Transcend is a Taiwanese company specializing in memory and flash storage solutions. While Transcend may not be the first company that comes to mind about NAND flash, it has been in the industry since the late 80's. Transcend's USB flash sticks and SD cards are actually rather popular at least here in the northern Europe, but they aren't exactly known for their SSDs.

Transcend's lineup consists of two SSDs: SSD320 and SSD720. Both are (unsurprisingly) based on SandForce's SF-2281 controller, which has been the choice of many smaller SSD OEMs. SandForce's licensing strategy is ideal for small OEMs who lack the resources to design their own controller or firmware, so by going with SandForce the OEM only needs to assemble the drive (and of course market, distribute etc).

  SSD320 SSD720
Capacities (GB) 64, 128, 256 64, 128, 256, 512
Form Factor 2.5" 7mm
Controller SandForce SF-2281
NAND Micron 25nm asynchronous MLC SanDisk 24nm Toggle-Mode MLC
Sequential Read 560MB/s 560MB/s
Sequential Write 540MB/s 530MB/s
4KB Random Read 49K IOPS 47K IOPS
4KB Random Write 87K IOPS 93K IOPS
Warranty 3 years

Transcend's lineup is fairly typical when compared to other SandForce OEMs. There is a low-end budget model with asynchronous NAND (similar to OCZ's Agility 3), while the high-end market is catered by a Toggle-Mode equipped SSD720. Both models come with a 3-year warranty, which is normal but many high-end SSDs (such as Samsung SSD 840 Pro, Intel SSD 520, Plextor M5 Pro) carry a 5-year warranty nowadays, so the 3-year warranty in SSD720 is a bit disappointing. 

RAISE (SandForce's NAND redundancy feature) is disabled on both SSDs, which results in slightly higher capacities than we usually see with SandForce based SSDs. SandForce has said that RAISE is not necessary for client workloads, so disabling it makes a lot of sense and there are other manufacturers who do it as well. For more thorough explanation on RAISE and SandForce capacities, I recommend reading this article.

Price Comparison (1/25/2013)
  120/128GB 240/256GB 480/512GB
Transcend SSD720 $125 $225 $430
Transcend SSD320 $110 $200 N/A
Corsair Neutron GTX $135 $225 $470
Corsair Neutron $120 $190 N/A
Corsair Force GS N/A $220 $440
Plextor M5 Pro $130 $210 $420
Plextor M5S $130 N/A N/A
Crucial m4 $120 $170 $390
Intel SSD 520 $145 $260 $500
Intel SSD 330 $125 $200 N/A
Samsung SSD 840 Pro $140 $200 $520
Samsung SSD 840 $110 $180 $355
OCZ Vector $140 $240 $510
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe $120 $180 N/A

Pricing wise both the SSD320 and SSD720 are average. Neither of them is cheap but on the other hand, neither of them is among the most expensive drives. As always, take the prices in the table with a grain of salt because pricing is highly fluctuating, the prices you see today may be totally different tomorrow or next week.

The Drives and Transcend's SSD Toolbox
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  • paul878 - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    For a second I thought they were 320G and 720G drives.
  • Azurael - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    So what's the difference between a Sandisk Extreme SSD and a Transcend SSD720? How many more identical SSDs can the market support?
  • Flying Goat - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    If you tried to skip the drives over a lake, you'd find that one was most likely designed with aerodynamics in mind, while the other was not. Sadly, we're just never going to see the sort of truly complete feature comparison at AnandTech that covers that sort of thing. :)
  • gammaray - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    i dont know, but i got the SanDisk extreme 240gb home and its ultra fast and paid 160$ on sale for it :D
  • embzyk - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    9.5mm vs 7mm height
  • Egg - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    The Transcend SSD720 256GB achieves a busy time of just over half that of the Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB, and it's missing a decimal place.

    This seems highly suspect.
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Oh, you're right, there was a typo. It should've been 362 instead of 162. Fixed! :-)
  • iwod - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    1st Gen - SATA ; Response Time Reduction Compared to HDD
    2nd Gen - SATA II; Higher Seq Read Write
    3rd Gen - SATA II; Better Random IO
    4th Gen - SATA III; Overall Improvement to both Seq and Random

    5th Gen? I think Next Gen we need SATA Express and something similar to Intel's Consistent I/O Performance.
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Eh, there's still a fair amount of head room on the SATA 3 interface. Wouldn't expect PCIe to become the norm for at least another two generations.
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Sorry, misread your comment, iwod. Still, even if sequential speeds remain more or less stagnant, there's a lot of room left to improve random read/write with SATA 3.

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