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Mushkin's Reactor 1TB SSD reviewed


A familiar one-two punch
— 7:00 AM on May 13, 2016

It's time for another edition of our deals of the week! Just kidding, but the subject of today's review—Mushkin's Reactor 1TB SSD—is a frequent star of our deals posts. We've been featuring it in our deals for so long that we finally decided we just had to review the thing. This drive is a favorite of the budget 1TB SSD market, thanks to its potent combo of MLC flash and the well-established Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller.

The drive as a whole is neither particularly new nor particularly ground-breaking, so let's do a quick overview and then jump right into testing. The 1TB drive we have on hand was the debut drive in the Reactor series, and it was first announced at the end of 2014. In the middle of 2015, the lineup got 256GB and 512GB versions, too. More recently, Mushkin has previewed 2TB and 4TB Reactors, though neither of those drives is available yet.

Mushkin Reactor
Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) Max random (IOps)
Read Write Read Write
256GB 560 315 71k 73k
512GB 560 460 71k 75k
1TB 560 460 74k 76k

On the inside, the Reactor 1TB sports the tried-and-true Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller. We've covered this controller more times you can shake a stick at, so let's move on to the NAND.

Mushkin has binned and bundled the flash into austere packages devoid of any conspicuous branding, but believe us: it's Micron's ubiquitous 16-nm MLC hiding in there. This controller and NAND combination should sound familiar, since it's the exact same combination used one of Micron's own drives, the Crucial BX100. We should expect to see similar performance between the Reactor and the BX100 500GB that's in our result set.

As a budget drive, the Reactor 1TB lacks fancy encryption-acceleration features or other perks, but it still carries a reasonable three-year warranty. Mushkin doesn't publish a total-bytes-written endurance spec, but for what it's worth, Micron slapped a 72TB rating on the BX100 1TB. We'd expect the useable lifetime of the two drives to be comparable. The Reactor sells for about $220 on Newegg right now, though it's often found its way into the $205 range depending on how the discount winds blow. When the price wars favor this drive, it's a tough value to beat in its size class.

Now that we've covered the Reactor's most salient characteristics, let's get into testing.