It has been quite a while since Mushkin has released a new SSD product. Our last Mushkin product review was in 2013 where we ripped apart their Scorpion Deluxe PCIe SSD which utilizes multiple SandForce controller based SSDs on a single PCIe card. Mushkin has been utilizing SandForce controllers in the majority of their SSD product line for the past few years. Mushkin has decided it is time for a bit of a change.
Today we are reporting on Mushkin’s latest 2.5″ SATA 6Gb/s SSD, the Reactor. This time around, Mushkin has decided to follow suit, as many others have already, and turn to Silicon Motion for a new controller. It is a great change as it has finally enabled them to expand the capacity range of their 2.5″ SSD product line to 1TB!
Designed as a high performance, high-capacity hard drive replacement, the Mushkin Reactor is marketed to serve as an ideal solution for consumers, professionals, and gamers. Can the new Mushkin Reactor truly deliver consumers the value they are looking for? Let’s find out.
SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
Presently, the Mushkin Reactor comes in a 2.5″ 7mm form factor and a single capacity of 1TB ($369.99). Its sole target are those looking for large capacity, fast performance, and a low price point. The Reactor is rated for sequential speeds of up to 560MB/s read and up to 460 MB/s write. Random 4K read speeds are rated for up to 74,000 IOPS while random 4K write speeds are rated for up to 76,000 IOPS.
Feature wise, it offers DevSleep for low power consumption, an essential for mobile devices. It also has TRIM support, S.M.A.R.T. support, a secure erase option, and support for field firmware updates. The Reactor also features DataRefresh and EarlyRetirement, for enhanced data integrity. Mean time between failures is rated at 1,500,000 hours and Mushkin is backing the Reactor 1TB SSD with a three-year warranty.
PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS
The Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD is shipped in ‘easy open’ blister packaging. The card inside follows the same black and green color scheme as the drive and has some basic information about the SSD.
The shell is a very nice black, brushed metal finish on front and back. On the sides are the screws to disassemble the drive.
Taking a look on the inside, we learn that this a full-sized PCB and contains 16 packages of NAND flash memory. It also has two Samsung DRAM chips and a Silicon Motion controller.
On the front and back are the two Samsung DRAM chips for a total capacity of 512MB. Each are 1.35v DDR3 1600. The NAND for this drive is Micron’s 128Gbit L95B, which we have seen offer some great performance in Crucial’s newest MX100 series drives. Furthermore, what we found interesting in this design is the SATA power and data connectors. They are built directly into the PCB rather than soldered on.
Finally, we see that the Mushkin Reactor features Silicon Motion’s proven SM2246EN controller. This is a quad channel controller that has pushed some impressive performance out of SSDs at a very low price point as of late. What makes this review a bit unique however, is that this is the first time we have seen this controller pared with 1TB of memory. Stay tuned for our SuperTalent AT7 review later this week which is also 1TB and may look very familiar.
Overall, looking at the build of this drive, it seems that Mushkin has pushed for utilizing high value, cost saving components in their design. Let’s see how this will work out for them in our testing.