Mushkin has announced its new family of affordable SSDs primarily aimed at users who would like to upgrade their PCs featuring HDDs. The company’s Source drives use inexpensive 3D TLC NAND memory as well as a proven controller from Silicon Motion, allowing the company to start pricing at $39.

Mushkin’s Source family of SSDs includes three models featuring 120 GB, 250 GB, and 500 GB capacities. Mushkin says that 1 TB model will be included into the lineup at a later date, but does not elaborate. The drives come in a 2.5-inch/7mm form-factor and use a SATA interface, making them straightforward upgrades for existing desktops and mainstream laptops that use DFF storage devices. Muskin also plans to ship a M.2-2280 version of the Source family for ultra-thin notebooks sometimes in April. Mushkin’s Source drives are based on Silicon Motion’s SM2258XT controllers and 3D TLC NAND from an unnamed supplier, a combination that is frequently used by various SSD makers for their entry-level models these days.

On paper, the performance of Mushkin’s Source drives is comparable to other inexpensive SATA SSDs: up to 560 MB/s sequential write speed and up to 520 MB/s sequential write speed. As for random speeds, the manufacturer declares up to 75K 4K read IOPS as well as up to 81K write IOPS, which is somewhat lower than what we've seen in other 3D TLC-powered devices. Keep in mind that low-capacity SSDs usually perform slower than their higher-capacity counterparts, so for exact numbers check out the table below.

Mushkin Source Specifications
Capacity 120 GB 250 GB 500 GB 1 TB
Controller Silicon Motion SM2258XT
Sequential Read 510 MB/s 560 MB/s ?
Sequential Write 440 MB/s 515 MB/s 520 MB/s ?
Random Read IOPS Up to 29K IOPS Up to 54K IOPS Up to 75K IOPS ?
Random Write IOPS Up to 79K IOPS Up to 81K IOPS Up to 81K IOPS ?
Pseudo-SLC Caching Supported
DRAM Buffer No
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Management DevSleep
Warranty 3 years
MTBF 1,500,000 hours
MSRP $39 $63 $110 ?

The Source family of SSDs from Mushkin is the company’s fourth series of drives based on various types of 3D TLC NAND and Silicon Motion’s SM2258/SM2258XT controllers. Mushkin’s lineup already includes Triactor 3D, 3DL, and 3DX products, featuring capacity points ranging between 80 GB and 2 TB. It is noteworthy that based on the numbers from Mushkin’s product catalogue, its Triactor-series drives are faster when compared to the Source drives, but real-world performance of such SSDs isn't likely to be dramatically different.

All Mushkin Source SSDs are rated for 1.5 million hours MTBF and come with a three-year limited warranty. The drives are available now in the U.S.: the cheapest 120 GB version is priced at $39, the 250 GB flavor costs $63, whereas the 500 GB SKU is sold for $110. Keeping in mind that formally the Source family of SSDs are Mushkin’s lowest-end drives, expect their pricing to be very flexible.

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Source: Mushkin

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  • Dr. Swag - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Damn $110 for a 500gb ssd. We're almost at the $100 point... Too bad the controller doesn't have any dram.
  • PeachNCream - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    That is a really low price for the capacity. The lack of DRAM is going to have performance implications, but they'll still feel quicker than a hard drive so it may be tolerable to the person at the keyboard. It'd be nice if Anandtech could run one of these through the usual benchmarks someday.
  • close - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - link

    The Crucial MX500 frequently retails for well under $250 for the 1TB model and under $130 for the 500GB one. And the price has been going down constantly since January. So I'd say we are already in the "close to $100/500GB" territory for a while now.
  • bananaforscale - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    The specs say there's a DRAM buffer.
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    And the specs for the controller say DRAM-less.
  • Glaring_Mistake - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    Ok, DRAMless controllers usually have a small cache of SDRAM (around 32MB I think).
    But otherwise with most SSDs using DRAM, you get 1MB of DRAM for every GB of capacity, so if the drive is 240-256GB then it has 256MB of DRAM and a drive with 480-512GB has 512MB and so on.
  • hojnikb - Sunday, April 1, 2018 - link

    Nope, XT models are completely without external RAM support. They do however have a little bit of SRAM internally, but thats about it.
  • Glaring_Mistake - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    Was not claiming that the XT-models are using anything other than the internal SRAM though.
    Meant to say that DRAMless drives have some small amount of internal SRAM (and Phison is the only one I know that mentions the amount of SRAM used which is where I got 32MB from).
    While drives not using DRAMless controllers tend to have 1MB of DRAM for every 1GB of capacity (the Corsair XTi series being an exception to that rule with twice the amount of DRAM).
  • ozzuneoj86 - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    ~500GB SSDs were often on sale for around $100 a couple years ago. The prices have gone up and are finally getting back to where they used to be.
  • Samus - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    I would have been shocked to see DRAM on what is seemingly the least expensive SSD on the market, even if DRAM adds only $4 to the BOM.

    At the end of the day Mushkin is at least being honest by marketing this as an HDD upgrade, not an upgrade from an existing SSD (unless you’re still rocking like an Intel X25-M) because even an 840 from 5 years ago is likely to trump this drive provided it doesn’t have bad NAND.

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