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Centon C-380 480GB SSD Review

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Centon 480GB 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.

The Centon drive is a cipher: normally, vendors provide much more information on review items, telling us about the technology behind the product, its competitive advantages, and the kind of performance we can expect on various benchmarks and tests. The Centon drive is the closest thing we’ve seen to a black-box device: I had to ask the company for additional information such as warranty (1 year) and places where the drive can actually be purchased. That last one’s a weird one, too: Centon provided three links to online vendors carrying this drive: Newegg, Mac Mall, and CompSource. Here are the links and prices as of the time of this review:

Amazon: $399.99
Mac Mall: $279.99
CompSource: $220.00

The drive is tagged as “Enthusiast Solutions”, which implies that it’s a high performance item, and for the most part, our tests bear this implication out. It’s only on iOPS and linear writes across the entire device that the expected performance doesn’t materialize.

In fact, the AIDA64 linear write results were so striking that I re-tested another SSD to make sure I had everything set up correctly; it returned the same results I had recorded months earlier. Then I re-tested the Centon drive, and it returned the same poor write results I’d seen earlier in the day. So, I’m pretty sure the test results are valid and that I didn’t screw anything up, but this is the second SSD I’ve tested recently that fell flat on the AIDA64 Linear Write and IOMeter tests, and they’re from different vendors, use different controllers, different NAND, and different cache RAM. So: mystery.

centon_c380_front_34

Appearance doesn’t count for much in storage products: even if you have a windowed case, your drives probably are not visible. Centon uses a very plain black snap-together enclosure decorated only by a sticker on the front.

By their nature– no moving parts– SSDs are all but immune to physical shock. While early SSDs had relatively high failure rates, modern SSDs are proving to be very reliable, often far surpassing their specified write lifetimes. With robotically-assembled circuit boards, there’s a very high level of overall physical quality in most SSDs these days, which makes Centon’s 1-year warranty seem stingy.

It’s hard for me to rate the Centon: its overall performance is very good, and it would make an excellent upgrade from a hard disk or smaller SSD. However, even its lowest online price of $220 is much higher than the competition: major players like Intel, Mushkin, and SanDisk all offer sub-$200 480GB drives, and they also offer at least 3 year warranties and most come with utility software and accessories such as spacers or 3.5″ mounting brackets. While the Centon’s performance is competitive, its high price, short warranty, and lack of any accessories put it at a significant disadvantage in the consumer SSD market.

Pros:

+ Very good overall performance
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact

Cons:

– Poor AIDA64 sequential write performance
– High price, short warranty, and lack of accessories

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.25
  • Appearance: 8.50
  • Construction: 8.00
  • Functionality: 8.00
  • Value: 7.00

Final Score: 8.15 out of 10.

COMMENT QUESTION: Which brand of SSD do you trust most?

NewEgg.com

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