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Transcend MTS800 M.2 2280 128GB SATA SSD Review




Recently, M.2 SSD’s have been released to the market. M.2 is designed to replace the order mSATA standard and offer higher speeds. The drives are available in two versions, SATA and PCIe. SATA drives offer comparable speeds to common 2.5 inch SSD’s, while PCIe drives can offer speeds up to 10 Gb/s. The Transcend MTS800 M.2 2280 128GB SATA SSD we will be looking at today is a SATA version. It promises speeds that rival almost any other SSD on the market, but in a form faster much smaller.

Transcend Information. Inc. was founded in 1988 by Mr. Chung-Won Shu, Peter, with its headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan. Today, Transcend has become a leading global brand of digital storage, multimedia and industrial products with 14 offices worldwide. Not only do they design, develop, and manufacture all of their products, but they also market and sell them. They are a customer-focused company that has proven to have the ability to quickly respond to the market’s changing needs.

Transcends’s take on the MTS800 M.2 2280 128GB SATA SSD


Transcend’s MTS800 M.2 SSD’s next generation SATA III 6Gb/s interface and ultra compact dimensions make it best suited to address the high performance needs and strict size limitations of small form factor devices. This means it is perfect for use in today’s modern Ultrabooks and thin and light notebooks. With the latest SATA III 6Gb/s specification, powerful controller, and exceptional transfer speeds of up to 570MB/s read and 460MB/s write, the M.2 SSD easily handles everyday computing tasks as well as demanding multimedia applications.

Key Features

  • Space-savingM.2 form factor (80mm) – ideal for mobile computing devices
  • Supports Power Shield to prevent data loss during a sudden power outage
  • Supports DevSleep mode, which allows devices to completely shut down the SATA interface and conserve battery life unlike existing partial/slumber states
  • DDR3 DRAM cache
  • Supports S.M.A.R.T., TRIM and NCQ command
  • RoHS compliant

Intel Smart Response Technology

Transcend’s SATA III 6Gb/s MTS800 M.2 SSD supports Intel® Smart Response Technology (ISRT), which allows you to configure your computer system with an SSD used as cache memory between the hard disk drive and system memory. This provides the advantage of having a hard disk drive for maximum storage capacity while delivering an SSD-like overall system performance experience.

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ISRT works by monitoring which programs and files you access most frequently and stores them on the SSD. As a result, application launch speed and overall system responsiveness are significantly improved, while the large capacity of the hard drive is free to store all your other programs and files. In this configuration, only one drive letter is displayed; no additional drive letter is required for the SSD used as cache. Specifications are up next.


Packaging and Closer Look

The Transcend MTS800 M.2 2280 128GB SATA SSD that we received is a non-retail sample. It came in a simple non-static bubble wrap bad. Inside that bad, the drive is contained in an anti-static pouch.

M.2 drives are rather small, thus all the components are placed close together. The drive is run by a Transcend TS6500 branded Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller. Micron NAND flash modules and 128MB of Samsung 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM fill out the rest of the drive.

The drive fits nicely in the ASRock X99M Fatal1ty Killer test motherboard.

Let’s move on to testing in the next page.

System Configuration and Performance Testing

Testing Hardware:

  • ASRock X99M Fatal1ty Killer
  • Intel Core i7 58200K Processor
  • G.Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB 2800MHz DDR4 Memory
  • OCZ Vertex 460 256GB Solid State Drive
  • Custom Water Cooling
  • In Win GRone Case
  • XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 850w Silver Power Supply
  • Sapphire Dual-X R9 285 OC Graphics Card

Testing Software:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0
  • AS SSD
  • Anvil’s Storage Utilities
  • Passmark Performance Test
  • PCMark 8 Pro

Performance Testing

ATTO Disk Benchmark

“As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark”

With ATTO we get a rough baseline of the drive’s expected performance. I recorded a sequential read performance of 558 MB/s and a sequential write performance 155 MB/s in ATTO. Read and write performance are very close to the specifications provided by Transcend.

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CrystalDiskMark 3.0

“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds.”

CrystalDiskMark gives us a good view of single threaded sequential read performance.


“Test the sequential or random read/write performance without using the cache. AS SSD Benchmark reads/writes a 1 GByte file as well as randomly chosen 4K blocks. Additionally, it performs the tests using 1 or 64 threads and it determines the SSD’s access time.

Two extra benchmark tests examine the drive’s behavior when (1) copying a few big files, a lot of small files and a mixture of file sizes by using cached copy functions of your OS as well as (2) reading/writing data depending on the data’s compressibility.”

The results from AS SSD are quite good. In the last set we see the drive’s ability to write three different file types, all of which are 1GB in size. Not only do the results show the drive’s speed in MB/s, it also shows the time required. The drive is still able to write 1 GB in under 8 seconds in all 3 of the latter tests.

Anvil’s Storage Utilities

“Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a powerful tool that was designed in order to provide you with a simple means of assessing the read and writer performance of your Solid State Drive or Hard Disk Drive. The benchmark tool helps you monitor and check the response time of your unit as well as view the system information collected using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).”

“Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a powerful tool that was designed in order to provide you with a simple means of assessing the read and writer performance of your Solid State Drive or Hard Disk Drive. The benchmark tool helps you monitor and check the response time of your unit as well as view the system information collected using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).”

0-Fill Compressible Data

Incompressible Data

The Transcend MTS800 M.2 performs consistently with most common file types. This should result in a high level of customer satisfaction, no matter what the task.

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Passmark Performance Test – Storage Mark

“Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMark PerformanceTest ™ allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers.”

The test results from Passmark are almost exactly what was expected. Access times were very low.

PCMark 8

“Use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.”

*click image to enlarge

The PCMark 8 Storage bandwidth score of 187.67 MB/s is low for a current generation 128MB class SSD. Drives that are 240GB and higher or are higher tier 120GB class drive will usually test at around twice that speed.

Let’s wrap up the review in the last page.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

The Transcend MTS800 M.2 2280 128GB SATA SSD is a good, but not a great offering. ATTO recorded as read speed of 557 MB/s. This is almost spot-on the specification. ATTO also recorded as write speed of 155 MB/s. This is also almost spot-on the specification, but quite a bit lower than some of the other drives available in this price range.

The MTS800 M.2 SSD does support Intel Smart Response Technology (ISRT). This allows the user to configure your computer system with an SSD used as cache memory between the hard drive and system memory. This allows the system to prove SSD like speeds while having the advantage of having a hard drive for large storage capacity at an economical price. I can see this as being quite advantageous for some users.

The Transcend MTS800 M.2 2280 128GB SATA SSD is available online for around $51.99 at Amazon and other online retailers at the time of this review. This is not an unreasonable price and it is a capable and flexible drive.


  • Well Priced
  • High Quality Components
  • Excellent Read Speeds
  • Intel Smart Response Technology Support


  • Write Speeds Could Be Better


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