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Mushkin Reactor 512GB SSD Review

Mushkin's 1TB Reactor is among our Best Picks in SSDs. Today we look at the low-cost 512GB drive powered by Silicon Motion's four-channel SM2246EN.

Conclusion

In a perfect world, everyone would have the highest-performing SSD available to drop into their notebook and enthusiast-class desktop. Sadly, most of us are on more limited budgets. SSDs remain premium performance components. Even though price per gigabyte is way down compared to a few years ago, cost still isn't comparable to mechanical storage. Entry-level SSDs like Mushkin's 512GB Reactor deliver around 10 times the performance of a hard drive. But sometimes the extra expense just isn't in the cards.

Mushkin's Reactor really does a good job of pushing solid-state storage down to more affordable price points. Given modest performance and low cost, this drive is one of the best values we've seen. Just remember that it's not going to be as fast as some of the more enthusiast-oriented SSDs we review.

SSDs are also more reliable than disk drives. This is a selling point that resonates with many users. The reliability increase more than doubles in a notebook environment. Desktop users still benefit from lower latency and higher throughput. The Reactor doesn't ship with a desktop adapter bracket, so owners of older PCs need to consider mounting options. Some low-cost SSDs priced just above the Reactor do come bundled with adapters. Those products usually employ older controller technology that doesn't deliver the same random and incompressible speed, though.

Mushkin's Reactor sits right on top of the happy median line. Anything that costs less at this capacity point is going to be a mechanical hard drive, and everything above forces you to spend more without a corresponding increase in space.


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Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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  • SuperVeloce
    Those 512 and 1TB are made perfectly for my steam folder, cheap and large. Now we need to wait for someone to launch it to EU market
    Reply
  • jessterman21
    Been eying this drive and the BX100 500GB for a few months now - waiting to pull the trigger on whichever's cheaper. The extra latency worries me, but in a gaming/media rig should it really matter? Those two drives are literally the same in all other tests.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Cool. This seems like a pretty good option for a gaming computer. I wouldn't use it for a photo editing rig, or any other media-based computer (especially not database oriental computing), but games are pretty easy on drives, and these come in at a decent price while offering plenty of storage space.
    Reply
  • agentbb007
    Tough sell considering the 500GB Samsung 850 Evo is $178 on Amazon with free prime shipping and seems to give better performance, unless I'm missing something?
    Reply
  • Saberus
    Granted it's not the absolute best, but it's not bad, especially at the price. I think the edge connector is a brilliant idea, and wonder why there aren't more companies using it, it eliminates a point of failure where the solder joints were.
    Reply
  • geopirate
    agentbb007 this drive is $88 for 500gb vs your $178 (less than half the cost) that won't be noticeably slower in a typical usage environment. Is that what you're missing?
    Reply
  • geopirate
    agentbb007 this drive is $88 for 500gb vs your $178 (less than half the cost) that won't be noticeably slower in a typical usage environment. Is that what you're missing?
    Reply
  • SuperVeloce
    nope, $88 is for 256gb
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    I checked, the 850 EVO is cheaper.
    Reply
  • shrapnel_indie
    16122495 said:
    I think the edge connector is a brilliant idea, and wonder why there aren't more companies using it, it eliminates a point of failure where the solder joints were.

    I guess because in some ways its so old school. (It saved money back then too.) Back in the "Home Computer" days card-edge connectors were used for expansion connections (on one side of the connection.) Retro consoles used it too with game carts. The PC used it then, and even still today, for expansion AND adding graphics. Back in the day Floppy drives, primarily 5.25" and larger used such a connection for data (and a molex for power.)

    If that patent ever gets challenged, I dunno if it will hold-up because of all of that. In Modern storage though, the connector is, currently, unique though.
    Reply