm
with Heatsink

80 x 22 x 3.3mm
without Heatsink
with Heatsink

without Heatsink
InterfacePCIe Gen4 x4
SpeedUp to 7,400MB/s (Read), 6,800MB/s (Write)
Up to 750K IOPS (Read), 630K IOPS (Write)
Operating Temperature-40°C-85°C
Shock Resistance1,500G/0.5ms
MTBF2 million hours
Terabytes Written (TBW)3,120TB
Warranty5-Year Limited Warranty

On the side, you’ll notice key compatibility features prominently highlighted. It mentions the SSD’s support for the latest PCIe 4.0 interface and its suitability for use with the PlayStation 5, as well as the SSD’s advertised speed.

Upon opening the box, users are greeted with the SSD itself, securely encased in a clear plastic tray. It’s important to note that the SSD and it heatsink are not pre-installed together; they are placed separately within the tray.

Here is the back side of the clear plastic tray with the SSD.

Design and Build

The ADATA Legend 960 Max PCIe 4.0 SSD is designed to expose its internal components, offering users a glimpse into the intricate electronic parts that drive its performance. This design allows for a degree of DIY, enabling users to connect parts of the SSD themselves.

On the backside of the SSD, the area is primarily occupied by a warranty sticker and a product information label.

It’s important to note that removing the warranty sticker is not advised, as doing so will void the warranty. Here’s how it looks like from the inside.

The heatsink on the SSD is the part you’ll mostly see in your computer. It’s not the main technical part, but it covers the SSD’s internals. It has a black finish that’s both matte and shiny, with gold details. This includes gold labeling and gold edges on the top and bottom corners, lending it a luxurious and high-quality appearance.

Here are the three parts of the SSD components.

When the pieces are put together, they form a cohesive and sleek unit.

From the side, you’ll find the thermal fins in gold.

Assembling the Heatsink

When assembling the heatsink onto the ADATA Legend 960 Max PCIe 4.0 SSD, it’s crucial to be extra cautious. The absence of assembly instructions in the box means that there’s a risk of making errors, such as placing the SSD in the wrong position, which could lead to inadvertently tearing the warranty sticker. The back cover of the heatsink has a very sticky surface that can easily attached to the back of the SSD. If you’re not careful, attempting to disassemble the SSD and heatsink later on could result in tearing the sticker, which is problematic as it might void the warranty.

However, in response to concerns about this design aspect, the ADATA RMA team has clarified their policy: “For this particular model, we acknowledge that the unique design might affect the S/N label due to the heatsink attachment. In such cases, we do provide warranty service, even if the S/N label is impacted by the heatsink.”

To assemble it correctly, it’s best to watch a step-by-step video below. This video will help especially with attaching the SSD to the back cover.

After that, the cover heatsink is then pushed into place with a locking mechanism that secures the SSD.

Here is the final look after assembling the SSD.

Assembling the SSD is straightforward if you have conducted prior research on how to do it. However, the additional challenge arises when dismantling it, as it is impossible to do so without tearing the warranty sticker.


The ADATA Legend 960 Max PCIe 4.0 SSD is equipped with a Silicon Motion SM2264F controller, which is notable for its low power consumption and fast performance. Manufactured using a 12nm process, it features a quad-core ARM R8 CPU and is capable of handling a significant amount of data swiftly – up to 16GB/s across four lanes with support for up to 8 NAND flash channels. Each channel can handle speeds of up to 1,600 MT/s.

For its DRAM, the SSD utilizes Samsung HMR08003 chips. These chips offer 1GB of fast DRAM storage, and the SSD has two of them: one located on the front and the other on the back.

The storage component of the SSD is comprised of Micron B47R chips, which are rebranded by ADATA. These chips bear the identification number 60079146. They are constructed with 176 layers and utilize triple-level cell technology, with each chip having a capacity of up to 256GB. Our review model with 1TB of storage, contains four of these chips in total, distributed equally with two on the front and two on the back.


To evaluate the real-world capabilities of the ADATA Legend 960 Max PCIe 4.0 SSD, we conducted a series of benchmarks and stress tests using the following test unit:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900 12-Core Processor with Stock Cooler
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE X670 Gaming X AX
  • RAM Memory: T-Force Delta Alpha RGB DDR5-6000 MHz
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Pro

Before commencing the tests, we recorded an initial SSD temperature of 42°C.

CrystalDiskMark Benchmark

Our first benchmark is CrystalDiskMark, which the manufacturer uses to rate the speed of their SSD. This benchmark is a widely recognized tool for measuring the performance of various storage devices, including SSDs.

The SSD reached its rated speed, achieving 7,426.59 MB/s for sequential read and 6,683.17 MB/s for sequential write. In the single-use benchmark scenario, it recorded 7,450.85 MB/s for read and 6,688.93 MB/s for write. For multi-threading, it achieved 4,111.05 MB/s for read and 3,003.53 MB/s for write. In the single-thread and small data test, it scored 78.59 MB/s for read and 298.44 MB/s for write. These scores are impressive for a PCIe Gen 4 SSD, and we can confirm it is one of the fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs in the market.

AS SSD Benchmark

Next, we tested it with the AS SSD Benchmark, a more dedicated benchmark for SSDs. It does not use a cache, so it provides more accurate results regarding the actual performance of the SSD and the results are also much more straightforward.

We got a score of 6,368.48 MB/s for read and 5,884.33 MB/s for write. For 4K, it scored 74.06 MB/s for read and 260.10 MB/s for write. In the 4K-64 thread test, it achieved 2,461.86 MB/s for read and 4,129.25 MB/s for write. Lastly, it had low access times of 0.019 ms for read and 0.015 ms for write.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

Next in line is the ATTO Disk Benchmark. This tool measures the SSD’s performance across different file sizes, ranging from 512B to 64MB. It helps to determine how the SSD manages files when used in various tasks, such as gaming, transferring files, and running apps.

The SSD reached its peak read speed at 4MB with 6.23 GB/s, while its peak write speed was at 256KB with 6.67 GB/s. Although we observed a rough start for read speeds at 128KB, the write speed was quite slow for small files.

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmark – Full System

Next, we tested it with the PCMark 10 Storage Benchmark, known for its comprehensive scoring based on different real-world scenarios from office tasks to demanding gaming tasks.

The SSD achieved a score of 3,515, which is quite high, and a bandwidth speed of 554.05 MB/s. It also recorded a fast access time of only 47μs, which is impressive given the built-in DRAM cache of this SSD.

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmark – Data Drive

The Data Drive benchmark involves handling data-intensive tasks and simulates real-world scenarios.

The SSD achieved a very good score of 6,172, with an overall bandwidth speed of 944.60 MB/s and an access time of 26μs.

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmark – Quick System

Finally, we conducted the Quick System test, which summarizes all data tasks and daily tasks, effectively showcasing the overall speed of the SSD in routine task scenarios.

We achieved a score of 4,512, an overall bandwidth of 543.68 MB/s, and an access time of 23μs.


At the end of our testing, the SSD registered a temperature of 54°C, well below the operating maximum of 85°C. This demonstrates that the heatsink is highly effective, maintaining the SSD within optimal temperature levels even under heavy load.


With all of those tests, let’s see how the SSD keep up with other SSD in the market.

Pros and Cons

High-Speed Performance: Achieves impressive read and write speeds, living up to its advertised specifications.

Efficient Cooling Solution: The integrated compact heatsink effectively dissipates heat, maintaining stable performance even under heavy loads.

Aesthetic Design: Sleek and visually appealing, perfect for high-end PC gaming rigs and professional workstations.

Large Storage Options: Available in capacities up to 4TB, catering to users with substantial storage needs.

DRAM Cache: Enhances performance in real-world scenarios, efficiently handling extensive tasks.

5-Year Warranty: Offers a standard, long-term warranty.

Affordability: Priced competitively at only 4,500, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers.
Warranty Sticker Design: The design of the warranty sticker on the bottom cover of the heatsink makes it difficult to relocate or remove the SSD without voiding the warranty.

However, the ADATA RMA team has clarified that warranty service will still be provided if the S/N label is affected by the heatsink for this model.


The ADATA Legend 960 PCIe 4.0 SSD excels in providing an optimal cooling solution, a crucial aspect for high-speed SSDs. Its compact heatsink design efficiently manages heat, allowing the SSD to maintain its initial temperature even under demanding conditions while having a compact design. This feature, combined with the SSD’s ability to consistently achieve its advertised speeds, and is further enhanced by the addition of DRAM cache. Consequently, the ADATA Legend 960 shows superior performance in real-world scenarios, adeptly handling extensive tasks and proving its worth in various benchmarks.

While it boasts a visually appealing design—a compact blend of matte and glossy black with gold accents, the SSD’s design does not come without considerations. The placement of the warranty sticker on the bottom cover of the heatsink makes it very difficult to remove or relocate the SSD without causing damage. This issue is particularly problematic if there is a need to use the motherboard’s heatsink or if the SSD is initially misplaced. Attempting to move the SSD could result in tearing the warranty sticker, thereby risking the voiding of the 5-year warranty. This concern is significant for users who value long-term security and flexibility in their hardware.

A major advantage of the ADATA Legend 960 PCIe 4.0 SSD is its affordability. Priced at only PHP 4,595, it offers excellent value for money, making it an accessible option for a wide range of users.

In summary, the ADATA Legend 960 PCIe 4.0 SSD is a great choice for a wide range of users, from gaming enthusiasts to professional content creators. Its performance, cooling efficiency, and design are commendable. The warranty sticker’s design, while a small part of the overall product, could have a considerable impact on the user’s experience and the long-term viability of the SSD. However, the performance, cooling efficiency, design appeal, and the assurance from the ADATA RMA team collectively make the ADATA Legend 960 a commendable option in the competitive SSD market.

A Compact M.2 Drive with Efficient Heatsink for Compact Systems

Look and Feel - 95%
Features / Performance - 95%
Durability / Warranty - 90%
Value for Money - 100%

Overall Score


The ADATA Legend 960 PCIe 4.0 SSD stands out for its optimal cooling solution, crucial for high-speed SSDs, and its compact, efficient heatsink design that ensures stable temperatures under load. Enhanced by DRAM cache, it consistently achieves advertised speeds, showcasing superior performance in various benchmarks. While its design is visually appealing with a blend of matte and glossy black and gold accents, the placement of the warranty sticker poses a challenge for users needing flexibility in hardware modification, as it could void the 5-year warranty. Priced attractively at PHP 4,500, it offers great value, appealing to a broad spectrum of users from gamers to professionals. Despite the warranty sticker issue, its overall performance, cooling efficiency, and design, backed by the ADATA RMA team's assurance, make the ADATA Legend 960 PCIe 4.0 SSD a noteworthy contender in the SSD market.

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