Transcend SSD320 128GB – Excellent Mainstream SSD

12/29/2012 9:12:01 AM

Can Transcend take the solid-state drive mainstream with its SSD320?

For anyone relying on conventional drive technology to boot their system and launch their applications, the future is SSD. Until recently these devices were so expensive that only those prepared to pay for the best could use them.

Last year's flooding in Bangkok, however, accelerated the change that was always coming, narrowing the price gap between traditional hard drives and SSDs, which have been steadily getting cheaper by the day.

Transcend SSD 320 128GB

Transcend SSD 320 128GB

The SSD320 by Transcend is the result of all those lost drive sales and high part prices, a high-performance drive with a decent capacity at an affordable price.

Built around the superb LSI SandForce 2281 controller, in ideal conditions this SSD can push and pull in excess of 500MB/s – a speed that conventional drives will probably never attain.

Transcend SSD 320 128GB

That's great, and it's what these drives are mostly bought for, but this unit also has a intelligent block management and wear levelling logic in it, which should extend its operating life. The form factor is a 'slim' 7mm 2.5" package, enabling it to be used in an ultrabook or desktop PC just as easily.

Transcend provides a simple metal plate that allows you to install the drive in a bay designed for a bigger desktop drive, if you require that.

Another plus point is that when Transcend promotes this as having a 128GB capacity, it's not selling you a 120GB model and adding up using the special maths that most drive makers use. This drive does have 128GB of space, which is enough to run a decent Windows system without having to pare it down.

If I was looking hard to put you off buying one, the only minor bone of contention I can unearth is that in my testing I could only elicit 496MB/s reading and 488MB/s writing, although I'm entirely happy to accept that's the impact of using an Intel-branded motherboard as my test rig. You also won't get that performance if you don't have SA TA3, in case you wondered.

Transcend SSD 320 128GB

Whatever your personal real-world numbers are, the SDD320 is blindingly fast, and you won't need a mortgage to buy one.

For those interested in more capacity, the 256GB model is about $224, and for those on a tighter budget the 64GB model is slightly above $80.

If you're in the market for an ultrabook, then don't blow your cash on a high-end model. Buy a more modest one with one of these, clone the drive, and watch the system fly and the battery life increase!

The SSD320 is an excellent product, which ticks all the boxes for those wanting zippy performance and, as such, I can't recommend it enough.


·         Price: $120 (Amazon)

·         Manufacturer: Transcend

·         Website

·         Required spec: Free SA TA port, ideally SATA3, operating system that's SSD aware


·         Quality: 8

·         Value: 9

·         Overall: 9


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