Transcend SSD370S 512GB SSD Review

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As more products come to market with three-bit-per-cell NAND, drives like Transcend's SSD370S with MLC become increasingly attractive. Micron, SK hynix and Toshiba all failed to make planar TLC as fast as Samsung's existing V-NAND flash. And so very low-cost drives will continue to enter the market, bringing down the average selling price of all SSDs. However, the quality and user experience will slide alongside them.

Micron hasn't said too much about dialing back the MLC flash sold on the spot market or by contract, but for the last several years, the company has cut back production. At this time, Toshiba's MLC is more expensive than Micron's. SK hynix is finally sharing flash with some companies, and when its new fabs are finished, we'll see more from that company. What we don't know is how the increased emphasis on shipping TLC will affect MLC output. I suspect that third-party companies without NAND manufacturing capabilities, such as Transcend, will have a problem securing MLC for final assembly. 

At this point, we can only really recommend grabbing an MLC-based SSD while you can. That's not to say Transcend's SSD370S is the drive to buy, though. Prior to writing this review, I dug into the state of 512GB-class pricing and found that this isn't the best deal at its $176 price point. It's also not the fastest option out there. Samsung's 850 EVO is priced lower, and the SanDisk Extreme Pro was recently discounted to an even lower price than the 850 EVO. Compared to those SSDs, Transcend's 512GB SSD370S just isn't a viable option.

Prices will certainly change over time, and that may be when the SSD370S 512GB emerges as a better value. As MLC slowly phases out, we'll see more TLC-based drives with their own shortcomings. We've already seen this from the BX200, which replaced Crucial's BX100. If Transcend can keep this model around as the competition transitions away, the SSD370S will be worth keeping an eye on. 

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Chris Ramseyer
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.
  • Co BIY
    If the Crucial BX100 is no longer available I don't think it belongs in the performance comparison charts. Although I see the value for analyzing the trends in the market it doesn't reflect the current state and gives Crucial undeserved positive exposure for a product they can no longer even bring to market.

    Seems that value SSDs are one area where we are not getting continuous performance improvement but instead some backslide.
  • CRamseyer
    The BX100 is far from an obsolete product since anyone can still purchase the series at Newegg, Amazon and a number of other online stores. I would even go as far as to say some are still on retail shelves. It is also a product that many people know and can use to compare performance against.

    I do agree with your comment on mainstream performance moving the wrong direction. It's a trend we will have to live with until Toshiba, Micron and SK Hynix move to 3D like Samsung. Micron appears to be the first with some 3D flash expected in June or July. 2D TLC will survive and make up the entry-level sector. 3D TLC and 3D MLC will account for the mainstream and performance sectors of the market.
  • Tony37x
    Your pricing on the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB is very misleading - It's actually less than both of these in the article @ $149 NOT $270!!! No brainer, go with the top-rated Samsung :)
  • jai_123
    Do you suggest using SSD370 on a RAID 1 ? I am planning to create a RAID 1, not yet finalized to choose a OS based RAID or use a cheap HW RAID adapter.
  • CRamseyer
    With RAID 1 you don't have to worry about the Yahtzee effect. In my next RAID Report I'll explain it with some additional detail.

    Most SSDs will work fine in RAID 1.
  • shaolin95
    So for someone with a SATA II only system trying to extend the life of anotherwise powerful system, is the 850 EVO the best option?