The SSD720 solid-state drive (SSD) is Transcend's new, high-end drive designed to rival the performance of the SanDisk Extreme and Corsair Neutron GTX. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite get there. It's not a slow drive to be sure. It's just not quite as fast as its peers. Also, its drive cloning software is quite limited in functionality.
At less than $1 per gigabyte however, the SSD720 is more affordable than many other SSDs and its included desktop drive bay converter and mounting screws are useful additions.
If your system is currently using a hard drive as its primary storage location, the SSD720 will provide clear performance gains at a reasonable price; however, in the world of SSDs, there are faster options.
Design and features
|Drive type||7mm-thick, 2.5-inch standard internal drive |
|Connector options||SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA|
|Available capacities||64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB |
|Product dimensions||7mm-thick, 2.5-inch standard|
|Capacity of test unit||256GB|
|Flash memory type ||SanDisk's 24 nm Toggle-mode DDR MLC NAND|
|OSes supported||Windows, Mac, Linux|
Coming in the now-familiar 7mm chassis, the new SSD720 looks very similar to recent SSDs. The drive supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and is backward compatible with SATA and SATA 2. We do recommend you use it with a SATA 3-enabled computer to get the most out of it, however.
The drive will fit it most computers, including some ultrabooks, that use standard 2.5-inch hard dives. For a desktop, it also comes with a drive bay converter and screws so you can easily install it in place of a desktop 3.5-inch hard drive. Transcend also includes a downloadable cloning software, called Transcend System Clone, that helps with the upgrade process.
I tried this software out, and while it worked well, it turned out to be very limited. The software can't clone a drive with a larger partition than the capacity of the destination drive, even when the actual amount of data on the source drive is much smaller than the capacity of the destination drive. This is a big problem because most existing hard drives come with larger capacities (and hence a larger partition size) than SSDs. Other cloning software, such as Acronis True Image, can clone drives of larger capacities to those of smaller capacities, as long as the actual amount of data on the source drive is less than the capacity of the destination drive. (For more information on upgrading your system, check out this How To post.)
The System Clone software is part of Transcend SSDScope, a toolbox desktop software for Windows that offers other utilities to manage the SSD720, including updating its firmware, checking its SMART status, and so on. I updated the review drive to the latest firmware (version 5.0.4); the upgrade process was very fast and I didn't even have to restart the computer.
On the inside, the new SSD720 is equipped with SandForce SF-2281 and SanDisk's 24 nm Toggle-mode DDR MLC NAND, which is exactly the same type of flash memory used in the SanDisk Extreme. Toggle-mode flash memory is generally used in high-end consumer-grade SSDs such as the Corsair Neutron GTX, or the Samsung 840 Pro.