Not too long ago, SSDs were too expensive for most people to have in their systems. They were considered a novelty, a luxury for which only those with deep pockets or an unhealthy passion for performance could afford. Nowadays, prices of SSDs have come down drastically and are much, much more affordable thanks to falling costs of memory and also the sheer number of SSD solutions in the market today.
To stand out in the crowded market place is difficult, which is why we are already seeing some companies moving away their focus and energies from the SSD business. We heard that Patriot is going to distance itself from the SSD marketplace and focus on memory/flash solutions instead. Transcend, however, is a very strong and big player in the SSD market and seems to only be forging full steam ahead.
We reviewed their flagship SSD720 drive back in June and found it to be a very competent SandForce SSD, offering good, consistent performance at an attractive price. Today, we are looking at the SSD720’s little brother, the SSD320.
The Transcend SSD320 is the company’s mainstream offering and although it uses the same SandForce SF-2281 controller as the SSD720 and also has the same SATA 6Gbps interface, it differs in that it uses slower asynchronous NAND memory. The difference between synchronous and asynchronous NAND memory is that synchronous NAND memory transmits data on both the rise and fall of the signal wave, which translates to higher raw data throughput and faster response times. How much of an impact will this have on performance will be interesting to see.
But before we continue, here’s a quick look at the drive.