Monster Digital Daytona SSD review: Monster Digital Daytona SSD

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MSRP: $499.99
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

1 stars 1 user review

The Good The shiny Monster Digital Daytona solid-state drive offers very good performance and is relatively affordable.

The Bad Though good, the Monster Digital Daytona's performance and pricing could be a little better.

The Bottom Line The Monster Digital Daytona will give you a typical solid-state drive experience both in terms of performance and cost.

7.2 Overall
  • Setup and ease of use 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Service and support 7.0

Noticeably more affordable than the Le Mans drive, the new Daytona solid-state drive (SSD) from Monster Digital proves to be a better deal than its big brother, thanks to its at times better performance.

However, the new drive is not exactly the best deal on the market. That's because its 120GB and 240GB capacities cost about $1 per gigabyte, which is the average, even among drives of much superior performance. If you really want to get a good deal out of the Daytona, you'd need to opt for its 480GB capacity, which costs $460, effectively less than $1 per gigabyte.

Those in the market for a 256GB or smaller drive should also check out the current top five SSDs while shopping.

Design and features

Drive type 2.5-inch 7mm Internal drive
Connector options SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA
Available capacities 80GB, 120GB, 240GB, 400GB
Product dimensions 7mm thick, 2.5-inch standard
Capacity of test unit 480GB
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Linux

The Monster Digital Daytona comes in completely different packaging from the Le Mans; it's spartan with just the solid-state drive and a tiny warranty note on the inside. The new drive doesn't offer any software or accessories, such as a drive-bay converter or USB-to-SATA adapter. That said, the drive is packed in a nice gift-box-ready case that's similar to a jewelry case. Personally, I prefer its packaging than that of the Le Mans since it means there's much less trash to deal with once the drive is used.

Despite the lack of a drive-bay converter, you can still use the Daytona in a desktop by leaving it hanging inside the computer case. Like all SSDs, the drive has no moving parts and doesn't really need to be securely attached to the chassis.

Though the packaging is different, the Daytona drive itself is very similar to the Le Mans with its shiny, aluminum casing. In fact it's so nice that you might wish you could show it off, rather than keeping it hidden inside a computer. The drive comes in the new and increasingly popular 2.5-inch design that's 7mm thick. This means it will fit inside an ultraportable laptop computer as well as regular laptops that use a traditional 9.5mm-thick hard drive.

As with the Le Mans, Daytona does not come out of the box preformatted; it doesn't contain any data. This makes the cloning process faster since you don't need to erase the drive first. Like all internal drives, you'll need to be fairly comfortable with computer hardware to install it. If you need help upgrading your computer's main hard drive to an SSD, which is the main reason why you would want one, check out my how-to post on this matter.

The Daytona drive supports SATA 3 (6Gbps), but it also works with the SATA 2 (3Gbps) standard. In my trials, the drive worked with the Mac, PC, and Linux platforms.

Cost per gigabyte
When it comes to SSDs, the pricing is always the biggest concern; the good news is that the Daytona is indeed cheaper than the Le Mans. Compared with other drives on the market, however, it's not the best deal. The drive is available in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities. The first two currently cost about $130 and $240, respectively, effectively about $1 per gigabyte. The Corsair Neutron or the Samsung 830, for comparison's sake, cost just around 85 cents per gigabyte. The 480GB-capacity drive is slightly better. At $450, it's about 95 cents per gigabyte. But in this case, that's still a pretty big investment; 480GB might be more than you need or want to pay for.

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