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Transcend SSD220S 480GB SSD review

Triple Cell NAND (TLC) is rapidly becoming the weapon of choice for SSD drive manufacturers launching drives into the entry level market segment. All the leading names either have a TLC drive in this segment or are planning to; the 220S series being Transcend’s first TLC NAND drive.

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The performance of the 480GB SSD220S is something of a puzzle to say the least. The drive performs well in the Crystal Disk Mark 4K Queue depth 32 test, even outperforming Transcend’s SSD370S as it also does in the AS SSD benchmark. The drive confirms the official 550MB/s and 450MB/s read/write sequential performance figures in the ATTO benchmark.

However, things start to go awry in quite a major way when the drives 4K random IOPS performance was tested under the IOMeter benchmark.

Transcend quote 80,000 IOPS for both read and writes for the drive. Our review sample could get nowhere near that figure, producing a read figure of 71,121 IOPS, which is short of the official figure, although not too bad and likely related to different methodologies in testing procedures. The 4K random write IOPS performance however was a major disappointment as the drive could only manage a very disappointing 21,145 IOPS.

It was the same story with the real-life file transfer tests. The read performance of the drive was strong across all the tests, averaging 421MB/s. The only test where it dipped below 400MB/s was when dealing with the 50GB folder of small files. The write performance was a completely different story. All the file transfers started strongly and then the transfer rate dropped dramatically. We saw it happening using both the FastCopy utility and the standard Windows file copy – a peak and then a plunge worthy of any black day on the Footsie.

Transcend drives are never the easiest to find but nether the less we found the 480GB drive for sale for £98.22 inc VAT at Ballicom International HERE which is a pretty competitive price.


  • Strong 4K MB/s performance at shallow and deeper queue depths.
  • Competitive Price.


  • Disappointing 4K IOPS performance, particularly writes.
  • Very low real-life write performance figures.
  • 3 year is limited by today’s standards.

Kitguru says: The entry level SSD market is a very competitive one but at least Transcend has given the 480GB SSD220S a fighting chance with the pricing.


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Rating: 7.5.

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