Transcend 32 GB,Internal,2.5" (TS32GSSD25S-M) (SSD) Solid State Drive Reviews

Transcend 32 GB,Internal,2.5" (TS32GSSD25S-M) (SSD) Solid State Drive

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Never judge a SSD by its cover, Transcend 32Gb TS32GSSD25S-M is just too slow.

Nov 16, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:SATA I compatible for Socket 478 motherboards

Cons:Plastic case, slower than the Patriot Warp 32Gb SSD

The Bottom Line: Cheap plastic case and RAID integration issues are all warning signs that the TranscendVSeries 32Gb SSD SATA should be avoided by the consumer looking for speed or reliability.


Today, we are experiencing a technological revolution in the speed of computer hard drives.  The Transcend V Series TS32GSSD25S-M 32Gb SATA SSD is an example of this state of the art technology that can simply be plugged into almost any available SATA port.  However, the other side of this story is that these drives are not all the same so the consumer has to be careful that they do not get a slow drive.

The theoretical bandwidth speeds that these drives can put out on older systems can revolutionize your ability to process large volumes of data.  With them, you can turn an older Socket 604 Xeon based system into a data mining beast because the bottleneck of hard drive access speeds are finally removed.  Along these lines, I am trying to build a multiple drive RAID 0 array to solve some problems that I am having with a SQL Server 2005 database.  The database comes from a Dynamics AX 4.0 system that is exhibiting significant MDF usage that results in 100 percent utilization.

How Safe Is The Packaging And Shipment Of The Transcend 32GB TS32GSSD25S-M?
One of the most important aspects of buying a high performance SSD drive is ensuring that it arrives undamaged during shipment.  For this reason, I only buy hard drives for my research project from Amazon because they arrive in a protective brown box filled with plastic air bags every time.  Once removed from the Amazon shipping container, a 4.5” wide x 5.5” high x 1.25” deep, red and black colored box was in my hands.  After removing the shrink wrap, I found the drive nestled within a two part, plastic cradle.  The final obstacle was an anti-static bag that held the SSD.  A warranty card, mounting screws and quick installation guide will help you answer any additional relevant product questions.  Also found in the box were several Transcend product pamphlets advertising digital photo frames and their line up of portable MP3 players.

The Transcend 32Gb V Series SSD is enclosed within a two piece, fragile, black plastic shell.  Only two connectors are found on the drive; power and SATA.  I do not like the construction of this product because I have a fear of the plastic failing under high heat conditions within my file server.

Where does the Transcend 32Gb Solid State Drive store my files?
Using memory chips similar to those found in the 16Gb Kingston Micro SDHC digital memory card, your computer files are recorded on chips inside the black plastic case of the drive.  A traditional hard disk is made up of a spinning metallic disk with a head suspended just above the surface to read the magnetized data as it comes across.  In the past, manufacturers would produce hard drives that spin faster to achieve new data transfer speeds.  The problem was that those high RPM drives consumed a lot of power and were very loud. 

Performance Testing The Transcend TS32GSSD25S-M 32Gb SSD SATA Drive
Determining the true speed of a hard drive is tough because you have to find a motherboard capable of generating enough I/O traffic that it will eclipse the SATA interface speed of the drive.  To get the most out of the drive I use an Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 and MSI G31M3-L V2 Socket 775 motherboard.  The boot drive was a Patriot 32Gb SATA SSD running Windows XP Pro SP2 with the Transcend V Series 32Gb SATA on another port of the system.
 
Real World File Transfer; I created a file folder with 133 MP3 files across 4 subfolders for a total of 714Mb and transferred it from the Patriot Warp 32Gb SSD to the Transcend V Series 32Gb SSD.  My results were less than encouraging because my other drive should have helped this one to reach speeds of less than 9 seconds.  In fact, a quick transfer of the files back to the Patriot Warp 32Gb SSD yielded a speed of 10 seconds.  Obviously, the Transcend drive has some significant file write issues.

Here are the actual results:
Run #1, 36 seconds
Run #2, 39 seconds

SiSoftware Sandra 2009.5.15.99 in the File Systems benchmark in Read Performance, I obtained the following performance figures for the 32Gb Transcend SSD.

Test 1
Drive Index; 147 Mb/s
Buffered Read; 236.64 Mb/s
Random Access Time; 30 us

Test 2
Drive Index; 146 Mb/s
Buffered Read; 234.12 Mb/s
Random Access Time; 30 us

HD Tach Version 3.0.4.0 was used next to find the reading ability of this drive.  The benchmark has barely changed in the past few years and as a result has become my most trusted source of performance data on hard drives. 

Here are the results of three runs at Long Bench setting (32mb zones):
#1 Burst Speed: 165.4 Mb/s, Average Read: 139.4 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 4%, Random Access: 0.2ms
#2 Burst Speed: 173.4 Mb/s, Average Read: 139.5 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 3%, Random Access: 0.2ms
#3 Burst Speed: 173.4 Mb/s, Average Read: 139.4 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 4%, Random Access: 0.2ms

My ultimate goal with this drive is to create a four drive SSD array using the Adaptec 2410SA raid card.  To achieve the best performance, I have been testing several traditional and SSD drives on this card.  The system I used for server testing was an ASUS NCCH-DL motherboard with Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition installed.  I plugged my 2410SA card into a free PCI-X slot and initialized only one of my Transcend drives.  The benchmark results for just one drive were disappointing but copying SQL Server data files to the drive was a near instantaneous operation.

Here are the results of two runs at Long Bench setting (32mb zones) on the 2410SA card in an ASUS NCCH-DL motherboard with just one SSD Drive:
#1 Burst Speed: 71.3 Mb/s, Average Read: 51.4 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 1%, Random Access: 0.7ms
#2 Burst Speed: 71.0 Mb/s, Average Read: 51.4 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 1%, Random Access: 0.7ms

Now I added another Transcend SSD to the array and built a RAID 0 with it.  All settings were left to default with a stripe size of 128Kb.

Here are the results of two runs at Long Bench setting (32mb zones) on the 2410SA card in an ASUS NCCH-DL motherboard with two SSD Drives:
#1 Burst Speed: 103.0 Mb/s, Average Read: 48.3 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 0%, Random Access: 0.8 ms
#2 Burst Speed: 103.0 Mb/s, Average Read: 48.3 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 1%, Random Access: 0.8ms

Next, after seeing the overall decrease in speed, I assumed that the cache of the RAID card was causing a conflict for me.  I disabled the onboard cache and turned off any write cache in the two SSD drives.  Then, I created a RAID 0 with 1024Kb stripes.  As you can tell there was little improvement in performance.

Here are the results of two runs at Long Bench setting (32mb zones) on the 2410SA card in an ASUS NCCH-DL motherboard with two SSD Drives:
#1 Burst Speed: 71.4 Mb/s, Average Read: 50.4 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 0%, Random Access: 0.7 ms
#2 Burst Speed: 71.6 Mb/s, Average Read: 50.5 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 0%, Random Access: 0.7ms

Finally, in an attempt to see some performance out of my purchase, I plugged both Transcend 32Gb drives into the on-board Fast Track 4 channel SATA software raid array.  The drives came to life and gave me a faster showing this time with random access speeds clocking in at 0.2Ms but the overall burst speed and average read did not come back.

Here is the result of one run at Long Bench setting (32mb zones) using the built-in SATA array on an ASUS NCCH-DL motherboard with two SSD Drives:
#1 Burst Speed: 99.7 Mb/s, Average Read: 80.2 Mb/s, CPU Utilization: 2%, Random Access: 0.2 ms

Product Specifications
Drive Operation Type:  Solid State Drive (SSD)
Manufacturer: Transcend
Series:  V Series
Model Number: TS32GSSD25S-M
Capacity:  32Gb
Interface:  SATA II (3.0Gbs)
Backwards Compatibility:  SATA I (1.5Gbs)
Warranty:  2 year warranty
Form Factor: 2.5”

Summary
Ignore all the claims by Transcend that the V Series is a good drive.  Transcend V Series SSD drives have disappointed me with cheap construction and subpar performance numbers.  Luckily, I bought a Patriot Warp 32Gb SSD earlier this year and was able to realize that there is a difference in build quality in these drives. 

The game with buying SSD drives is trying to find one that can deliver true high speed file system transactions that are on par with disk based drives.  At this time, some hard drives are still faster than SSD’s with the 2Tb Seagate Barracuda ST32000542AS leading the pack with burst speeds of 233.3 Mb/s according to my own testing. 
 
I paid $145 for my Transcend 32Gb SSD from Amazon.  To get the best price today, you should click on the SEE IT buttons at the bottom on this review. 

In all, I give the Transcend V Series 32Gb SSD SATA Hard Drive two thumbs down with a Bud Adams wave for good measure.


Recommend this product? No


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