Solid state drives (SSDs) are a great upgrade for any computer, speeding up everything from startup, to opening apps, to transferring files. But with so many brands on the market, it’s easy to overlook a strong competitor.
Transcend is probably best known for its line of USB flash drives. You’ve probably used one before, whether you noticed or not. But Transcend has been assaulting the SSD market lately, and the Transcend SSD370 is its latest entrant. It offers a wide range of sizes — from 1TB down to 128GB — and a maximum speed of 570 megabytes per second.
Does the drive live up to its advertised speeds? And is it a worthwhile way to speed up your current computer?
Not much in the box
Our review unit came to us in a regular shipping box, wrapped in bubble wrap, with no documentation or accessories beyond four screws. This is not how customers will receive the drive, but since we did not receive the retail packaging, we can’t comment on it.
The drive itself is the same form factor as a laptop hard drive, and is enclosed in an aluminum case that reveals nothing of its internal workings. The drive includes screw holes on the bottom and the sides, so it should be easy enough to attach it in a desktop or laptop computer.
You can get the same drive in a black plastic case instead, typically for a little less money. If you plan on installing this drive in your computer and never looking at it again, getting the cheaper case might be a good idea (but the aluminum does look pretty nice).
About as quick as advertised, and that’s a good thing
Transcend Advertises a maximum read speed 570 megabytes per second, and a maximum write speed of 470MB/s. But that’s the high mark. What can the user expect in day-to-day usage?
To find out we turned to the Crystal Disk Mark benchmark, which we run on every computer we review, to test the speed of the hard drive. The results: a read speed of 521.2 MB/s and a write speed of 453.1 MB/s. Considering the maximum speed advertised, these are good results. They suggest you can expect consistent speeds from the drive. But how do the results compare to other drives on the market?
Well, it’s not the fastest drive we’ve seen. That honor goes to the Intel Series 750 series of SSDs, which to be fair also cost quite a bit more. The SSD370 is more comparable to Crucial’s BX200 (though that particular drive slows down a lot during long transfers, a problem the 370 does not share).
What do these numbers mean for the user? First of all, if you are switching from a conventional hard drive, the Transcend is going to feel fast, because those drives typically offer read speeds around 100MB/s. You’ll see increased performance in starting up your computer, launching apps, and transferring files. This isn’t the fastest SSD on the market, but it’s much faster than any conventional drive. The write speeds mean that saving files to the drive – even large ones like videos – will be quick.
The speed is achieved in part thanks to a DDR3 DRAM cache, but does that mean large transfers might trip it up? To find out we checked the drive using the HDTune benchmark, which sometimes catches slowdowns for longer transfers. The Transcend SSD370 held up to this test, showing a read speed of 359.2 MB/s, and an access time 0.034 milliseconds. The write speed test showed 296.7 MB/s with identical access times. While lower than the above metric, these are respectable numbers, and in line with how the drive is advertised.
Prices very widely, so shop around
The main downside of a solid state drive is price. If you want a lot of space, you’re going to pay for it. And the Transcend SSD370 isn’t cheap, but if you shop around, you can grab a sweet deal.
You can expect consistent speed from this drive.
Take the 1TB model we reviewed, for example. The list price is $490, which seems high, but we found it for $360 on Amazon. The second price is very much in line with the competition, and even downright affordable compared to some equivalent drives.
This is true through the range of sizes. The 512GB model is listed at $270, but currently priced around $165 on Amazon. The 128GB model is listed at $85, but currently priced around $50 on Amazon. You get the idea. Prices vary, so make sure you shop around. Note that you can usually reduce the price further by going with the black plastic case instead of the aluminum one.
Assuming you can grab a price below MSRP, this drive is priced in line with the market. At the listed price, however, it’s a little on the high side given its performance.
Comes with a three-year warranty
The Transcend SSD370 drive comes with a three-year warranty. If you run into hardware problems during the course of normal use, Transcend will check the drive and either repair it, or pay you back the drive’s current value.
Well worth considering
The Transcend SSD370 is every bit as good as advertised, and while its listed price is a little spendy for what it offers, it’s usually available for far less. It comes in a range of sizes, which means finding a drive that fits your use and price point shouldn’t be hard.
If the pricing seen at Amazon holds up, we recommend it without hesitation. Whether you’re looking to speed up your current computer, or want a solid state drive for your custom build, the Transcend SSD370 should work well for you.
- Consistently fast read and write speeds
- Offered in a wide range of sizes
- A bit expensive for the capacity