The Toshiba Q300 SSD Review: Toshiba Becomes a Retail Brandby Billy Tallis on February 26, 2016 8:00 AM EST
Our review of the OCZ Trion 100 hailed it as "Bringing Toshiba to the Retail". The Trion 100 was branded as an OCZ drive, but it was almost entirely developed and manufactured by parent company Toshiba as their first non-OEM SSD. A few months later, Toshiba entered the retail SSD market under their own brand with the Q300 and Q300 Pro SSDs. The Q300 is based on the same hardware platform as the Trion 100 and is the entry-level model in Toshiba's retail SSD line.
For long-time followers of the SSD market, OCZ's brand may still be associated with controversy and the factors that contributed to their bankruptcy and eventual acquisition by Toshiba. In the broader consumer market OCZ is relatively unknown. By contrast, Toshiba is a massive conglomerate that has been a household name for decades. Drives like the Q300 are intended to expand the SSD market at the low end and are marketed as alternatives to hard drives rather than replacements for previous SSDs. In that light, it appears that Toshiba's strategy may have been to use the Trion 100's earlier release to make sure everything was working properly before releasing the Q300 to catch the eye of a wider audience.
|Toshiba Q300 SATA SSDs|
|NAND||Toshiba A19nm 128Gb TLC|
|Sequential Read||550 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||530 MB/s|
|4kB Random Read IOPS||87k|
|4kB Random Write IOPS||83k|
|Active Power Consumption||5.1W|
|Idle Power Consumption||1.1W|
Both the OCZ Trion 100 and the Toshiba Q300 are based around the Toshiba TC58NC1000 controller, Toshiba's custom edition of the Phison S10 controller. Toshiba already manufactures Phison's drives that are sold to many other brands, so selling some under their own brands was a small step. The Trion 100 and Q300 use the same PCB, one that is extremely similar to other Phison drives we have encountered but with some minor differences in component selection. The hardware of the Trion 100 and Q300 differs only in the selection of DRAM: The Trion uses Nanya DRAM where the Q300 has a Micron DRAM chip. Both drives sport the same Toshiba A19nm 128Gb TLC NAND flash in four packages with up to 16 die per package for the 960GB versions.
Left: Toshiba Q300.Right: OCZ Trion 100
As SSDs with TLC flash are primarily geared towards the entry level market, they are developed with a focus on price and capacity balanced against more modest performance. Aside from Samsung's 850 EVO, the current crop of TLC drives are all low-end drives judging by their performance - with the similar Trion 100 among the slowest - and the market is in a race to the bottom trying to offer the lowest cost per gigabyte. However with that said, even our current slowest SSD (the Crucial BX200) is significantly faster than a hard drive. As low-end SSDs close in on hard drive prices, they are making the higher performance and lower latency of SSDs available to a wider range of computers. The Q300's initial MSRP and its current price direct from Toshiba make it clear they're somewhat in denial about its status as a low-end drive, but prices at other retailers are only slightly higher than the Trion 100.
|AnandTech 2015 SSD Test System|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4770K running at 3.5GHz (Turbo & EIST enabled, C-states disabled)|
|Motherboard||ASUS Z97 Deluxe (BIOS 2501)|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1866 2x8GB (9-10-9-27 2T)|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 4600|
|Desktop Resolution||1920 x 1200|
|OS||Windows 8.1 x64|
- Thanks to Intel for the Core i7-4770K CPU
- Thanks to ASUS for the Z97 Deluxe motherboard
- Thanks to Corsair for the Vengeance 16GB DDR3-1866 DRAM kit, RM750 power supply, Carbide 200R case, and Hydro H60 CPU cooler
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bill.rookard - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkMX100's are awesome drives, I have a pair in my webserver with a M4 for the boot drive. Sadly, the whole issue appears to be (with the exception of Samsungs drives) the TLC. When having to account for the 8 different voltage states required for 3 bit per cell it seems that the controllers are not up to the task of getting things done quickly.
I'm thinking widespread adoption of V-nand (regardless of manufacturer) along with MLC in a larger lithography will wind up being the perfect storm of capacity, price, speed and endurance.
Arnulf - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkTLC cells have 8 distinct voltage levels per cell to make up for 3 bits of information, not 3.
hojnikb - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkthats what he said.
kmmatney - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkNo, he said 3, not 3
vladx - Friday, February 26, 2016 - link"No, he said 3, not 3"
boozed - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkIt's really quite simple. He said 3, not 3.
extide - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkI think what we will see is 3D TLC in pretty much all mainstream stuff, and 3D MLC in the high performance stuff.
Samus - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkIt's too bad the MX100 and BX100 are harder and harder to find, when the MX200 and ESPECIALLY the BX200 are inferior.
leexgx - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkthe BX100 its perfect for laptops as its super power efficient, the MX100/BX100 is the most use the most power SSD (the Adata Sp550 also uses the BX200 controller)
leexgx - Friday, February 26, 2016 - linkops!! MX200/B200 or any SSD that uses TLC with SLC cache seem to be extremely high power usage, for minimal overall speed boost (and higher chance of data loss due to SLC/TLC data movement)