Transcend’s SSD370 solid-state drive reviewed

As we discussed recently, triple-level cell (or TLC) NAND is all the rage in SSDs these days. Many SSD manufacturers are hopping aboard the TLC train, hoping to cut costs and fatten their margins. But some customers are loath to buy in because of the perceived speed and endurance compromises TLC brings with it. Fortunately for those pickier enthusiasts, the MLC SSD market is still very much alive. Players both large and small continue to update and refine their MLC offerings as processes mature and new NAND makes its way down the assembly line.

Transcend Information is one of those players. The last time we reviewed one of the company’s SSDs was way back in 2009, but Transcend hasn’t been twiddling its thumbs in the meantime. The company has built a stable of 2.5″, M.2, and even portable SSDs while we’ve been busy elsewhere.

Today, we’re looking at Transcend’s SSD370 series of 2.5″ SATA 6Gbps solid-state drives. More specifically, what we have on hand are the 256GB and 1TB SSD370S drives—the “S” suffix simply designates versions enclosed in aluminum rather than plastic. Maybe it stands for “shiny.” Transcend offers the SSD370 in an array of sizes, from a wee 32GB to an imposing 1TB. Check out the vital statistics below.

Transcend SSD370
Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) Max Random (IOps)
Read Write Read Write
32GB 230 40 20k 10k
64GB 450 80 40k 20k
128GB 550 170 70k 40k
256GB 560 320 70k 70k
512GB 560 460 75k 75k
1TB 560 460 75k 75k

A peek inside the drives reveals a delightful mix of components. Vertical integration has its upsides, but I frankly get tired of seeing the same name on every surface when I crack open a Samsung drive.

The 256GB drive sports a Transcend-branded controller, Samsung cache chip, and Micron NAND flash.

The 1TB drive features the same controller, but it’s got two Samsung DRAM chips and SanDisk NAND in place of Micron’s. Transcend does not specify a specific vendor, node, or chip when referring to the SSD370’s NAND internals; the baseline guarantee is that you’re geting “Synchronous MLC NAND Flash” that performs up to Transcend’s expectations for the product line. Even so, the company tells me that the NAND used will be either Micron 16-nm flash or SanDisk 15-nm chips, as needed. The company also says that the chips used will not be from larger or older nodes.

So what’s the deal with the Transcend controller? They call it the “TS6500,” but don’t fear, it’s not made by Cyberdyne Systems. It’s actually Silicon Motion’s SM2246EN controller, which pops up in drive after drive with impressive regularity. This time around, however, it’s running Transcend’s custom firmware, which probably explains the decision to rebrand.

All versions of the SSD370 come with a three-year warranty. Transcend claims an endurance spec of 280 terabytes written for the 256GB drive, or 1180 terabytes for the 1TB drive. Ordinary consumer workloads won’t hit the TBW spec in any timeframe worth worrying about.

Storage labs update

TR’s storage labs have gotten another upgrade. Perhaps the most practical upgrade imagineable. In their previous lives, the storage rigs could roam free as open test benches, unmolested by local fauna. Sadly, we’ve had to cage the rigs for their own safety.

We asked Fractal Design for some help cat-proofing our storage setups, and they delivered magnificently. A pair of handsome windowed Define R5s now protect the machines from the feline elements. A few sentences can’t do these cases justice, so read our extensive review to find out why the R5 won a TR Editor’s Choice award. Thanks again to Fractal Design for helping us protect our storage rigs from curious cats.

With introductions and announcements out of the way, let’s get personal with the SSD370. Read on to see how it fares in our test suite.

 

IOMeter — Sequential and random performance

IOMeter fuels much of our latest storage test suite, including our sequential and random I/O tests. These tests are run across the full capacity of the drive at two queue depths. The QD1 tests simulate a single thread, while the QD4 results emulate a more demanding desktop workload. For perspective, 87% of the requests in our old DriveBench 2.0 trace of real-world desktop activity have a queue depth of four or less. Clicking the buttons below the graphs switches between results charted at the different queue depths.

Our sequential tests use a relatively large 128KB block size.



Both versions of the SSD370 are off to a robust start in these tests. The 256GB drive’s sequential reads are faster than much of its competition and even some higher-capacity drives. Among SATA drives of a similar size, only the 850 EVO 250GB and Vector 180 240GB post appreciably faster speeds. The 1TB drive’s sequential reads are in line with both the 850 EVO 1TB and 850 Pro 512GB, which are honorable company indeed.

The drives’ sequential writes are a bit less impressive, but respectable nonetheless. The SSD370 256GB falls short of a number of its contemporaries, like the Arc 100 240GB and Vector 180 240GB. The 256GB drive remains neck-and-neck with the 850 EVO 250GB, though. The SSD370 1TB’s sequential writes fall behind the Samsung heavyweights, but it keeps pace with the only other non-Samsung high-capacity SATA drive in this dataset, OCZ’s Vector 180 960GB.

Next, we’ll turn our attention to performance with 4KB random I/O. The tests below are based on the median of three consecutive three-minute runs. SSDs typically deliver consistent sequential and random read performance over that period, but random write speeds worsen as the drive’s overprovisioned area is consumed by incoming writes. We’ve reported average response times rather than raw throughput, which we think makes sense in the context of system responsiveness.



The SSD370 256GB’s random read response times aren’t as competitive as its sequential numbers, but they’re still quite good. While it loses to the 850 EVO 250GB at both queue depths, it more or less keeps up with the OCZ and Crucial pack. On the other hand, the 1TB puts on a very strong showing, beating all other SATA drives at QD1 and losing only to a couple of Samsungs and the Intel 730 Series at QD4.

The 256GB drive finally gives us some bad news when it comes to random write response times. While it still beats the ancient Intel X25-M, the 256GB drive gets beaten badly by every other drive in the dataset. At both queue depths, it’s more than twice as slow as the next-slowest drive. On the other hand, the SSD370 1TB is still on a roll, staying in the upper echelon of results.

 

Sustained and scaling I/O rates

Our sustained IOMeter test hammers drives with 4KB random writes for 30 minutes straight. It uses a queue depth of 32, a setting which should result in higher speeds that saturate each drive’s overprovisioned area more quickly. This lengthy—and heavy—workload isn’t indicative of typical PC use, but it provides a sense of how the drives react when they’re pushed to the brink.

We’re reporting IOps rather than response times for these tests. Click the buttons below the graph to switch between SSDs.


The Transcend drives turn in pretty typical peak performance results for SATA drives, but the steady-state rates look a bit on the low side.

To show the data in a slightly different light, we’ve graphed the peak random-write rate and the average, steady-state speed over the last minute of the test.

As we feared, the SSD370’s steady-state rates are lackluster. The 1TB drive is outclassed by the other high-capacity drives in our pool. Most notably, the 850 EVO 1TB is almost twice as fast. The 256GB drive scrapes ahead of only the budget-oriented Trion 100 and BX200, whose speeds underwhelmed us when we tested them.

Our final IOMeter test examines performance scaling across a broad range of queue depths. We ramp all the way up to a queue depth of 128. Don’t expect AHCI-based drives to scale past 32, though—that’s the maximum depth of their native command queues.

For this test, we use a database access pattern comprising 66% reads and 33% writes, all of which are random. The test runs after 30 minutes of continuous random writes that put the drives in a simulated used state. Click the buttons below the graph to switch between the different drives. And note that the P3700 plot uses a much larger scale.


The 256GB drive’s performance is almost completely flat across the range of command queue depths. The 1TB displays a modest peak at QD16 before dipping back down. The next set of graphs will put the SSD370’s scaling performance in context, graphing the drives against the Arc 100 and 850 EVO. Click to toggle between read, write, and total IOps.


The Arc 100 will almost always find a place on this graph, just because of how mind-blowingly well it scales for a budget drive. The SSD370 1TB scales somewhat similarly to the 850 EVO 1TB, but the EVO manages to hold on to its peak rather than regressing as the SSD370 does. In low-capacity land, the the 850 EVO 250GB trounces the SSD370 256GB, which doesn’t scale, doesn’t want to, and can’t be made to.

 

TR RoboBench — Real-world transfers

RoboBench trades synthetic tests with random data for real-world transfers with a range of file types. Developed by our in-house coder, Bruno “morphine” Ferreira, this benchmark relies on the multi-threaded robocopy command build into Windows. We copy files to and from a wicked-fast RAM disk to measure read and write performance. We also cut the RAM disk out of the loop for a copy test that transfers the files to a different location on the SSD.

Robocopy uses eight threads by default, and we’ve also run it with a single thread. Our results are split between two file sets, whose vital statistics are detailed below. The compressibility percentage is based on the size of the file set after it’s been crunched by 7-Zip.

  Number of files Average file size Total size Compressibility
Media 459 21.4MB 9.58GB 0.8%
Work 84,652 48.0KB 3.87GB 59%

The media set is made up of large movie files, high-bitrate MP3s, and 18-megapixel RAW and JPG images. There are only a few hundred files in total, and the data set isn’t amenable to compression. The work set comprises loads of TR files, including documents, spreadsheets, and web-optimized images. It also includes a stack of programming-related files associated with our old Mozilla compiling test and the Visual Studio test on the next page. The average file size is measured in kilobytes rather than megabytes, and the files are mostly compressible.

RoboBench’s write and copy tests run after the drives have been put into a simulated used state with 30 minutes of 4KB random writes. The pre-conditioning process is scripted, as is the rest of the test, ensuring that drives have the same amount of time to recover.

Let’s take a look at the media set first. The buttons switch between read, write, and copy results.



These results are an echo of what we saw in the sequential IOMeter testing. The drives turn in capable reads, and their results fall right into the fairly narrow performance band that most of the SATA drives occupy. The SSD370 seems to be stronger than other drives in our single-threaded testing, but it still puts up decent reads with eight threads, too. Writes are more of a mixed bag. The 1TB keeps up with the pack, but the 256GB drive flags a bit. Still, it could certainly be worse—even the 256GB drive maintains a significant lead over the uninspiring performance of the budget-oriented BX200 and Trion 100.



The outlook doesn’t change much in the work set. The SSD370 seems to fall at the low end of the spectrum in terms of the rankings, but it’s important to note that the middle bracket of results is the largest. Only a handful of drives occupy either end of the speed extremes. That said, in the eight-threaded write test, the SSD370 is pushing the limits of acceptability. If these drives were a hair slower, I would label them sluggish writers without hesitation. As it stands, they get to remain at what I’d call the low end of the normal range.

Our RoboBench results have validated what we saw earlier with IOMeter. Transcend has put together a drive with great read speeds but merely okay write speeds.

 

Boot times

Until now, all of our tests have been conducted with the SSDs connected as secondary storage. This next batch uses them as system drives. We’ve seen time and again that our boot and load testing tends to smooth out performance differences between all kinds of performers. We expect no less this time around.

We’ll start with boot times measured two ways. The bare test depicts the time between hitting the power button and reaching the Windows desktop, while the loaded test adds the time needed to load four applications—Avidemux, LibreOffice, GIMP, and Visual Studio Express—automatically from the startup folder. Our old boot tests focused on the time required to load the OS, but these new ones cover the entire process, including drive initialization.

As always, Windows spins up seemingly without paying any heed to what it’s booting from. Both versions of the SSD370 fall smack in the center of the very narrow performance range we’ve seen out of solid-state storage. You might notice we’ve added our trusty old Intel X25-M to the mix. It seems that not even a SATA 3Gbps handicap can make a noticeable difference in boot times.

Load times

Next, we’ll tackle load times with two sets of tests. The first group focuses on the time required to load larger files in a collection of desktop applications. We open a 790MB 4K video in Avidemux, a 30MB spreadsheet in LibreOffice, and a 523MB image file in GIMP. In the Visual Studio Express test, we open a 159MB project containing source code for the LLVM toolchain. Thanks to Rui Figueira for providing the project code.

Yep. These drives can load applications with the best of ’em. In some of the tests the SSD370 comes out on top, in some it comes out near the bottom. Either way, all the drives in our dataset maintain only a trivial separation from each other in their application load times. Games are up next.

Despite what some marketing departments would have you believe, every SSD is a killer gaming drive. The SSD370 is no different, so load it up with your Steam library and rest easy.

Our IOMeter and RoboBench testing provided some clearly defined high and low points for the SSD370, but it sailed easily through our boot and load tests. Our primary storage testing is swiftly become a pass/fail affair. Hopefully someone fails soon, just to keep things interesting.

That’s it for performance testing. Read on for a breakdown of our hardware and test methods.

 

Test notes and methods

Here’s are the essential details for all the drives we tested:

  Interface Flash controller NAND
Crucial BX100 500GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2246EN 16-nm Micron MLC
Crucial BX200 480GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2256 16-nm Micron TLC
Crucial MX200 500GB SATA 6Gbps Marvell 88SS9189 16-nm Micron MLC
Intel X25-M G2 160GB SATA 3Gbps Intel PC29AS21BA0 34-nm Intel MLC
Intel 335 Series 240GB SATA 6Gbps SandForce SF-2281 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel 730 Series 480GB SATA 6Gbps Intel PC29AS21CA0 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel 750 Series 1.2TB PCIe Gen3 x4 Intel CH29AE41AB0 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel DC P3700 800GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Intel CH29AE41AB0 20-nm Intel MLC
OCZ Arc 100 240GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
OCZ Trion 100 480GB SATA 6Gbps Toshiba TC58 A19-nm Toshiba TLC
OCZ Vector 180 240GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
OCZ Vector 180 960GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
Plextor M6e 256GB PCIe Gen2 x2 Marvell 88SS9183 19-nm Toshiba MLC
Samsung 850 EV0 250GB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MGX 32-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 850 EV0 1TB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MEX 32-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 850 Pro 500GB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MEX 32-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung UBX 32-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung SM951 512GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung S4LN058A01X01 16-nm Samsung MLC
Samsung XP941 256GB PCIe Gen2 x4 Samsung S4LN053X01 19-nm Samsung MLC
Transcend SSD370 256GB SATA 6Gpbs Transcend TS6500 Micron or SanDisk MLC
Transcend SSD370 1TB SATA 6Gpbs Transcend TS6500 Micron or SanDisk MLC

All the SATA SSDs were connected to the motherboard’s Z97 chipset. The M6e was connected to the Z97 via the motherboard’s M.2 slot, which is how we’d expect most folks to run that drive. Since the XP941 and 950 Pro requires more lanes, they were connected to the CPU via a PCIe adapter card. The 750 Series and DC P3700 were hooked up to the CPU via the same full-sized PCIe slot.

We used the following system for testing:

Processor Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz
Motherboard Asus Z97-Pro
Firmware 2601
Platform hub Intel Z97
Platform drivers Chipset: 10.0.0.13

RST: 13.2.4.1000

Memory size 16GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Adata XPG V3 DDR3 at 1600 MT/s
Memory timings 11-11-11-28-1T
Audio Realtek ALC1150 with 6.0.1.7344 drivers
System drive Corsair Force LS 240GB with S8FM07.9 firmware
Storage Crucial BX100 500GB with MU01 firmware

Crucial BX200 480GB with MU01.4 firmware

Crucial MX200 500GB with MU01 firmware

Intel 335 Series 240GB with 335u firmware

Intel 730 Series 480GB with L2010400 firmware

Intel 750 Series 1.2GB with 8EV10171 firmware

Intel DC P3700 800GB with 8DV10043 firmware

Intel X25-M G2 160GB with 8820 firmware

Plextor M6e 256GB with 1.04 firmware

OCZ Trion 100 480GB with 11.2 firmware

OCZ Vector 180 240GB with 1.0 firmware

OCZ Vector 180 960GB with 1.0 firmware

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB with EMT01B6Q firmware

Samsung 850 EVO 1TB with EMT01B6Q firmware

Samsung 850 Pro 500GB with EMXM01B6Q firmware

Samsung 950 Pro 512GB with 1B0QBXX7 firmware

Samsung XP941 256GB with UXM6501Q firmware

Transcend SSD370 256GB with O0918B firmware

Transcend SSD370 1TB with O0919A firmware

Power supply Corsair AX650 650W
Case Fractal Design Define R5
Operating system Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Thanks to Asus for providing the systems’ motherboards, to Intel for the CPUs, to Adata for the memory, to Fractal Design for the cases, and to Corsair for the system drives and PSUs. And thanks to the drive makers for supplying the rest of the SSDs.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

Some further notes on our test methods:

  • To ensure consistent and repeatable results, the SSDs were secure-erased before every component of our test suite. For the IOMeter database, RoboBench write, and RoboBench copy tests, the drives were put in a simulated used state that better exposes long-term performance characteristics. Those tests are all scripted, ensuring an even playing field that gives the drives the same amount of time to recover from the initial used state.

  • We run virtually all our tests three times and report the median of the results. Our sustained IOMeter test is run a second time to verify the results of the first test and additional times only if necessary. The sustained test runs for 30 minutes continuously, so it already samples performance over a long period.

  • Steps have been taken to ensure the CPU’s power-saving features don’t taint any of our results. All of the CPU’s low-power states have been disabled, effectively pegging the frequency at 3.5GHz. Transitioning between power states can affect the performance of storage benchmarks, especially when dealing with short burst transfers.

The test systems’ Windows desktop was set at 1920×1080 at 60Hz. Most of the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

 

Conclusions

If you’ve made it this far, we have a treat for you. If you skipped straight to the end, though, we’re validating your poor choices and short attention span. Either way, we’re sure you’ll be gratified by the return of our overall performance graph and value scatter plots.

Circumstances have changed slightly since the last time we put together these numbers. In prior reviews, we used a mechanical hard drive as a baseline to calculate relative performance. We felt it was high time to cast off the shackles of mechanical-drive oppression, so we’re using the venerable Intel X25-M as our baseline instead.  A side effect of this change is that we’re no longer forced to use a harmonic mean in order to smooth out orders-of-magnitude disparities. For this data set, we’ve switched to a geometric mean, just as you’d see in our graphics performance numbers. Note that only drives which have been through the entire current test suite on the current rig are represented.

First off, let’s look at overall performance.

The rankings sum up my feelings on the SSD370 nicely. The SSD370 256GB is a decent drive, but that’s as far as I’d go. It’s objectively faster than our duo of budget TLC drives (the Trion 100 and BX200), but the gap is a lot smaller than I’d like. In contrast, the SSD370 1TB performs excellently. The worst that can be said about it is that its write performance is on the low side of average. But its reads were blazing fast, trading blows with the 850 Pro 512GB in several tests. I’d gladly put an SSD370 1TB in one of my rigs if the price was right.

So let’s see whether the price is right. In case you’ve forgotten how this works, recall that the best-performing drives cluster toward the upper left corner of the graph, where prices are lowest and performance is highest.

The SSD370 1TB is in a solid spot in terms of both highness and leftness. The only better-performing drives in our test suite are all PCIe SSDs. Do note that we haven’t re-run the boot and load numbers on drives like the 850 EVO 1TB and 850 Pro 512GB yet, though. For smaller-capacity drives, the SSD370 256GB isn’t in an enviable position. You can go just a bit lower and pay substantially less, or pay just a bit more and get substantially more performance.

Now let’s put aside notions of leftness and rightness and speak in terms of cold, hard cash. Newegg lists the SSD370 256GB for $121.99, but it’s a much more palatable $82.99 at Amazon right now. The price gap is smaller for the 1TB drive, but Amazon still wins at $324.75 versus Newegg’s $342.99. At the lower Amazon prices, both drives work out to be $0.32 per gigabyte. The 1TB is a much better performer for the same (per-gig) price.

All that said, I wouldn’t leave the SSD370 256GB out in the cold if it came scratching at my door. It fires up just as quickly as all the others in terms of boot times and application loading. It would make a perfectly serviceable OS drive for those who like to silo their installations.

Overall, Transcend has developed a respectable product line in the SSD370, with six different capacities and two enclosure styles to choose from. At current prices, I’d stick to the higher capacity versions and enjoy substantially better performance for the same cost per gigabyte. The 256GB SSD370 isn’t bad in its own right, but it’s hard to justify buying that drive when budget barn-burners like the Arc 100 exist.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    So we have two completely different products here. Sure, they share the same controller but that’s common among SSDs even from entirely different manufacturers.

    So why are they being labelled as one product?

    The 256GB model is a bad drive. It’s right at the bottom of the pack with the [i<]bad[/i<] TLC drives despite not having the disadvantage of TLC. The 1TB model is a good drive, the best of the consumer-level SATA SSDs, and beaten only by PCIe drives or far more costly prosumer/enterprise models. I wonder how many review sites will be sent only the 1TB model to generate positive reviews that help shift the budget 256GB model under false pretences.

      • Waco
      • 4 years ago

      This is incorrect. The write speeds are slower, but nobody really cares…

    • geniekid
    • 4 years ago

    Would love to see the Mushkin Reactor 1TB on the price/performance chart. Based on its $.23/GB ratio and AT’s review which generally shows it outperforming the Arc 100 I have to imagine it is a really easy pick right now.

    • BIF
    • 4 years ago

    Will there be a 2TB (or bigger) solution soon, and what will it cost?

    I just bought some virtual instruments and they require about 700-800 GB.

    It’s like that for me. My needs don’t only tick upward with family photos and videos. Buying them in 256 or 512 GB increments is not satisfactory, and that just uses up SATA ports anyhow.

    My disk needs jump in leaps and bounds. I have plenty of spinning 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB (and soon to be 4TB drives) laying about waiting for a life “after backup duty”. They’re in assorted 2.5″ and 3.5″ form factors, and would work just fine but for the speeds. Loading instruments into RAM from SSD is a lot faster and that is much appreciated. So I’m willing to pay for a couple of 2TB SSDs, but so far the only one I see in my needed capacity is the Samsung 850 EVO.

    Going down in price, which is nice. I bought one a little more than a month ago and it was over $700; now they’re down to about $600. As long as RAM prices keep going down, it pays to avoid buying them in quantities exceeding your immediate needs.

      • weaktoss
      • 4 years ago

      Transcend has not indicated any intention to release a 2TB version of the SSD370. The 850 EVO might be your only non-enterprise option at this point. If you hold out for a while, Samsung is supposedly going to release 4TB SSDs in both EVO and Pro flavors later this year.

        • BIF
        • 4 years ago

        This would be awesome!

    • mkk
    • 4 years ago

    I’ll be getting one or two 1TB drives for “storage” this year and will remember that this one would be a viable option. But the SSD manufacturers all have to get well enough below that big fat elephant of Samsung in price to win, which seem to be a painful affair.

    It’s not impossible, evidently as I still have more drives from other brands. But if buying today…

    • watzupken
    • 4 years ago

    Got a couple of the 256 GB version some time early last year, and I think they are pretty decent drives. However, if I look at the price of this drive on Amazon vs a Samsung 850 Evo, I don’t think its that attractive now.

    • EzioAs
    • 4 years ago

    “…unmolested by local fauna”

    That’s brilliant.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    SSDs are quickly becoming the next hard drives of the computer industry — commodities that you buy mostly on the basis of brand preference and perceived product reliability. Those RoboBench numbers reveal a bit more but those load times tell me, as a regular user who’s not all that fussy, that I can just pick any brand I like and in the grand scheme of things they’re all pretty much the same.

      • HERETIC
      • 4 years ago

      Read my reply to Waco.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]perceived product reliability[/quote<] So yeah.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 4 years ago

    About that last bit, for smaller budget drives, the BX200 240GB drive is on sale for $60 at Newegg right now. All of $5 less than the Trion.

    • Godel
    • 4 years ago

    The takeaway I get is ignore the synthetic tests, because in real world applications, most ordinary users won’t be able to spot the difference between a fast SSD and a slow one, in every day operations.

    • spiritwalker2222
    • 4 years ago

    If your using the X-25M as the baseline, I’d add it to the overall performance graph. Yes, it’ll be 100%. But some of us who skipped to the conclusion, might have also skipped right to the graph. And don’t know what the baseline is.

    I can see not adding it to the performance per $/GB chart, as the X-25M hasn’t been sold for a long time. And it would represent a horrible value.

    • Waco
    • 4 years ago

    So, it’s again a case of buying the cheapest drive per GB that has the capacity you need.

    Nobody really cares at all about sustained random write speeds in a desktop. It’s just not part of any typical workload…

      • HERETIC
      • 4 years ago

      “So, it’s again a case of buying the cheapest drive per GB that has the capacity you need.”
      WRONG.
      Until you weed out all the lemons out there-
      Trion 100
      BX 200
      Patriot blast/blaze
      To name a few.
      Also some have long memories and OCZ and Samsung are on the NO GO list………………………..

        • lmc5b
        • 4 years ago

        For the Samsung drives you don’t really need a long memory.

        • Waco
        • 4 years ago

        Of course there are some dud products, but my point was, in general, performance varies extremely little for almost all use cases between the “slow” drives and the “fast” ones.

    • nico1982
    • 4 years ago

    I think that the new performance/price grid with just the color-coded legend is poorly intuitive and barely readable. Plase, put back the labels on the grid 🙂

      • weaktoss
      • 4 years ago

      You should see how unreadable it is with the labels! And it’ll only get worse as we add more drives.

      But it’s a valid point, [s<]so next time I'll try to work out a compromise solution with a few (but not all) points labelled[/s<]. The units being reviewed and maybe a couple of notable highs and lows. Thanks for the feedback. update: Went ahead and added labels everywhere. This may be a problem down the road, but for now it's definitely better than the legend.

    • DPete27
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]The only better-performing drives (in our testing lineup) are all PCIe SSDs.[/quote<] FTFY. Don't want to risk making it sound like the 1TB SSD370 is the fastest SATA-based SSD out there. period.

      • Wirko
      • 4 years ago

      The takeaway, for me: my X25-M is still [i<]that[/i<] good?

        • Chrispy_
        • 4 years ago

        Yes, it really is.

        Intel’s focus on performance consistency to keep latencies low started right at the beginning and even now, that’s really a lot of what matters. Being MLC helps as it keeps the controller and firmware simpler, but realistically the race to the bottom for SSDs has kept performance much the same whilst driving down production costs.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      That’s a reasonable criticism. I added a disclaimer.

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