Specifications, Pricing, Warranty And Accessories
Now that Crucial has discontinued the BX100 and replaced it with a TLC-based disaster, other entry- and mid-level SSDs have an opportunity to shine. Transcend's SSD370S uses roughly the same configuration as the BX100 and Mushkin Reactor—two products that offer excellent value at the 512GB and 1TB capacity points.
This is the second SSD370 we've tested. The first, a 256GB implementation, shipped to us in a plastic case with undesirable SpecTek flash (read the Transcend SSD370 Review). After discussing that drive's issues with Transcend, we learned that the aluminum SSD370S differs from the base SSD370 in more ways than its product page indicates. Transcend tells us that its SSD370S employs Micron flash exclusively, addressing our biggest concern with the SSD370.
As a result, we expected our SSD370S to utilize genuine Micron 16nm synchronous MLC, but that's not what we found when we opened the SSD up. Transcend is either packaging flash, or purchasing NAND at the wafer level and having it binned and packaged. There is no way for us to tell what type of flash the SSD370S actually uses, other than to take Transcend's word that this model ships with the Micron stuff it claims.
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Transcend released its SSD370S in capacities ranging from 32GB to 1TB. The two largest models offer the best value and serve up the highest performance. Transcend isn't explicit about each capacity's performance, but rather conveys specifications with an "up to" ceiling.
The SSD370S uses a rebadged Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller paired with Samsung DDR3 and Micron 16nm MLC synchronous flash. According to Transcend, sequential read performance tops out at 560 MB/s and sequential writes peak at 460 MB/s. Random reads and writes are both rated at 75,000 IOPS. That number is higher than what Mushkin specifies its Reactor for, but lower than Crucial's no-longer-made BX100.
Pricing, Warranty And Accessories
We found the SSD370S 512GB for as low as $176 at B&H Photo and Amazon. Newegg also has it in stock, but at a higher price of $206. Transcend covers the SSD370S with a three-year warranty.
The drive ships with a desktop adapter bracket, mounting screws, a paper manual, an installation guide and a few advertisements for Transcend's other products. This model also works with Transcend's SSD Scope software for easy access to secure erase, viewable wear indicators and other tools.
A Closer Look
The SSD370S ships in a retail-friendly package that lists performance specifications and limited warranty terms. It's rare to get a desktop adapter these days, but we don't mind the value-add.
Everything about the drive's physical dimensions is standard. Its 2.5-inch form factor features a 7mm z-height, so it fits in newer notebooks that require the slim design. You can only get the SSD370S in a silver-painted aluminum enclosure adorned with a few logos.
Inside the SSD, we find Transcend's TS6500 controller, a rebadged Silicon Motion SM2246EN with custom firmware. This is a low-power, four-channel processor that supports DevSlp. Transcend pairs its controller with Samsung DRAM and Micron 16nm MLC flash.
Seems that value SSDs are one area where we are not getting continuous performance improvement but instead some backslide.
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.
Most SSDs will work fine in RAID 1.