A Closer Look
Our sample drives arrived in a plastic anti-static bag and were not part of the full retail kit. This is possibly how the SSD370 is sold to OEMs or other bulk purchasers. We also received the plastic model with what we assume are brass inserts for securing the drive in place with screws. The aluminum drive should offer greater processor and NAND flash heat dispersion, but many other low-power SSDs have performed perfectly fine with a plastic case.
The SSD370 measures 7 mm in height,so it will fit in Ultrabooks and notebooks that require the thinner design. Most new SSDs use the new, thinner design to ensure the highest level of compatibility. The spec isn't used just in Ultrabooks; we've seen the 7-mm limited space on full-size Lenovo notebooks as well.
Both of our samples used a Transcend-branded SSD controller based on Silicon Motion's SM2246EN. Silicon Motion works with partners to customize firmware, adding or subtracting features as well as adjusting settings to increase compatibility. Transcend paired the custom controller with Samsung LPDDR2 DRAM that caches the table map for the flash translation layer.
On the left, we see the Transcend SSD370 256GB model with Micron 20-nm flash. The PCB is nearly half the length, and has four NAND flash packages on each side.
The SSD370 512GB uses a full-length PCB, with eight NAND flash packages on each side. This configuration uses all of the available Chip Enable (CE) spaces from the controller to deliver the best performance from the selected components.
In the Transcend SSD370, we have an issue with the selected components. Not every Ford Pinto ended in a fireball, but nonetheless, it could have happened to every family driving one on the road. We'll use that analogy for the Transcend SSD370: Not every family will lose their pictures, tax documents or other important data, but it could happen and is more likely to than with SSD370 parts using genuine Micron flash.