If you don't follow the SSD market like a hawk you may have missed Mushkin's recent rise to fame. Mushkin was the first SSD maker to announce, release, ship, and sell an extended capacity SandForce SF-1200 based SSD. At the same time I was writing about OCZ's Vertex 2 E, one of only a few in the country, Mushkin already had drives at Newegg and selling them at prices lower than anyone else's pre-MP2 releases.
When it comes to pricing Mushkin has been fighting very hard to keep their Callisto line of SSDs at a price point that is lower than others. That isn't an easy thing to do for a long period of time since companies like G.Skill and OCZ are also looking to position themselves on the same pedestal. The pricing game ends up being a revolving door with everyone trying to be the one standing in the light and Mushkin is starting to get a tan from being in that position quite often.
Mushkin entered the SSD market at the tail end of the Indilinx Barefoot Era. Their entry, called the Io, was a solid performer but gained little attention and market share since it didn't make the review rounds. By the time it was released, some companies were already on their second and third revision of Barefoot controlled drives. With the Io as a beta test for Mushkin's entry to the SSD market they turned their attention to the SandForce line called Callisto.
Like everyone else, Mushkin released the Callisto in the typical 50, 100 and 200GB capacity. At that time, SandForce played a game of favoritism and allowed OCZ run solo with the high IOPS programming. Mushkin held their line and played the waiting game for MP2. Now that MP2 is common stock, Mushkin released their extended capacity Callisto Deluxe drive and tossed in a heavy dose of high IOPS programming.
Today we will be looking at Mushkin's 120GB Callisto Deluxe that should offer, as the product name suggests, performance straight from the stars. It just so happens that Mushkin now has their foot in the revolving door and the Deluxe pricing is putting on sunscreen for its time in the sun.