Noticeably more affordable than the
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
|2.5-inch 7mm Internal drive
|SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA
|80GB, 120GB, 240GB, 400GB
|7mm thick, 2.5-inch standard
|Capacity of test unit
|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
I tested the 480GB-capacity model of the Daytona, and it exceeded my expectations for a somewhat entry-level solid-state drive. Note that in the world of SSDs, higher capacity can also mean better performance. Accordingly, the smaller-capacity Daytona drives might be slower, though not by much.
In data-copying tests, the new drive did very well, with 209MBps when used as a computer's secondary drive. This was in no way close to the fastest I've seen, but considering that this is not supposed to be a performance drive, it was very fast. In fact, it was faster than the 178MBps of the Le Mans, which costs more and is supposed to be a higher-tier drive.
When used as the main drive that hosted the operating system, and performed both writing and reading at the same time, the Daytona scored 108MBps, clearly slower than the Le Mans' 122MBps.
The drive indeed improved the system performance a great deal compared with a traditional hard drive. The test computer took just 12 seconds to boot up and about 8 seconds to shut down. All applications also took much less time to launch. This is typical when moving to an SSD from a traditional hard drive.
Compared with the rest of the 7mm SSDs on the market, the Daytona is about average in terms of performance.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|As secondary drive
|As OS drive
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
With good performance and relatively friendly pricing (for a solid-state drive), the Monster Digital Daytona makes a very good upgrade for those currently use a standard hard drive for their computer's main storage.