Mushkin Reactor 512GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


After I recently had a look at Mushkin’s Striker SSD, it is now time to take a closer look at the Mushkin Reactor SSD and that’s just what I am doing in today’s review. Mushkin’s Reactor solid state drive promises simultaneous capacity and performance while also keeping the initial costs of purchase in the mainstream spectrum. The Reactor drive is available in three capacities from 256GB to 1TB, but I’m taking a closer look at the 512GB model today.

The Mushkin Reactor is a basic mainstream drive that will be a great solution in any workstation system or gaming rig. It is built around the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller which is a little cheaper than the Phison S10 for example. In return, we get a drive that is cheaper to purchase. It still delivers a great performance thanks to the use of MLC NAND and it is rated for sequential operations up to 560MB/s reading and 460MB/s writing. The random access performance isn’t bad at all either and the drive comes with a rating of up to 71K IOPS reading and up to 75K IOPS writing.

With solid performance figures like these, the Reactor drive has no reason to hide behind any other competing drives. Capacity wise you got three options in this series where the 512GB model that I’m having a look at today is right in the middle. There’s also a smaller version with 256GB capacity and the larger model with 1TB capacity. That’s a lot of fast storage at an affordable price thanks to clever hardware choices.

The drive has a couple features less than the Mushkin Striker SSD that I recently reviewed, but the basics are well covered on this drive too. The Reactor has the basic S.M.A.R.T. and Trim features as well as early weak block retirement, DataRefresh, and built-in BCH ECC with up to 66 bits per 1kb. The only thing that could be considered missing is DevSleep and that’s only really relevant for notebook users anyway.

Just because the Reactor drive doesn’t have the DevSleep feature doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be a great upgrade for any notebook, laptop, or ultrabook out there. The 7mm height and default 2.5-inch form factor makes the upgrade quick and easy in either case. The Reactor is also a light drive and that’s something everyone can appreciate for their portable devices. You don’t want to carry any more weight with you than absolutely necessary.

The SATA power and data connectors are default in the sense of pin connectors, as it should be, but they are also another place where Mushkin managed to save a little in order to provide you with a better-priced drive. The connectors are almost transparent when you shine a light on them, but they still appear to be an equal quality when compared to conventional connectors stability.

Mushkin’s Reactor SSD is one of the few drives these days that’s still assembled with screws, which makes my life a lot easier when showing you what the drive looks like on the inside. The enclosure itself is put together with four screws and the PCB is also secured to the case with four screws. In the photo below we also see the thermal transfer pad located on the controller that connects to the chassis. This effectively turns the entire drive into a heatsink and it’s something we’ve seen quite often in other drives because it simply works well.

Having a closer look, we see the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller next to eight NAND chips from SanDisk.

The other side of the PCB has another eight NAND chips and a Nanya RAM chip as a cache buffer.

Feature Highlights

  • Capacity and Performance
  • Optimal Data Flow: Optimized for dependable and reliable data flow
  • TRIM Support when used with compatible operating system
  • Shock-Resistant: Designed for continued reliable function
  • 3 Year Warranty: Quality guaranteed

Specifications

  • Capacity: 512GB
  • Dimensions: 7mm X 69.85mm X 100.5mm
  • Performance: Up to 560MB/sec (Read) / Up to 460MB/sec (Write)
  • IOPS: Up to 71,000 IOPS (Read) / Up to 75,000 IOPS (Write)
  • MTBF: 1,500,000 hours
  • Controller: Silicon Motion SM2246EN
  • Interface Type: SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface (backwards compatible with SATA 2.0 (3Gb/s) and SATA 1.0 (1.5Gb/s))
  • Temperature Range: 0-70°C
  • Warranty: 3 years limited

Packaging

The Mushkin Reactor comes in a simple blister package that showcases the included drive itself.

It is surrounded by a simple inlay that also shows the drive’s main features on the rear. Other than that, there isn’t much to the package.

Mushkin Released 1TB Reactor 2.5-inch Solid State Drive

Mushkin unveils the new Reactor series of solid-state drives that offer 1TB capacity without costing an arm and a leg. The Reactor SSD provides the extreme performance benefits of a solid-state drive while giving you the big data capacity of a mechanical hard drive.

It features the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller and can reach transfer speeds of up to 560MB/s while reading and 460MB/s writing. The random 4K performance is rated to 74K/76K read/write IOPS. Mushkin didn’t provide any information on what NAND type is used, but some shops have it listed as MLC. If this is true, it’s something that will let this disk stand out from the competition budget models of the same size.

The Reactor 1TB solid state drive features S.M.A.R.T., TRIM, NCQ, DevSleep, DataRefresh, EartlyRetirement, Secure Erase, Shock Resistant and more and comes backed by a 3-year warranty. It is already available at some retailers and can be bought for £299.00 at Alternate for example.

Thanks to Mushkin for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Mushkin

Hitachi Is Developing a Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

Nuclear power is one of the safest methods of power generation, in theory. In the real world it however looks different, especially when the structures aren’t maintained or natural disasters hit, or both at once like in Japan. A more immediate problem is the waste generated by these power reactors and the thousands of years it takes to break down and stop being hazardous.

As it is now we bury our nuclear waste under ground, in mountains and deep under the sea, which isn’t very smart. This isn’t a solution that is bearable in the long run, in any way. On a personal level I’d really like to see them all shut down once and for all. We also hear one report after another about leaks in the storage facilities and radioactive material leaking into our water and and food supplies.

To make this situation a bit more manageable, Hitachi, in partnership with MIT, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley, is working on new reactor designs that use transuranic nuclear waste for fuel; leaving behind only short-lived radioactive elements.

Most people believe radioactive waste to be some green glowing goo, but that is far from reality. The real problem isn’t the “hot” stuff as that will burn out in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. It’s the mildly radioactive elements with an atomic number greater than 92. These elements, such as plutonium, have half lives measured in tens of thousands or even millions of years. That makes storing them a very long-term problem, and is a particular difficulty in countries like the United States that don’t recycle transuranium elements by fuel reprocessing or fast-breeder reactors.

What Hitachi and its partners are trying to do is to find ways to design next-generation reactors that can use the low-level transuranium elements as fuel, only leaving the high-level elements to quickly (relatively speaking) burn themselves out in no more than a century or so. The idea in itself isn’t new and some modular nuclear reactors already use nuclear waste as fuel. But what sets Hitachi apart is that it’s looking into designs based on current boiling-water reactors that are known as Resource-renewable Boiling Water Reactors (RBWR) and are being developed by Hitachi and Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy Ltd.

The idea is to develop a new fuel element design using refined nuclear waste products along with uranium that can be installed in a standard boiling water reactor. This would not only make such reactors more economical to build, but would also use decades of safety and operations experience to achieve efficient nuclear fission in transuranium elements. Hitachi says that it’s already carried out joint research with its partners starting in 2007 and is now concentrating on the next phase, which deals with more accurate analysis methods, as well as reactor safety and performance, with an eye toward practical application of what’s been learned.

Thank you Hitachi for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Hitachi.