Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene
Hardware

Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 4.0 drive: a graphene heatsink and a heroic resource

Transcend is not a first-tier SSD manufacturer, does not develop its own controllers, and does not produce flash memory. However, it is almost always interesting to get acquainted with its products and there are several reasons for this. First, Transcend engineers typically don’t use the reference platforms of independent controller developers in their original form, instead making their own unique tweaks to the products they create. Secondly, the company takes a very balanced approach to the design of the model range. Transcend powertrain choices are limited, but each individual model has well-defined characteristics and well-understood positioning.

Transcend’s SSD has another notable feature. All are based on controllers from the same developer – Silicon Motion (SMI). It is difficult to say what the motives behind this partnership are, but the tandem, which has been tried and tested over the years, works quite effectively. SMI regularly updates the basic chips for SSDs, updating and improving their characteristics, and Transcend frames them well with everything you need and releases quite attractive and popular products based on them.

However, with the current shift from consumer drives to the PCIe 4.0 interface, the scheme that had been debugged for years delivered an offensive error. The fact is that SMI initially had two SSD controllers with PCIe 4.0 support in development: the productive SM2264 and the inexpensive SM2267. And Transcend, in order to meet the needs of different categories of users, probably intended to produce a couple of drives – each on its own chip. However, in the production of the flagship controller, SMI encountered unforeseen problems. Although it was officially presented more than a year ago, she was never able to place orders for mass production. The lack of semiconductor capacities bothered – the SM2264 chip was developed on the basis of the TSMC 12 nm process technology, but in fact in the current conditions this technology turned out to be one of the most popular and small (like SMI). customersleft overboard. As a result, only a simpler controller, the 28nm SM2267, made it to the final product stage.

Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

This forced Transcend to adjust plans and postpone the release of the flagship SSD with PCIe 4.0 interface and limit itself to releasing only one inexpensive mass drive based on the SM2267 chip. It was given the name MTE240S and has already arrived on store shelves. Of course, this model does not promise any speed records and is aimed at users who prefer a balanced combination of price and performance. And such products naturally have a right to exist. Not everything is so obvious with the Transcend MTE240S, however. Earlier, we already met a similar SSD on the same controller – ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite, and it made an ambiguous impression on us, to say the least.

However, as mentioned above, Transcend has a team of engineers capable of optimizing drive configurations as public controllers are introduced. Therefore, you cannot put an identical equal sign between Transcend MTE240S and ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite. While these are related, they are still slightly different SSDs and the Transcend MTE240S may well be different in terms of consumer specs. That’s why the 3DNews lab decided to test it separately.

Appearance and internal arrangement

Transcend MTE240S meets a rather unusual appearance – its front face is closed not by a label or a heat sink, but by something in between. It looks like a thick foil heat-dissipating plate, but the manufacturer says it’s an ultra-thin graphene heatsink with high thermal conductivity.

1642539986 945 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene 1642539986 411 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

Below we will verify its effectiveness, but without testing we can say that it really adds almost nothing to the thickness of the drive and it is not necessary to remove it when installing an SSD on laptops or in mainboards with standard cooling of M.2 slots.

1642539987 853 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

On the back of the Transcend MTE240S is a label with information about the drive – on it you can find the part number and serial number of a specific instance, as well as the date of manufacture. For example, our SSD was released back in June.

All elements of the terabyte version of the MTE240S reviewed in this review are mounted on one side of the M.2 2280 form factor board, immediately distinguishing the SSD in question from the ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite, which had a double-sided Design. In addition, the Transcend drive also differs significantly in terms of the mutual arrangement of elements on the board, which only confirms that it has strayed far from the reference design.

1642539987 513 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene 1642539988 167 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

In addition to the SM2267 controller, which occupies a central position, the board contains two chips with flash memory and a DDR4 SDRAM chip, which serves as a buffer for storing the address translation table.

It is worth remembering that the SM2267 controller is dual-core and quad-channel, which is precisely what causes its rather low performance against the background of the controllers used in PCIe 4.0 flagships. In addition, the MTE240S flash memory array uses far from the most modern and fastest flash memory. It is built on Micron’s 512-gigabit 96-layer TLC 3D NAND chips, eight pieces spread across two chips. All of this clearly indicates that we are dealing with a drive that is far from the upper price segment. At the same time, the volume of DRAM chip installed on the drive is 1 GB, which is considered optimal for terabyte SSDs – there are no savings here.

At first glance, the set of hardware components Transcend MTE240S completely repeats the ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite. However, in the Transcend drive variant, the flash memory chips bear the original Micron branding. And this is important, because the specific chips installed on the MTE240S belong to the FortisFlash category – high-quality flash memory with an increased resource.

Specifications

Although the Transcend MTE240S is announced to support the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, it cannot compete with the flagship drives of the Samsung 980 PRO and WD Black SN850 due to the four-channel design. A four-channel flash array composed of devices running at 1200MHz is not even theoretically capable of pumping four PCIe 4.0 lanes with a peak bandwidth of 7.9GB/s. Therefore, the mating characteristics of the MTE240S are more similar to the characteristics of a drive with a PCIe 3.0 interface, at least in terms of linear speeds.

Manufacturer Transcend
series MTE240S
model no TS500GMTE240S TS1TMTE240S
form factor M.2 2280
interface PCI Express 4.0 x4 – NVMe 1.3
Capacity, GB 500 1000
construction
Flash memory: type, manufacturing process, manufacturer Micron 96-Layer 512Gb TLC 3D NAND
controller Silicon Motion SM2267
Buffer: type, size (MB) DDR4,
512
DDR4,
1024
power
Max Sustained Sequential Read Speed, MB/s 3800 3800
Max Sustained Sequential Write Speed, MB/s 2800 3200
max random read speed (blocks of 4 KB), thousand IOPS 190 370
max random write speed (blocks of 4 KB), thousand IOPS 540 560
Physical Properties
max. power consumption W N / A
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures), million hrs 5.5
Recording resource, TB 850 1700
Warranty period, years 5
Dimensions: L × H × D, mm 80 × 22 × 3.77

The composition of the model range shows that the Transcend MTE240S does not appear to fall into the upper price segment – there are only two versions, with the older one only having a capacity of 1 TB. That is, the manufacturer made a very sober assessment of the capabilities of the MTE240S. It’s immediately classed as an affordable PCIe 4.0 SSD and is in the same price range as numerous Phison PS5016-E16 controller-based drives, which are becoming its main competitors.

At the same time, MTE240S is distinguished by its high resource. Transcend’s clear focus on selecting high-quality flash memory chips has led the company to promise that 95% of SSD capacity can be rewritten daily without interruption for a five-year warranty period. This means that one terabyte of MTE240S can store a total of 1700 TB of data, which looks very impressive. In this price range there is almost no long-lasting model. For example, let’s recall that the resource of the popular and more expensive Samsung 980 PRO is almost three times lower.

The measurement of the top speeds in the CrystalDiskMark test fully confirms the values ​​specified by the manufacturer. The maximum line speed that the MTE240S can deliver is only 3.75GB/s, which is only 5% faster than the line speed of high-end PCIe 3.0 SSDs.

Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

In other words, the PCIe 4.0 support in the Transcend MTE240S is a marketing gimmick. When buying such an SSD, you have to be aware that it will probably not work any faster than solid PCIe 3.0 models. At least there are no requirements for this in the passport features either.

Software

To service its own drives, Transcend has released a dedicated SSD Scope utility. Its abilities are almost typical for software products of this class, however some of the usual functions are not supported for some reason.

1642539988 108 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

SSD Scope allows you to monitor the overall health of your drive and assess its health by accessing SMART telemetry. A simple performance test is also built into the utility.

1642539988 678 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

1642539988 627 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

In addition, SSD Scope has a built-in disk cloning tool that allows you to quickly and easily transfer the operating system and installed applications to a freshly purchased SSD.

1642539989 146 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

Another feature of the SSD Scope is the flash memory method Secure Erase.

1642539988 627 Overview of the Transcend MTE240S PCIe 40 drive a graphene

However, scanning the flash memory array for errors in the utility is blocked – this function works only with SATA drives. Also, Windows 11 users cannot manage the TRIM command through the utility – this SSD scope feature only works in older versions of the OS.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment