Final Words

The more SM2246EN based SSDs I review, the more I'm convinced that Silicon Motion is becoming a very serious player in the controller market. Despite the use of 16nm NAND, the Reactor is an excellent performer and it also proves that the SM2246EN can handle 1TB of NAND without a hitch (whereas some controllers struggle with high capacities). The power efficiency is also great thanks to slumber power support, making the Reactor a viable option for laptops as well (which was a concern I had with the Transcend SSD370 that we reviewed last week).

My biggest criticism is the fact that Mushkin doesn't offer any lower capacities. In the end, a 1TB SSD will still set you back by over $350, which is why the majority of people are more interested in 128-512GB SSDs. As I mentioned on the introduction page, I suspect this has to do with the limited availability of Micron's 16nm NAND, but once the supply gets better Mushkin should have no problems bringing additional capacities to the market. On the other hand, the 1TB-class SSD market certainly needs more players because there aren't that many models available and only a couple that are value-oriented, so I'm also happy to see that Mushin chose a segment that isn't too crowded yet.

Furthermore, the lack of hardware encryption (TCG Opal 2.0 & eDrive) and software toolbox are also notable shortcomings, but neither of these is critical. Hardware encryption isn't very widely used among consumers due to the lack of freeware software and education, so especially for a value drive like the Reactor it's not a very big deal. As for the toolbox, I would certainly like to see one as it offers the end-user an easy way to monitor the drive, but most of the toolbox functionality can be replaced by freeware software if needed.

Amazon Price Comparison (2/9/2015)
Mushkin Reactor $390
Transcend SSD370 $400
Samsung SSD 850 EVO  $390
Samsung SSD 850 Pro $610
SanDisk Extreme Pro $479
SanDisk Ultra II $390

The pricing of the Reactor is very competitive. It's among the cheapest 1TB-class SSDs around, although right now there are two other SSDs (850 EVO & Ultra II) that are priced exactly the same. Out of these three, the 850 EVO would be my number one pick because it's the fastest and has by far the most extensive feature set, but in the past it has been retailing for around $450. I'm not sure whether the current price is due to a sale or if it's a permanent change, but in any case it's the best 1TB SSD deal around at the moment. That said, if the price of the 850 EVO goes up to $450 again, the Reactor will become a better choice because despite the performance and features I don't find the 850 EVO to be worth $60 more.

Either way, the Reactor is without a doubt one of the best value 1TB SSDs around and deserves a recommendation from us. Its performance is good regardless of how intensive the workload is and the performance doesn't come at the cost of power efficiency. To be frank, if I was on a lookout for an affordable 1TB SSD, the Reactor would be one of the first drives I would look at.

Power Consumption


View All Comments

  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, February 13, 2015 - link

    That's because SSDs are old and antiquated. NAND should be right on the DIMMs with DRAM, sharing the same bus, the same memory controller, as much of the same hardware as possbile. It should have started 3 years ago and by now we should have had 4GB DRAM + 64GB NAND DIMMs for $120 a pair and 8GB + 128GB for $200 a pair. Reply
  • akrobet - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    What is holding back the adoption of NVMe M.2 drives? Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    I think: Lack of Chipset support, require most recent OSes, lack of boot support, competing standards -> general consumer confusion (SATA Express vs M.2), Rarity of motherboards with M.2, cost.

    There is not one specific reason holding back, but I guess you can just say with all new tech adoption will be low at first, and this would be the explanation.
  • galta - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    I boot with my Plextor M.2 Reply
  • dgingeri - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    The M6e doesn't do NVMe. It's AHCI, which restricts performance somewhat. Reply
  • BillyONeal - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    The article says that you don't think the 850 EVO is worth 60 dollars more; but in the list they're the same price. Typo? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    Read the full sentence.

    "That said, if the prices go up to $450 again, the Reactor will become a better choice because despite the performance and features I don't find the 850 EVO to be worth $60 more."
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    I also edited it to be more clear now. Reply
  • BillyONeal - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    Makes sense. Thanks! Reply
  • Andy Chow - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    A 1TB drive with 144 TB endurance? No thanks! Reply

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