The name 'Mushkin' may no longer be familiar to you.  A few years ago, they were big players in terms of DDR performance memory - but have not always kept up the pace with hardware development. In 2010 however, alongside OCZ, SanDisk, Intel, Corsair, and other SSD manufacturers, they are diving head first into a highly competitive arena.

Earlier this year, Mushkin released their Io series of SSDs, using the Indilinx 'Barefoot' controller, and received favourable reviews in all areas, except the price.  Today, Mushkin are releasing three drives - a 60GB model, a 120GB model, and a 240GB model - all backed by a three year warranty.  Featuring the Sandforce SF-1200 controller, published speeds are up to 285MB/sec read, and up to 275MB/sec write. If this is indeed based on the standard SF-1200 then its performance should be similar to the OCZ Agility 2 we recently reviewed.

Current prices on the Mushkin website are as follows:

MKNSSDCL60GB – 60GB Callisto™ SSD - $218.49 (MSRP. $240.49)
MKNSSDCL120GB – 120GB Callisto™ SSD - $369.99 (MSRP. $406.99)
MKNSSDCL240GB – 240GB Callisto™ SSD - $666.49 (MSRP. $733.49)

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  • ClagMaster - Saturday, May 15, 2010 - link

    Thank you.
  • Indigo64 - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    The intro to this article puts Mushkin at some kind of "has been" in the market. Living not more than 100 miles away from their corporate HQ, I can tell you from my own experience that they have been around long enough that they don't need to be in the limelight all the time like OCZ or anyone else. Mushkin is an established brand, and one that I am proud to have been using for years as a local Coloradoian. The intro to this article makes them seem geriatric. Whether or not they are the producers of these drives, or a VAR, they deserve more attention / reverence than this article started out with.
  • Makaveli - Thursday, May 13, 2010 - link

    Have to agree with Indigo64.

    I'm using Muskin Ram in my i7 known about them for along time.
  • larson0699 - Thursday, May 13, 2010 - link

    Agreed. Mushkin's actually expanded in recent years with a line of power supplies and other non-memory products. And while I gaze upon a G.SKILL-saturated RAM market (and that many users complaining about mismatched timings and/or platform incompatibility) my own experience with personal picks Mushkin & Corsair has been unquestionably pleasant. Mushkin may not be the household name, but for the longest time, neither were others such as MSI and PC Power & Cooling which I believe were as good as, if not in some respects superior to, their mainstream competitors. I kind of miss the "red" MSI, though :-(

    But to suggest that Mushkin's fallen underneath the radar is to be ignorant of their continued prominence in an unseasonably-healthy market. Long before Mushkin comes to mind do I recall real demises such as SOYO and EPoX. I swear, in '02 everyone and his cousin was in the game of AMD boards, and product launches / CE showcases were actually a sight to see, as opposed to today where redundancy makes news and most new "features" are more marketing hype than functional enhancements.
  • ClagMaster - Thursday, May 13, 2010 - link

    I agree.

    Mushkin is a memory manufacturer I have very good experiences with for years. They might be “has-been” perhaps to the hard-core enthusiast community but there are many matured enthusiasts (which I am a member) who continue to respect their products. Mushkin manufactures good memory and offer very good rebates. I still buy their “Essential” line of memory for my household PC’s.

    Mushkin has diversified into power supplies and digital storage so they can continue to survive a very competitive memory market.
  • IanCutress - Friday, May 14, 2010 - link

    Hi Indigo64, Makaveli, larson0699, ClagMaster

    The editor and I did converse about the initial wording, and came to the decision that either way we worded it, someone would say something to the contrary (i.e. if we said they were known/well known, someone would post up saying they'd never heard of them, especially where they don't sell DDR2/3 products). So we decided to err on the side of caution, and relate Mushkin's popularity purely to high performance products, where DDR1 was the last time they truly shined beyond the norm with their BH-5 kits (I still run a set in a old machine for overclocking).

    All the best,
  • larson0699 - Friday, May 14, 2010 - link

    I'm going to disagree here. Look at your audience. Everyone knows about Mushkin, and IMO the risk of backlash against a fairer statement would've been more worth your while.

    And what's this about them not selling DDR2/DDR3? I don't know if you're referring to retail outlets or the market as a whole, but either your wording is once again misleading or you've missed the boat by a few lengths. Mushkin is a current presence, I buy them, and with their generally-low voltages, I overclock them with great success. That they're not the name on that 2400MHz kit doesn't cement them as an inferior brand.

    I, for one, believe you should err on the side of neutrality next round rather than decide your stance on a game of rock-paper-scissors with your peers. The credibility of this site is surely coming into question as of late...
  • ClagMaster - Saturday, May 15, 2010 - link

    I ditto that.

    You are right that Mushkin was a big player with DDR memory eight years ago. But today Mushkin continues to manufacture quality high performance memory. And they still command a presence in the mature enthusiast community. I have DDR2 and DDR3 Essential Line memory in my household computers which is surprisingly overclockable for bare sticks (though I operate this memory at standard frequencies and setting during normal usage).
  • Snowstorms - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    The price point is really disappointing. Well over 200$ when Intel's V series is slightly slower but costs less than half of these Sandforce drives.
  • larson0699 - Thursday, May 13, 2010 - link

    I'm certain the investment begins to show its worth as both drives degrade. To me, it makes no sense whatsoever to buy SSD if I'm settling on the economy drive with an inferior controller and such tight capacity for a system drive. The V may still throw orders of magnitude more IOPS than a VelociRaptor, for instance, but that's a tradeoff I could live with when I have the elbow room and constant performance in the meantime that I'm still setting aside for the worthy SSD. It'll be interesting to watch the technology improve still better than what SandForce has already laid out for us.

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