Transcend SSD320 & SSD720 (256GB) Reviewby Kristian Vättö on January 25, 2013 11:31 AM EST
Transcend is a Taiwanese company specializing in memory and flash storage solutions. While Transcend may not be the first company that comes to mind about NAND flash, it has been in the industry since the late 80's. Transcend's USB flash sticks and SD cards are actually rather popular at least here in the northern Europe, but they aren't exactly known for their SSDs.
Transcend's lineup consists of two SSDs: SSD320 and SSD720. Both are (unsurprisingly) based on SandForce's SF-2281 controller, which has been the choice of many smaller SSD OEMs. SandForce's licensing strategy is ideal for small OEMs who lack the resources to design their own controller or firmware, so by going with SandForce the OEM only needs to assemble the drive (and of course market, distribute etc).
|Capacities (GB)||64, 128, 256||64, 128, 256, 512|
|Form Factor||2.5" 7mm|
|NAND||Micron 25nm asynchronous MLC||SanDisk 24nm Toggle-Mode MLC|
|4KB Random Read||49K IOPS||47K IOPS|
|4KB Random Write||87K IOPS||93K IOPS|
Transcend's lineup is fairly typical when compared to other SandForce OEMs. There is a low-end budget model with asynchronous NAND (similar to OCZ's Agility 3), while the high-end market is catered by a Toggle-Mode equipped SSD720. Both models come with a 3-year warranty, which is normal but many high-end SSDs (such as Samsung SSD 840 Pro, Intel SSD 520, Plextor M5 Pro) carry a 5-year warranty nowadays, so the 3-year warranty in SSD720 is a bit disappointing.
RAISE (SandForce's NAND redundancy feature) is disabled on both SSDs, which results in slightly higher capacities than we usually see with SandForce based SSDs. SandForce has said that RAISE is not necessary for client workloads, so disabling it makes a lot of sense and there are other manufacturers who do it as well. For more thorough explanation on RAISE and SandForce capacities, I recommend reading this article.
|Price Comparison (1/25/2013)|
|Corsair Neutron GTX||$135||$225||$470|
|Corsair Force GS||N/A||$220||$440|
|Plextor M5 Pro||$130||$210||$420|
|Intel SSD 520||$145||$260||$500|
|Intel SSD 330||$125||$200||N/A|
|Samsung SSD 840 Pro||$140||$200||$520|
|Samsung SSD 840||$110||$180||$355|
|Mushkin Chronos Deluxe||$120||$180||N/A|
Pricing wise both the SSD320 and SSD720 are average. Neither of them is cheap but on the other hand, neither of them is among the most expensive drives. As always, take the prices in the table with a grain of salt because pricing is highly fluctuating, the prices you see today may be totally different tomorrow or next week.