What’s the Difference Between TLC MLC and SLC?


Currently, flash memory is widely used in SSD, there are 2 types of SLC NAND and MLC NAND. By both have different strengths and weaknesses (MLC versus SLC), as follows. With data storage of the MLC NAND 1 cell memory per 2-bits, and 1 cell memory per a bit for SLC NAND. The MLC has a larger capacity than 2 times the SLC. Affect the cost of MLC NAND cheaper than SLC NAND by compared with the same size. Although MLC NAND will be outstanding in the section of the capacity and cheap, it is still inferior to the SLC that are efficiency, read/write speed, a number of reading / write and lifetime.

Samsung 850 PRO

  • Fastest Speed
  • High Performance
  • Expensive

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But with the cheaper prices and greater capacity of MLC NAND SSD. So nowadays, it is preferred widely. And currently, MLC technology has improved to be 20 nm. Thus resulting in higher performance, lower power consumption and less heat too.

TLC – MLC – e-MLC and SLC Meaning

  • TLC – Triple-Level Cell
  • MLC – Multi-Level Cell
  • e-MLC – Enterprise MLC
  • SLC – Single-Level Cell



  • TLC => Cheapest price
  • MLC => Medium price
  • SLC => Most expensive


  • TLC => 3 bits / cell
  • MLC => 2 bits / cell
  • SLC => a bit / cell


  • TLC => Highest capacity
  • MLC => High capacity
  • SLC => Lowest capacity

Program-Erase Durability (P/E)

  • TLC => Lowest
  • MLC => Medium
  • SLC => Highest

Bit Error Rate: BER

  • TLC => 10^4
  • MLC => 10^7
  • SLC => 10^9

Read Time

  • TLC => 75us
  • MLC => 50us
  • SLC => 25us

Write Time

  • TLC => 900us – 1,350us
  • MLC => 600us – 900us
  • SLC => 200us – 300us

Erase Time

  • TLC => 4.5ms
  • MLC => 3ms
  • SLC => 1.5-2ms

Example NAND Model

Compare the similarities and differences of Samsung 840Pro, Transcend340 / 720

  • Transcend 720 128 GB -> Cheapest
  • The body material is plastic
  • Transcend 340 128 GB -> Medium price
  • The body material is plastic
  • Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB -> Expensive

The body material is metal and has a beautiful chrome surrounded is reasonable the price.

All three models are MLC NAND SSD. Specification of three models on the market is the same 2.5″ 7mm and can be put inside the slim notebook.


  • Transcend 720 -> SandForce SF-2281 is one of the popular controller with medium stable.
  • Transcend 340 -> JMICRON JMF667H is a 3rd Generation controller intermediate levels of stability but the rare controller and less popular be used.
  • Samsung 840 Pro -> Samsung MDX is a high-efficiency controller with high speed and stable.

Windows 8.1+ Install on all three model SSD Test

Transcend 340 and 720 approximately 10-15 minute install complete.

Samsung 840 Pro approximately 5 minutes install complete. And other programs setup for 840 Pro faster than Transcend340 and 370. But the reboot of all three is similar that is less than 3 seconds. For smoothly of the 840 Pro to Photoshop / AE / PR is better.

Reasons To Buy

Reasons To Buy Samsung 840 Pro 512GB: If are you require speed and durability at under $500, this is the best for you.

Reasons To Buy Transcend340: If are you require efficiency and price with value for money, and pay less $70, this is perfect for you.

Reasons To Buy Transcend720: If are you not to use the SATA II, this is interesting and has already released a new version of 740.

Before to buy, not forget to read the customer reviews to get the best SSD for you.

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