Not long ago Transcend released a pair of SSDs designed to take on the Team SandForce competition. Just like others before, Transcend went with the two tier strategy, toggle/synchronous at the top and asynchronous on the bottom. The entry-level asynchronous model, SSD 320, easily made the biggest bang of the two in the market. Right from the start the 320 listed as one of the lowest priced LSI SandForce SATA 6Gbps SSDs on the market. Nothing screams look at me like an amazing price point and the SSD320 received several looks. That opened the door for us to look deeper into the Transcend SSD line up, at the top of the pile we found a diamond.
The Transcend SSD720 is the flagship offering from a company with a lengthy history in the SSD market. The company managed to hit all of the check boxes with this release. Two features that stand out as unique right now is the 7mm case design and the new RAISE free format that gives users full access to the available flash on the drive. To date, the RAISE free has only been tested here on an ADATA product, the SP900. Unlike the ADATA product line up, Transcend hasn't dragged its feet in releasing TRIM fixing firmware, a big advantage to Transcend and a major positive for users looking to buy a RAISE free, full data capacity model that will retain performance over time thanks to TRIM working.
The SSD720 also uses SanDisk's 24nm Toggle flash, a positive for users looking for a low power drive. The Transcend offering does differ from the SanDisk Extreme, at least in the 240GB/256GB category, Transcend uses 16 lower density ICs rather than just eight higher density NAND flash chips. This increases interleaving and gives a small performance increase, but does increase the power draw by a small margin.
There is an area that Transcend doesn't get enough credit, but we would like to recognize is just how long the company has been in the SSD market. Transcend's first SSD products go all the way back to the PATA days when you could purchase a 2GB PATA SSD for the price of a used Honda. 2GB of SLC flash running at 95MB/s might not seem like much today, but back then it was groundbreaking.
Let's see how far Transcend has come and take a look at their new flagship offering, the SSD720.