Introduction

Transcend has long been a player in the memory and storage arenas, both through the manufacture of hardware under their own brand name as well as OEM services for several other companies. Founded in 1989, the company has had a recent period of accelerated sales growth due to increased demand for its products, particularly in the flash memory segment (SD cards). As their success has grown, however, so has the number of competitors vying for their market share. With an eye to this, Transcend has been slowly expanding their portfolio of devices intended to replace the traditional hard disk. Their most recent entries have been 2.5" SSD disks, and we'll be focusing on their 16GB model that is designed for the industrial sector for this review.

Background

Solid state drives essentially replace the mechanical workings of a traditional hard drive (platters, spindle, motor, etc) with flash memory, resulting in incredibly fast seek times but - to date at least - slower overall transfer rates than mechanical disks. As solid state drives have no moving parts, their survivability in very harsh conditions, tolerance to shock, and noise output are all vastly superior to their mechanical counterparts. The fact that nearly all long-time computer users have had a hard drive failure in their lifetime leads many people to hope that a solution like SSD might someday replace mechanical hard drives as the storage medium of choice. SSD devices do, however, have several shortcomings.
  • Cost: Solid state disks remain expensive, approaching $20 per Gigabyte in cost versus 40 cents per Gigabyte (less for desktop models) for conventional hard drives.
  • Relatively Unproven Technology: Mechanical hard drives have been around for ages and their reliability levels are well known. Solid state disks are still relatively new, and their long term reliability has yet to be determined.
  • Transfer Rates: While the highest-performing solid state disks are now boasting vastly improved transfer rates, most of these devices continue to lag far behind the conventional drives they seek to replace in terms of the speed at which they can transfer data.
The good news for solid state disk proponents is that all of the weaknesses (price, transfer rate, etc) have made very dramatic improvements during the last few years due to increased adoption of the technology in mobile devices. The future of solid state looks promising indeed - but what about the present? Let's have a look at Transcend's newest 16GB SSD offering, the TS16GSSD25-S.
Specifications
POST A COMMENT

17 Comments

View All Comments

  • robojocks - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    I bought one of these things. After $AU230 it was useless. I used as USB external hard drive. It had really fast reading. But the writing to it was killing me. I spent two days installing windows xp on it lol. Yes on a laptop. I was thinking after i installed the drivers it would be ok. Then i put my 5400rpm laptop drive back and noticed how fast it was compared to the SSD. Its faster. Ok when i read the SSD its instantenous, but when i write to it the computer hangs itself and waits around. With the 5400 rpm drive its ok. But the SSD is a joke. Reply
  • thomaspurves - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link


    Notebooks people. thin and light notebooks are where these are going to be used. When was the last time you saw a WDRAPTOR in a 3 lb ultraportable?

    Please Anand, how do these compare to 7200rpm and 5400rpm notebook drives?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    That's what the Seagate Momentus is meant to represent. Reply
  • StickyC - Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - link

    Except the Seagate Momentus is a screaming fast SATA notebook drive. The Transcend is not SATA which makes the comparison about as meaningful as adding the desktop drive.

    Why not compare it to something it's actually likely to replace, such as the very popular Samsung Spinpoint, Momentus 5400.3, or WD Scorpio series?
    Reply
  • memphist0 - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    It's amazing that people have come up with a product that makes a Raptor look affordable and spacious. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    http://www.addonics.com/products/flash_memory_read...">http://www.addonics.com/products/flash_memory_read...

    Buy a fast UDMA4 capable CF card, and go to town . . .
    Reply
  • rfle500 - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    An interesting article, but I would just like to point out that data on a hard disk is only meant to last around 10 years, similar to SSD. This is due to gradual natural degradation of the magnetisation of a data bit over time. Hence I always re-write old data from time to time :o). Reply
  • bupkus - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    I suppose we will continue to read about these SSDs that few if any can afford.
    I currently support a small business program that allows a "clock-in" station networked to a server. I built it using a mini-itx board and a laptop hdd but it seems a good fit for an SSD with XP Embedded. Both, however, are just too darn expensive. Once the price drops on an SSD that will hold XP then I will buy it. XP Embedded? Yah, when pigs fly.
    Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    You should definately put a 32gbx2 raid 0 SSD in that rig, and one of those 1200W PSUs. Clearly.... Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    Tomshardware did have a guide, albeit very poor one; of testing 1 setup where a PCI IDE RAID card is coupled with 3 8GB Trancend Compact Flash cards in RAID 0. But it had the implications.

    The result was quite astonishing because of the fact that the performance of 3 such CF card RAIDed, although could not match MTRON's SSD drive in terms of transfer rate; could at least match 75MB/s transfer rate of a HDD.
    3 CF cards and with RAID capable motherboard w/ ICD-CF or SATA-CF adaptors comes round to be about 300 USD. This is much more affordable than buying 1 SSD which would result in much poorer performance.

    I personally think if an operating system and not critical data is stored on such a setup on a home enviornment, I don't mind losing realibility in form of RAID 0 as Windows/other OS can be reinstalled pretty quickly itself or with Ghost or Acronis True Image.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now