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Mushkin Reactor 512GB SATA III SSD Review

Mushkin Reactor 512GB SATA III SSD Review
Mushkin's Reactor 512GB rolls excellent components and performance into a low-cost package, which is perfect for those venturing into the SSD universe.
By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Sep 17, 2015 1:12 am
TweakTown Rating: 87%Manufacturer: Mushkin

Introduction

 

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The Mushkin Reactor Series SSDs are designed to appeal gamers and to those making their first move to solid-state storage. The Reactor is appealing for two reasons: price and MLC flash. As far as pricing goes, the Reactor is about the most cost effective SSD on the market. The 512GB model we have in the lab for testing can be had for about $150. More importantly, the Reactor is equipped with quality 16nm Micron MLC flash packaged in-house by Mushkin.

 

 

The move to TLC flash is in full swing, but with mixed results. So far, Samsung's TLC flash is the only Triple Level Cell flash that is capable of generating performance that is on par with MLC. Aside from Samsung, the rest of the TLC flash out there has all been very low performance. With that in mind, it's great to see an MLC SSD with TLC-level pricing.

 

Mushkin is a long time SandForce partner and this is the first consumer based Mushkin SSD we've seen that breaks with that tradition. To power the Reactor, Mushkin is implementing what has become today's most popular controller, the Silicon Motion SM2246EN. The SM2246EN is a surprisingly powerful little 4-channel controller with a proven track record of reliability. The SM2246EN is a low power, cost effective solution that is capable of delivering performance that is on par with most 8-channel controllers.

 

To keep pricing low, Mushkin sells the Reactor as an SSD only product. You don't get an adapter, management software, or a spacer, but all of those so called "Value Adds" are really more of a luxury than a necessity. Cases these days are designed with integrated SSD mounting, so an adapter is usually not used anyway. Aside from flashy DRAM caching software that is available for some SSDs, a software suite is something we don't typically even install. Windows takes care of TRIM, CrystalDiskInfo takes care of health monitoring, and Parted Magic secure erasing. SSD only is just fine by us when it saves us a little money.

 

The Reactor is one of the few SSDs out there that are not directly competing with the 850 EVO and MX200 in pricing. The Reactor is priced far enough below those two drives that it provides a compelling option capable of delivering performance that isn't a massive downgrade in comparison to the EVO and MX200. Good controller, excellent flash and a low price, the Reactor is looking like an attractive option, now let's check out how well the drive actually performs.

 

 

Specifications

 

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The Reactor SATA III 2.5" x 7mm FF SSD is available in three capacities: 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. Sequential read performance for the Reactor is listed as up to 560 MB/s. Sequential write performance is listed at up to 460 MB/s. Random 4K read performance is listed at up to 71,000 IOPS, random 4K write performance at up to 75,000 IOPS. MTBF comes in at 1.5 million hours. Mushkin backs the Reactor with an industry standard three-year warranty. No TBW is given.

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