MyDigitalDiscount m.2 SSD Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
The MyDigitalDiscount MDM242-SB-256 m.2 SSD has competitive linear read and write performance– in some benchmarks– but that’s about it for the good news. It’s hobbled by very poor random write and IOPS performance, falling to the very bottom of the charts, with scores behind those of SSDs we tested many years ago. This is probably the fault of the Phison series 9 controller, which has a reputation for poor performance in these areas.
Now it’s certainly true that even the lackluster write and IOPS performance of the Super Boot Drive is far, far better than even the very best hard disk. For example, just under 20,000 I/O operations per second isn’t competitive with other SSDs, but it’s still about 50 times the performance of a 1TB Velociraptor drive. If you’ve moving up from a hard drive– even an array of very fast hard drives– the MyDigitalSSD MDM242-SB-256 will rock your world…but so would any other SSD.
That said, it’s not really fair to compare an SSD to a mechanical drive these days, and the truth is that you can get much better performance in the same capacity and price range from other vendors…as long as you’re willing to make do with a standard 2.5″ drive. At the time of this writing, I can’t find a less expensive m.2 drive in this capacity, so if you’re building an HTPC or other small form factor machine and really want to go m.2, this is certainly a product to consider, as its performance weaknesses will not be apparent in most consumer use.
Normally at this point I’d discuss the physical appearance and perceived construction quality of the item I was reviewing, but an m.2 drive is just a bare circuit board. Once installed, you’ll never see it, and it’s not interesting to look at if you do. The near-microscopic components on the board are all installed by automated equipment, resulting in a very high and consistent level of quality…at least from what I can see without trying to peel off labels.
The MyDigitalDiscount 240GB m.2 SSD is available for $99.99 (Amazon), which at the time of this review is the least expensive m.2 SSD in this capacity that I can find. However, bear in mind that this is a very “no-frills” package, without any supporting software or utilities (although you do get a tiny screwdriver and mounting screw in case you’ve lost the one supplied with your motherboard).
You can move up to a PCI-E m.2 drive for $30-$40 more, but in most cases the performance improvement won’t be noticeable outside the world of benchmarks, and of course you would want to make sure that your motherboard (a) has an m.2 slot, and (b) supports m.2 PCI-E.
And please note: SSDs are becoming commodity items, and competition has led to “price compression” at the lower end of the market: in many cases an entire class of drives can fall within a $15 window. Today’s “best buy” can become tomorrow’s “overpriced”, so it always behooves the careful buyer to do their research and select the best product for them based on current price and availability.
It’s true that in most consumer uses, the difference between the performance of this drive and others won’t be noticeable; on the other hand, why not get more performance for the same amount of money (albeit in a 2.5″ form factor)? At $15 less, this would be a more compelling product; as is, I can recommend it only for building SFF systems where m.2 capability is the most important factor.
+ Least expensive m.2 SSD in this capacity…for now.
+ Supports TRIM, NCQ, and RAID
+ 3-Year product warranty support
+ Very compact storage solution
+ Competitive linear read speeds
– Write and IOPS performance considerably below competitive products
– Bare-bones package doesn’t include any software
– Better performing 2.5″ SSDs available for the same price
- Performance: 7.25
- Appearance: 8.00
- Construction: 9.50
- Functionality: 9.00
- Value: 8.00
Final Score: 8.35 out of 10.
Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.
COMMENT QUESTION: Which brand of SSD do you trust most?