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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  • Slash3 - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    I picked up one of these (128GB SSD320) when they were about half of the stated market price ($75) during a holiday sale, to put in my Lenovo X230 subcompact laptop. Works great in that capacity, is leaps and bounds above the performance of the stock HDD and adds a margin of shockproofing to a laptop that sees a lot of travel time. At higher prices, it's not as clear cut. If they manage to keep the prices competitive, it's not a bad alternative for a system that needs a basic SSD.
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Yup, the regular SSD 840, not the Pro.
  • dj christian - Friday, February 1, 2013 - link

    Why not the Pro version?
  • Scour - Saturday, February 16, 2013 - link

    Because the Pro is much more expensive?
  • killerbunnies - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Where is the consistency performance for the last two SSD articles?

    And when can we expect the Intel 520 series 240GB SSD to be included in those graphs?
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    There is no point in testing performance consistency with every model. We've tested performance consistency with Intel SSD 335 before, which tells us how SandForce based drives perform. There are no dramatic differences between SandForce based drives, hence we only test consistency when dealing with more unique SSDs.
  • Nickel020 - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    I would have thought that the lower spare area would have an impact on performance consistency. Do you not think that will be the case or is the capacity set apart for RAISE not usable as spare area?
  • Kristian Vättö - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Here are a few graphs of Intel SSD 335 with 25% OP:
  • Nickel020 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Thnaks, but I don't quite get it. 25% OP is more than usual, so performance should be more consistent at best, or the same at the worst. The Transcends have less OP though, and I was wondering how you think that would affect consistency?
  • Kristian Vättö - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Oh, sorry, misunderstood your post (I thought you were asking for how more OP would affect the IO consistency on a SandForce drive).

    Anyway, Transcend only has RAISE disabled - the actual space for OP is the same ~7%. RAISE should not impact consistency because it's just parity data (i.e. the blocks are not empty). However, I haven't tested this so I can't say for sure. Will definitely test, though, didn't even think about it from this angle.

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