Solid-State Drives were expensive when they were first introduced to the consumer market. Back in 2008 Legit Reviews spent nearly $3,600 to purchase five Intel X25-E 32GB SSD’s for the server that was running the site. At that point in time those SLC NAND Flash drives were $719 each, which broke down to being $22.47 per gigabyte. The drives worked flawlessly in our server for nearly three years and today people are still buying and selling them six years later used for $40 a drive (over $1 per GB!). What does this have to do about the Transcend SSD370 128GB drive that we are reviewing today? It just goes to show where we have come from and where we have ended up today in regards to SSD pricing. We hear people say every day that SSDs are too expensive and that they aren’t mainstream storage devices yet. We’ll jump in that argument every chance we get as we feel that SSDs have hit the mainstream market and that the prices are amazing right now. Earlier this week we had a review up on the SanDisk Ultra II 240GB SSD that uses TLC NAND Flash. Some drives in that series cost less than $0.40 per GB without rebates or discounts. Under $0.40 per GB? Heck yeah! At prices like that everyone that owns a computer and is concerned about performance should finally be able to afford an SSD and the features and reliability on the SSDs being released now is better than ever before.
Transcend might not be the first name that comes to mind when one thinks about storage drives, but the brand has been around for years and we’ve found that they have what it takes to be competitive in the consumer market. Transcend recently released the SSD370 series of 2.5″ SSDS and they are competitively priced and ready to compete with other budget friendly drives like the Sandisk Ultra II (TLC), Samsung Evo 840 (TLC) and Crucial MX 100 (MLC).
The Transcend SSD370 series was designed to be reliable and affordable, so this would be considered a budget or value SSD lineup. The SSD370 is available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities for desktop and notebook users. Transcend is using the SM2246EN SATA 3.1 controller from Silicon Motion (features overload protection, TRIM, ECC, EMS protection, SMART) and paired that with Micron 20nm Synchronous MLC NAND Flash with ~7% over provisioning. That combination is good for up to 570MB/s sequential read speeds and 470MB/s sequential write speeds on the 512GB model. When it comes to 4K random write performance you are looking at up to 75,000 IOPS. The performance does taper off as the capacity decreases, so be sure to keep an eye on that when picking out a drive to purchase for one of your systems.
Transcend SSD370 SSD 2.5″ SSD Series Performance:
When it comes to pricing you are looking at $0.44 to $1.49 per GB depending on the capacity of drive that you are looking at purchasing. The 32GB and 64GB drives don’t have impressive read/write performance numbers and cost the most per GB, so if you are looking at buying a Transcend SSD370 series drive we highly recommend looking at the 128GB model that we are reviewing today as the entry point drive. It is large enough to be a boot disk and the speeds on it are acceptable for a entry level SSD in the budget SSD market. The Transcend SSD370 128GB drive (part number TS128GSSD370) that we are looking at today runs $0.55 per GB, which is comparable to other budget minded 2.5-inch SATA III drives. No matter what capacity you buy they all have a Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of 1.5 million hours and are backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
Transcend SSD370 SSD 2.5″ SSD Series Pricing:
Inside the retail packaging you’ll find the SSD370 128GB drive, desktop adapter tray, mounting hardware, warranty papers and an instruction guide. It should be noted that you’ll need to download the Transcend SSD Scope v2.2.0 Utility if you wanted to clone a drive, run secure erase, update the firmware, scan the drive for errors or check the S.M.A.R.T properties. You will need to have .NET Framework 3.5 or 4.5.1 installed on your system for SSD Scope V2.2.0 to work.
The Transcend SSD370 series uses a 7mm drive housing that is made from black plastic with memory inserts for the mounting holes. The front has a sticker on it that clearly shows the brand and model of drive.
On the back of the black plastic 2.5-inch enclosure you’ll find the information label that gives you the basics on the drive. You can see that this drive operates on the 5V power rail and uses 1.5A of power. The specifications released by Transcend show that the SSD370 128GB drive uses 65mW at idle and tops out at 410mW during read and 480mW during write operations. The larger drives will use slightly more power than that, so if you don’t need all that storage space you can extend battery life (for notebook users) by going with the capacity drive you really need. For example the Transcend SSD370 has the same idle power draw, but the peak read/write values are 510/815 mW versus 410/480 mW on the 128GB drive. We aren’t able to test DevSleep on our desktop test system, but Trascend says that the DevSleep ultra low power state is enabled.
The SSD370 series has the standard drive mounting along with the standard Serial ATA power and data connectors. This means that you should be able to use this SATA III (6Gbps) drive in pretty much any system. Transcend does include a 3.5″ desktop mounting tray, so you are in luck if you have an older PC case that doesn’t have 2.5″ drive mounting points. The Transcend SSD370 series has a z-height of 7mm.
Transcend also made a quick video that shows how easy it is to upgrade from a traditional hard drive or an older SSD to a Transcend SSD370 series drive. The video shows how easy it is, but keep in mind that the 2.5-inch SATA drive to USB adapter that they were using in the video is not included with any Transcend SSD370 drive.
Let’s move along and open up this SSD to see what is going on inside.