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.