Transcend SSD720 review: A solid hard drive replacement

On the inside, the new SSD720 is equipped with SandForce SF-2281 and SanDisk's 24 nm Toggle-mode DDR MLC NAND, which is exactly the same type of flash memory used in the SanDisk Extreme. Toggle-mode flash memory is generally used in high-end consumer-grade SSDs such as the Corsair Neutron GTX, or the Samsung 840 Pro .

The SSD720 comes with a drive by converter to easily fit in a desktop computer.
The SSD720 comes with a drive by converter to easily fit in a desktop computer. Dong Ngo/CNET

Unlike other SandForce-based SSDs, the SSD720 doesn't have RAISE (SandForce's NAND redundancy feature) enabled, making it offer slightly higher capacity, at the expensive of slightly higher risk of data loss. This is, however, is a new trend since, per SandForce, RAISE is not exactly necessary for general consumers; it's more for enterprise products.

Cost per gigabyte
Generally prices of SSDs are subject to a great deal of fluctuation, mostly for the better. For now, the new SSD720 consistently cost less then $1 per gigabyte across all of its capacities, low enough to be called affordable. The 256GB version, for example, can be had for just around $225 or 88 cents per gigabyte.

The drive is not the most affordable on the charts, but for a drive that's relatively new on the market, its initial price point is a good start. It's likely that it will get even lower in the coming months.

Cost per Gigabyte
(Measured in dollars, based on the current street price)
Transcend's toolbox software offers useful utilities to manage the SSD720.
Transcend's toolbox software offers useful utilities to manage the SSD720. Dong Ngo/CNET

Performance
I reviewed the 256GB-capacity of the SSD720, and used it both as a secondary drive and as the main drive that hosts the operating system.

As a secondary drive, the SSD offered the real-world sustained write speed of 231MBps, which is above average among all SATA 3 SSDs. In reading test, the drive did better with 270MBps.

When used as the main drive, SSD720's copy speed was reduced to just 109MBps, below the average on the charts. Note that in this test, the drive performed both reading and writing at the same time. Nonetheless, it helped improve the overall performance of the computer a great deal. The test system took just about 11 seconds to boot up and about 5 seconds to shut down, much faster than when it used a hard drive as the main storage. Applications also loaded much more quickly. Compared with other SSDs, however, it wasn't much different, and slightly slower than many. Since SSDs are generally very fast compared with standard hard drives, it's hard to quantify the difference between them when it comes to the overall performance of a computer.

Comprehensively, the SSD720's performance didn't match that of the Corsair Neutron GTX or the Samsung 840 Pro but still provides a significant boost when compared to any hard dive.

CNET Labs' Shutdown/Boot Times
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot Time  
Samsung 840 Pro
5.21 
10 
Corsair Neutron GTX
5.28 
10 
Transcend SSD720
5 
11 
Samsung 840 series
6.09 
11 
Sandisk Extreme
6 
11 
Plextor M5 Pro
6.21 
11.1 
SanDisk Ultra Plus
5.4 
11.2 
Patriot Pyro
6 
12.5 
OCZ Vector
4.95 
13 
SanDisk Ultra
7.2 
13.5 
OCZ Agility 3
7 
14.7 

CNET Labs' Data Transfer Scores
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As Secondary Drive  
As OS Drive  
Corsair Neutron GTX
273.62 
161.38 
Samsung 830 Series
261.63 
172.88 
Samsung 840 Pro
256.63 
168.18 
Plextor M5 Pro
251.19 
155.65 
OCZ Vertex 4
246.55 
168.36 
SanDisk Extreme
234.15 
117.66 
Samsung 840 Series
230.69 
103.12 
Transcend SSD720
230.58 
109.23 
Intel 520 series
230.01 
154.01 
Plextor M3
221.98 
110.4 
RunCore Pro V Max
186.78 
92.55 
OCZ Octane
183.41 
135.43 
Monster Digital Le Mans
177.56 
121.11 
SanDisk Ultra Plus
167.55 
107.36 
WD VelociRaptor 1TB
149.73 
62.21 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
126.33 
58.05 
Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
112.59 
47.12 

Conclusion
With its friendly pricing and decent performance, the Transcend SSD720 is a good buy for those looking to migrate their computer from a regular hard drive to an SSD.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

Transcend SSD720 (256GB)

Part Number: TS256GSSD720
MSRP: $437.00 Low Price: $219.84 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5" x 1/8H
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Interface Type Serial ATA-600
  • Capacity 256 GB