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Transcend SSD370 Review

Transcend's premium SSD offering consists of a custom Silicon Motion controller that enables encryption and DEVSLP, but questionable flash makes it a poor choice.

Our Verdict

The Transcend SSD370 just backs up what major SSD makers have said for years. If you want a guaranteed product you need to buy from a fab. The CONS section shows it perfectly. You might as well roll the dice and see what you get when ordering a Transcend SSD370.

For

  • A low cost SSD that is fast enough for casual users.

Against

  • What drive did I just buy: silver, black, Micron, SpecTek? Questionable flash, questionable marketing, and unknown reliability.

Introduction

Transcend makes solid-state drives (SSDs) for both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and channel customers. The SSD370 overlaps both groups and is the company's premium client SSD product.

The Transcend SSD370 appeared on my radar when I noticed the 512GB model selling for nearly the same price as Mushkin's Reactor SSD. The Reactor was our choice for the best value product in the 1TB capacity size, selling for significantly less than Samsung's 850 EVO until this month. We reached out to Transcend to get a few of the capacity sizes for testing, and the company came through.

The Transcend SSD370 is an odd product that ships in either a black plastic case or a brushed-aluminum case. Transcend doesn't specifically guarantee the flash used in the drive. We will talk about that issue later on in the review. Going into the review, we should focus mainly on the early facts: This is a low-cost SSD that sells with a decent accessory package and is widely available.

  • synphul
    Good info to have. More problematic than the confusing product model numbers correlating to plastic vs aluminum bodies I think are the differences in the internals. I'm not sure how this is considered proper practice since changing the controller and the nand flash is basically selling a different quality drive even if the specs are loosely similar. Makes people like myself wonder how they can get away with this and yet nvidia had to answer to a class action lawsuit over the layout of their vram when in fact they did have the full 4gb of vram on the card. It just reeks of bait and switch. Especially when as mentioned reviewers are often given cherry picked units that don't necessarily reflect the common resale market most consumers will be met with.

    It would be nice to see manufacturers give review sites a voucher instead, rather than sending a unit directly for testing. Good for 1 purchase of the part slated for review from the retailer of their choice to ensure it's random and more indicative of the lottery a consumer would face. That is so long as they were confident that a random off the shelf unit would fairly represent their products rather than one specially set aside for review.

    It may not seem like such a big deal but with the guts swapped out for lower cost and potentially lower quality alternatives that's an issue. I wouldn't be happy purchasing a top tier tool set only to find out it included a number of budget store brand replacements in lieu of what I paid for just because it's 'basically' the same. In just about any other scenario this would create great backlash. Why is it just accepted as common practice in the form of ssd drives? Not that I'm sue happy or think lawsuits are the solution in an attempt for gains but some sort of reassurance that the customer is getting what they're told they're buying rather than sold on a song and given something entirely different.
    Reply
  • crabdog
    +1 for this review. It's nice to see someone report the truth and their real concerns without sugar coating.
    Reply
  • Bannereus
    good to see that not every product is top of the line, gives meaning to those that earn top recommendations

    but please fix Section 5. "Test PERIMETERS ..."
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  • Wisecracker
    ""Paralysis by Over-Analysis""
    (leads to ridiculous conclusions)

    The real-world tests show there is generally one percent or less difference between the drives tested, so the bottom line is ...

    buy whatever SSD (with a 3-yr warranty) that is on sale.

    Reply
  • JPNpower
    Hey, Kingston did it, and they got off well enough
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  • fudgecakes99
    i bought one for 160 from amazon 512gb's, on sale. Have yet to boot it as skylate 6700k has yet to be released in america, from the charts i dont' see a major difference save about 70-90 mb's write difference, as someone moving up from a 5200rpm hdd i expect great things.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    Kingston's V300 went from the top ten selling SSDs on Amazon to off of the list when the info was picked up by review site news teams.
    Reply
  • shrapnel_indie
    Disappointing to see price-point win over quality... yet again.

    Manufacturers have been sending cherry-picked "review" units of products for decades, nothing new there... sadly it's to get the best reviews possible while hoping consumers won't be able to tell the difference in the actual product.

    The "product specification may change" disclaimer has been around for a while. Sometimes it is used due to certain components going away, becoming too expensive (for the price point the bean counters and marketing decide on), or (less seen as it means they care about the product and reputation) quality goes south. Sadly it is more often abused just to make sure tier-1/top tier executives get their (large as they can get away with) bonus checks.
    Reply
  • kalmquist
    The Crucial BX100 line uses the same controller as the Transcend SSD370. I've heard no reports of Crucial using cut-rate NAND, and I wouldn't be expect them to since Cruical (aka Micron) makes its own NAND. Recently, prices have been lower for the BX100 than the SSD370. It seems like the BX100 would be a better option for anyone who might consider an SSD370.
    Reply
  • Dark Falz
    I got a 256 and 512 about a year ago, main concern was price. I wanted the MX100 instead but couldn't find any in stock at the time. Have served me fine but definitely weren't worth the money. Has received no Firwmare updates/improvements (which I suppose is not always necessarily a bad thing, look at the 840). The plastic housing doesn't bother me except for the fact there's no temperature sensor in the SMART data, so I can't tell how warm it gets. Will probably upgrade to a 1 or 2 TB when they become more affordable and put this on my laptop instead. It performs much like any other SSD but disappointing to see it fare so badly in the theoreticals (when I bought it, there were not many reviews).
    Reply