While the Transcend brand may not be as recognized here in the states as it is in Europe and Asia, they have a substantial line of products; most of which deal with memory components. In fact, their clever tagline is ‘good memories start here’. Most will probably recognize them for their flash media cards of which I personally own several. In addition to full sized SSD desktop drives for both consumer and enterprise applications, they are now offering a line of mSATA solid state drives for smaller form factor devices. What we’ll be having a look at today is their 128GB MSA720 mSATA drive based on the SandForce SF-2281 controller.
Available in capacities of 64GB (TS64GMSA720) and 128GB (TS128GMSA720), these SATA III interfaced drives are configured to hit lofty performance numbers of up to 560MB/s reads and 530MB/s writes. We are finding these in the wild at $161.75 shipped at Amazon for the 128GB version and the 64GB version for $101 shipped. Each come with a three year warranty and are compatible with Intel’s Smart Response Technology for use as a cache drive.
The Transcend MSA720 mSATA SSD uses SanDisk branded Flash with the part number of SDZNPQCHER-032GT. These chips are made on the 24nm process and are of the toggle-mode MLC variety. As the part number suggests, each are 32GB in density for 128GB on board for this 128GB model.
The controller is none other than the LSI owned SandForce SF-2281 controller that we’ve seen quite a number of times and has proven to be a very solid and reliable piece of hardware. Leveraging its proprietary DuraClass technology, it not only manages the I/O operations but also wear-leveling, encryption, and error correction duties to name a few. It also employs real time compression to boost writes and keeping write amplification modest. There’s a good reason why nearly every manufacturer features at least one drive with this controller.