For the last few weeks I’ve been using the Transcend ESD220C portable solid state drive.
As somebody that has lost more external hard drives than I can keep count of thanks to unexpected drops, I’ve been enjoying the care free feeling that comes with using DRAM chips to store data instead of platters that seemingly break when you drop them slightly.
This external SSD from Transcend is rather speedy but it’s also small coming in at just 120GB of capacity. The big question for this drive then is whether it’s compelling enough to make us ditch our HDD in favour of a faster, smaller, SSD.
That USB bottleneck
First thing’s first – how well does it perform?
Using CrystalDiskMark 6.0.1 we achieved average sequential read speeds of 280.1MBps and write speeds of 251.1MBps when connected to a USB 3.0 port.
For comparative purposes we’ve included benchmarks conducted on a Samsung 850 EVO internal SSD as well as an external HDD.
So the issue here is that while Transcend claims you will get read speeds of 410MBps you’re only getting read speeds of 280.1MBps. What gives?
The problem doesn’t rest with the drive but rather USB Type A which the ESD220C uses out of the box. This creates something of a bottleneck which can further be compounded if your PC doesn’t support USB 3.1.
So off we went in search of a Type C to Type C connector and thankfully we were able to find one.
The problem is that once we had plugged it in our read speeds clocked in at 40MBps and write measured in at 27MBps. We detailed why this was happening in a feature published last week.
So we contacted Transcend to find out why we weren’t hitting the advertised speeds. The short answer is that performance is dependent on a number of factors including the USB support your PC or Mac has internally.
Should you have a more modern PC with support for faster transfer speeds then your performance will be better than ours. After trawling through the net we are confident in saying that despite our system limitations and cable woes, this portable SSD is capable of reaching the advertised speeds.
Even with our limitations we’re perfectly happy with the speeds and the drive is substantially faster than an HDD.
Worth the scratch?
With a retail price of R847 from Wootware you might wince given that you can pick up a 1TB drive for around the same price.
That is neither here nor there though. What you are really paying for is the speed of this drive and when you’re transferring large files those speeds are fantastic.
The drive is small and you can backup your files at the push of a button if you download Transcend’s Elite software. The drive even support USB on the Go so you can transfer videos and photos to it even if you aren’t near a PC.
My only critique is that Transcend doesn’t include a USB Type C to USB Type C cable in the box. Putting that aside however this drive is fantastic and it comes highly recommended for anybody that values speed over capacity.
Disclaimer: The Transcend ESD220C portable SSD was provided to htxt.africa for review purposes. This review was not paid for and the product will be returned to the brand.