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Transcend SSD370S review: An excellent upgrade to any hard drive

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The Good The Transcend SSD370S delivers fast performance at low cost, has high durability and features data encryption.

The Bad The three-year guarantee is short compared to the five- to 10-year warranties of competing drives.

The Bottom Line The Transcend SSD370S is an affordable and satisfying upgrade for any computers that still run on a hard drive.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.2 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Support 6

Review Sections

The Transcend SSD370S is great news for fans of solid-state drives (SSDs). It's both fast and affordable.

With the top 1TB capacity going for just $360 or £230 (converted, that's AU$470), the new drive is the currently the least expensive solid-state drive (SSD) on the market. (The drive is also available in 512GB, 256GB, 128GB, 64GB and 32GB for proportionally smaller sums.) Yet in my testing, its scores in certain tests were close to top drives' on the market. What's more, the new internal drive has a high endurance rating and also supports data encryption.

There's a little catch, however: the new Transcend SSD comes with only a three-year warranty, which is not as generous as a five- or 1o-year ones offered with some high-end drives, such as the OCZ Vector 180 or the Samsung 850 Pro.

All things considered, if you're not put off by the warranty period, the Transcend SSD370S is an excellent buy. It's a budget SSD with the performance that can measure up to that of high-end drives. For those looking to upgrade their aging computer, this is the internal drive to get. Having no moving parts, an SSD like the Transcend will make the machine so much faster and more reliable.

For more options on excellent standard SSDs, however, check out this list of current top SSDs.

The SSD370S is a standard 2.5-inch internal drive. Josh Miller/CNET

Standard design

The Transcend SSD370S is a standard 2.5-inch internal drive. Like most drives of its type, it comes in a 7mm thickness, slightly thinner than the 9.5mm of a true standard laptop hard drive. The slimmer profile means it can work in more situations, from desktops to standard laptops, and even some ultrabooks. The SSD370S is compatible with virtually all consumer applications where a standard SATA hard drive is used. It features the latest SATA 3 6Gbps standard, but will work with previous revision of the SATA standard.

The new SSD370S is housed in an aluminum casing that's both light -- at just 1.86 ounces (58 grams) -- and sturdy. Note that Transcend also offers another version, model SSD370, that has plastic casing. The two versions are essentially the same, including the pricing.

The Transcend SSD includes a 3.5-inch bracket which will enable it to fit easily inside most desktop computers. You don't really need this bracket to make the drive work -- in most cases you can just leave the drive hanging loose since it doesn't have any moving parts -- but it's always good to have your drive mounted tightly inside the computer.

If you build your own rig, you can install the operating system in exactly the same way that you do you a regular hard dive. For those wanting to upgrade their computer's existing hard drive with an SSD, which is likely the majority of the use cases, there's a piece of software called Transcend SSD Scope included. I found this software quite handy.

Other than managing the drive itself, the SSD Scope software also has a System Clone function that enables users to quickly clone one drive to another another. In my trial, this System Clone function was a bit over-simplistic but it got the job done. If you want a more intuitive option, I'd recommend the free version of Macrium Reflect.

Transcend SSD730S Specs

Drive type 2.5-inch 7mm standard
Capacities 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Controller Transcend TS6500
Flash technology Synchronous MLC NAND flash memory
Sequential read (up to) 520 MB/s
Sequential write (up to) 460 MB/s
Random read IOPS (up to) 75,000
Random write IOPS (up to) 75,000
Main feature Advanced Global Wear-Leveling and Block management
Endurance (TB written) From 45TB to 1,180TB depending on capacity
Accessories 3.5-inch bracket, cloning and utility software
Warranty Three years

Features

Though priced as a budget SSD, the SSD370S has a quite impressive set of features. First of all, Transcend says it sports an advanced garbage collection and recycling system with built-in wear-leveling and error correction code (ECC). The result is that the drive has an ultra-high level of endurance.

In an SSD, endurance (also known as program/erase or P/E cycles) is the rating that quantifies the total amount of data that can be written to an SSD before the drive becomes unreliable. You can think of endurance as the drive's durability. (For more on the endurance of SSDs, check out this post.)

capture.jpg
The Transcend SSD Scope's cloning function, though simple, gets the job done. Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

Generally, the endurance rating increases with capacities, which is exactly the case of the Transcend. The drive is available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities that have total written capacities of 45TB, 80TB, 150TB, 280TB, 550TB and 1,180TB, respectively. Take the 128GB capacity, for example: If you write 20GB to it every single day, it will take you more than 20 years to wear out the drive. On average, we write just about 5GB to the computer's drive per day, and definitely not every day. In all, it's safe to say that you'll need to replace your computer much sooner than the Transcend SSD370S drive itself.

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