Transcend SSD720 review: A solid hard drive replacement

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Setup and ease of use: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Transcend SSD720 is relatively affordable and significantly outperforms any hard drive. The included desktop drive bay converter is a useful extra.

The Bad The SSD720's performance doesn't match that of its peers, and the included cloning software's functionality is limited.

The Bottom Line If you're looking to upgrade your computer's main hard drive, the Transcend SSD720 is a strong option.

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The SSD720 solid-state drive (SSD) is Transcend's new, high-end drive designed to rival the performance of the SanDisk Extreme and Corsair Neutron GTX. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite get there. It's not a slow drive to be sure. It's just not quite as fast as its peers. Also, its drive cloning software is quite limited in functionality.

At less than $1 per gigabyte however, the SSD720 is more affordable than many other SSDs and its included desktop drive bay converter and mounting screws are useful additions.

If your system is currently using a hard drive as its primary storage location, the SSD720 will provide clear performance gains at a reasonable price; however, in the world of SSDs, there are faster options.

Design and features

Drive type 7mm-thick, 2.5-inch standard internal drive
Connector options SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA
Available capacities 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Product dimensions 7mm-thick, 2.5-inch standard
Capacity of test unit 256GB
Controller SandForce SF-2281
Flash memory type
SanDisk's 24 nm Toggle-mode DDR MLC NAND
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Linux

Coming in the now-familiar 7mm chassis, the new SSD720 looks very similar to recent SSDs. The drive supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and is backward compatible with SATA and SATA 2. We do recommend you use it with a SATA 3-enabled computer to get the most out of it, however.

The SSD720's induced cloning software's functionality is rather limited.
The SSD720's induced cloning software's functionality is rather limited. Screenshot: Dong Ngo/CNET

The drive will fit it most computers, including some ultrabooks, that use standard 2.5-inch hard dives. For a desktop, it also comes with a drive bay converter and screws so you can easily install it in place of a desktop 3.5-inch hard drive. Transcend also includes a downloadable cloning software, called Transcend System Clone, that helps with the upgrade process.

I tried this software out, and while it worked well, it turned out to be very limited. The software can't clone a drive with a larger partition than the capacity of the destination drive, even when the actual amount of data on the source drive is much smaller than the capacity of the destination drive. This is a big problem because most existing hard drives come with larger capacities (and hence a larger partition size) than SSDs. Other cloning software, such as Acronis True Image, can clone drives of larger capacities to those of smaller capacities, as long as the actual amount of data on the source drive is less than the capacity of the destination drive. (For more information on upgrading your system, check out this How To post .)

The System Clone software is part of Transcend SSDScope, a toolbox desktop software for Windows that offers other utilities to manage the SSD720, including updating its firmware, checking its SMART status, and so on. I updated the review drive to the latest firmware (version 5.0.4); the upgrade process was very fast and I didn't even have to restart the computer.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5"
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Capacity 512 GB