Before continuing with this conclusion, we really need to mention that reviewing entry-level and even many higher end SSDs is becoming a bit repetitive. The current market has become a place that is very much dominated by SandForce-branded drives of one capacity or another. This situation does speak volumes about the popularity of the SF1200 / SF1222 design in terms of price and performance but in our opinion we’re due for some much-needed competition.
Mushkin’s Callisto Deluxe line does tend to suffer from some of this “been there, seen that” mentality but mostly because it came a bit late to the SandForce love-in. That however doesn’t stop the 40GB version we reviewed from garnering our praise and absolute respect.
Granted, there isn’t much to distinguish one 40GB SF1200-based product from the next but the Callisto does set itself apart quite well. In terms of performance numbers it is right up there with some of the best this generation has to offer which is par for the course but pricing is what allows Mushkin to pull ahead. While $90 is still more than many are willing to pay for such limited storage capacity, it makes the Callisto a highly affordable boot drive. Kudos must also be given for the strict adherence to quality since Mushkin didn’t skimp on quality like some of their competition has in the past.
Running these drives in RAID brings some seriously performance advantages but a number of pitfalls as well. There is a slight (yet unnoticeable) bump in latency along with no increase over a single drive in the all-important 4k read / write performance category. Price per GB becomes a concern as well when you consider two of these 40GB drives will put you back $180; nearly as much as a 120GB Callisto Deluxe.
All in all, we believe Mushkin has hit a home run with their all new Callisto Deluxe line. While we have found the current SSD market to be quite repetitive of late, releasing a competitive drive at an excellent price point is bound to make people stand up and take notice. Mushkin’s highly regarded warranty support is just the icing on an already appealing cake. As such, the Callisto Deluxe 40GB wins our Dam Good and Dam Good Value awards.
- KILLER price
- Great performance for a 40GB SandForce drive
- Full speed firmware
- Good looks
- No accessories included (need to step up to the 60GB to get the adapter plate)
|Latest Reviews in Storage|