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Mushkin Reactor 256GB SSD Review

Mushkin's Reactor SSDs sell for very low prices online, and the 1TB model is one of our top value picks. Is the 256GB model as good of a value? We answer that today.

A Closer Look

There isn't anything special about the retail package for this series. To shave costs as much as possible, Mushkin used a blister pack that only includes a show card for effect and the drive.

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From the outside, the Reactor 256GB is just as unremarkable as the retail blister pack. It does use a 7mm Z-height design, so it fits in Ultrabooks and notebooks that require the slimmer design.

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Upon first inspection, the Reactor looks like any other SSD. They are all pretty much the same from this angle, with little variation in layout and only component differences. The connector is special on the Reactor, though. Parent company Avant Technology designer Paul Goodwin is responsible for this change. The PCB is the SATA power and data connector. This saves on BOM (build of materials) costs and provides better signal integrity than a separate connector that needs to be soldered to the board.

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Mushkin chose Silicon Motion's SM2246EN four-channel controller as the base of the Reactor. Silicon Motion allows companies to provide input on the firmware, so each company has something a bit different. Many of the existing products with this controller have been discontinued and replaced with new SMI SM2256 controllers and TLC NAND flash. That's what makes the Reactor 256GB special now. Mushkin doesn't plan to discontinue this product line anytime soon.

We are still on the fence about third-party NAND flash packaging, as it doesn't allow us to verify what flash is used. Mushkin tells us that it uses genuine Micron flash from wafers.

  • mapesdhs
    It's a pity you weren't able to obtain a Trion 150 for this review, as that would be the more logical OCZ comparison once stock becomes available.

    Also, isn't it time we just concluded that the PCMark8 "Real World Software" tests are a complete waste of time? They show no statistically relevant variation at all, even though in many cases it's easy to see significant differences between, say, an 850 EVO and a Trion 100.
    Reply
  • infotech2112
    BOM - Bill Of Materials
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    Hello,

    My Trion 150 drives just arrived. You can read a bit about them here:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ocz-trion-150-firmware-tweaked,31126.html

    The Real World Software Tests show valuable data for those who are not well versed in SSDs. I think people need to understand that we are talking about differences in performance measured in seconds and not minutes.
    Reply
  • knowom
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211984
    Best value SSD atm if you ask me. If you want more storage grab a second which you can use in raid or to use as another partition with it's own bandwidth. Iither way huge price to performance value.

    Reply