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  • Rick83 - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    I have two SSDs that were reasonable unique when I got them, both from Transcend, so I am not sure how you can complain about that.

    One is an IDE Flash module, and the other is a 44pin IDE 2.5"SSD. Both use SLC flash.
    They were in the industrial/module market quite early, and quite strongly.

    Adding some cheaply implemented Sandforce drives allows them probably to sell more volume, and thus get better pricing on flash. I'm not sure if that is their main market though.

    Meanwhile, there is slightly more competition in IDE SSDs, but then that market is also not going to grow very much. Of course there are also SSD and USB modules available, so that's also an interesting niche, where there is a different market situation, than for "mainstream" SSDs.

    Finally, I consider the Transcend brand to be relatively strong in the flash memory market, they've been present for quite a while.
    Customer support in Europe is also reasonably good.
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    I'm aware that Transcend has "niche" products that are aimed for very specific uses. What I meant, however, was that their mainstream (mainly 2.5" SATA) lineup is not very special. Like I said, there are probably a dozen manufacturers with similar SandForce SSD lineups.

    The final part of the article was merely a general observation of the current SSD market, I didn't aim it specifically at Transcend (it's something I've been wanting to say for a while). Transcend does have fairly large presence in Europe (I'm from Finland myself) when it comes to SD cards and USB sticks, but not really in SSDs (then again, SSDs aren't everyday items yet, so that matters too).

    Overall I'd just like to see more non-SF SSDs. You can't really gain any major market share with SandForce drives anymore, there are too many competitors.
  • kmmatney - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    It is nice that they include a toolbox. I have a few SSDs in Windows XP machines at work, and I like being able to manually TRIM the drive. I buy Samsung and Intel SSDs just for the toolboxes they provide, but this would be a viable option now as well. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Keep in mind that the TRIM or secure erase functions in the toolbox do not work, like I mentioned in the article. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    It's really sad that most of these SF based drives aren't even that much cheaper (if at all) compared to the big brand names you mentioned. Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Right. There's no logical reason to buy a sandforce drive when the Samsung 830/840 and Crucial M4 have the same (or lower) price with superior reliability and relatively identical performance.

    Then there is the 840 Pro which has ridiculous performance and presumably excellent reliability.

    Don't get me wrong though, I think the Intel SSD 330/335 is a great value and it is the only Sandforce drive I'd buy. Every OCZ SF drive I, my family, or friends, have ever had, has inexplicably failed.
  • speculatrix - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Having experienced OCZ technical support when trying to resolve linux driver problems with their Revo cards (ongoing for 3 months with tgem holding onto $1000's of worth of cards) I shall never buy an OCZ product ever again.
    They fail to communicate or use their own ticketing system effectively, pronounce testing done when it hasn't, and generally all we feel is that our time and money has been wasted.
  • embzyk - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    I see write amplification less than 1.0 a logical reason, and the reason why every SSD I buy is sandforce based. The first one I ever bought died, but its replacement and 7 others are going strong - including 4 from OCZ. Reply
  • twotwotwo - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    "The client SSD market currently has more manufacturers than it can feed in the long run."

    If the fixed costs are low enough, it may take the small ones a long time to go away--if everyone pays the sameish rate for NAND, controller licenses, etc., they may be more like PC builders than HDD makers.

    If that changed significantly--say, if SandForce and other competitive controllers were bought by certain makers who used them exclusively--that math could change quickly.
  • hfm - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    I bought one of the 512GB SSD720 a while back because it was the cheapest 500MB/s 512GB SSD at the time I bought it (paid $399, walked to B&H to get it). I have been extremely happy with it. The Samsung 512GB drive was much more expensive at the time. My primary use case for it is gaming laptop, so I felt the cost increase for a better drive would see a negligible boot/load time increase.

    Of course I keep it backed up by cloning to a second spinner in the laptop and then again to my nas, so I don't completely trust it's long term reliability. It's been bullet proof and screaming fast so far.
  • paul878 - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    For a second I thought they were 320G and 720G drives. Reply
  • Azurael - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    So what's the difference between a Sandisk Extreme SSD and a Transcend SSD720? How many more identical SSDs can the market support? Reply
  • Flying Goat - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    If you tried to skip the drives over a lake, you'd find that one was most likely designed with aerodynamics in mind, while the other was not. Sadly, we're just never going to see the sort of truly complete feature comparison at AnandTech that covers that sort of thing. :) Reply
  • gammaray - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    i dont know, but i got the SanDisk extreme 240gb home and its ultra fast and paid 160$ on sale for it :D Reply
  • embzyk - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    9.5mm vs 7mm height Reply
  • Egg - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    The Transcend SSD720 256GB achieves a busy time of just over half that of the Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB, and it's missing a decimal place.

    This seems highly suspect.
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Oh, you're right, there was a typo. It should've been 362 instead of 162. Fixed! :-) Reply
  • iwod - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    1st Gen - SATA ; Response Time Reduction Compared to HDD
    2nd Gen - SATA II; Higher Seq Read Write
    3rd Gen - SATA II; Better Random IO
    4th Gen - SATA III; Overall Improvement to both Seq and Random

    5th Gen? I think Next Gen we need SATA Express and something similar to Intel's Consistent I/O Performance.
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Eh, there's still a fair amount of head room on the SATA 3 interface. Wouldn't expect PCIe to become the norm for at least another two generations. Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Sorry, misread your comment, iwod. Still, even if sequential speeds remain more or less stagnant, there's a lot of room left to improve random read/write with SATA 3. Reply
  • Slash3 - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    I picked up one of these (128GB SSD320) when they were about half of the stated market price ($75) during a holiday sale, to put in my Lenovo X230 subcompact laptop. Works great in that capacity, is leaps and bounds above the performance of the stock HDD and adds a margin of shockproofing to a laptop that sees a lot of travel time. At higher prices, it's not as clear cut. If they manage to keep the prices competitive, it's not a bad alternative for a system that needs a basic SSD. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Yup, the regular SSD 840, not the Pro. Reply
  • dj christian - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Why not the Pro version? Reply
  • Scour - Saturday, February 16, 2013 - link

    Because the Pro is much more expensive? Reply
  • killerbunnies - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Where is the consistency performance for the last two SSD articles?

    And when can we expect the Intel 520 series 240GB SSD to be included in those graphs?
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    There is no point in testing performance consistency with every model. We've tested performance consistency with Intel SSD 335 before, which tells us how SandForce based drives perform. There are no dramatic differences between SandForce based drives, hence we only test consistency when dealing with more unique SSDs.
  • Nickel020 - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    I would have thought that the lower spare area would have an impact on performance consistency. Do you not think that will be the case or is the capacity set apart for RAISE not usable as spare area? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Here are a few graphs of Intel SSD 335 with 25% OP:
  • Nickel020 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Thnaks, but I don't quite get it. 25% OP is more than usual, so performance should be more consistent at best, or the same at the worst. The Transcends have less OP though, and I was wondering how you think that would affect consistency? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Oh, sorry, misunderstood your post (I thought you were asking for how more OP would affect the IO consistency on a SandForce drive).

    Anyway, Transcend only has RAISE disabled - the actual space for OP is the same ~7%. RAISE should not impact consistency because it's just parity data (i.e. the blocks are not empty). However, I haven't tested this so I can't say for sure. Will definitely test, though, didn't even think about it from this angle.
  • Beenthere - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Many enthusiasts base their PC hardware purchases strictly on synthetic benches, which is laughable when many folks have no clue the benches are not necessarily accurate or representative of the actual performance of the hardware. It doesn't matter if it's an SSD, RAM, mobos, HDDs or other products, the benches can be very misleading.

    I defy anyone to accurately tell the difference in system performance in a blind test... between any popular SATA II and SATA III SSD, regardless of cost, when comparing the same size drives. The same goes for DRAM, I defy anyone to tell the difference in a blind test... between RAM running @ 1333 MHz. and @ 2000 MHz. in any Intel or AMD powered desktop PC. It's simply impossible to do though the uninformed will argue to their dying breathe but not actually run blind tests to prove it to themselves.

    That being said, if you're willing to take a chance on lost data, regular firmware update requirements to fix issues, RMA's, etc. with an SSD, picking an SSD for most folks should be based on your needs, the SSD's reliability, compatibility, manufacturer reputation for warranty/service and price. FYI - Longer product warranties do not necessarily mean better quality drives be they SSDs or HDDs. You can completely forget benchmarks as they are for new, clean drives and mean nothing in the real world nor is the difference in system performance even discernible.

    If you want a real good laugh - go to the major SSD maker websites and find the complete SSD warranty and read it carefully. Find out what your real cost/inconvenience/losses are if the SSD has a defect/fails. It ain't pretty... in many cases.
  • jason_mcallister - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    I really like your post and completely agree with your statements. I find it curious that more folks don't also see things this way. I was gullible in paying a premium for my DDR3-2400. If I had done some research before the purchase I would have realized that it wasn't a performance increase that I would have ever noticed. People, in which I include myself, are always looking at the benchmarks (metric tests) and kind of shut off the critical thinking process. Thankfully, I'm a little wiser these days and have a better process for making purchase decisions.
  • alkhrt - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    It's great to see the price /GB close to $1., but 1TB worth of SSD ~$1000, while 1TB HDD ~$70. I can't believe with no moving parts etc. that SSD's are 14x more expensive to produce. Still feel like I'm getting the shaft buying one. Reply
  • Scour - Saturday, February 16, 2013 - link

    The funny thing: The 320 was one of the cheapest 256GB-SSD at the arrival, only some old OCZ (240GB Vertex/Agilty 2, 256GB Petrol) were cheaper.

    Now it´s more expensive than M5S, M4 Hyper X 3k, Intel 335. OK, most SF-SSDs only offers 240GB, but for example the 335 ist about 14€ cheaper.

    So I see no reason to buy a Transcend 320, my first choice in this class is the Plextor

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