Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD Reviewby Kristian Vättö on February 9, 2015 11:32 AM EST
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)|
|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.