Subject: Storage | December 10, 2015 - 02:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tlc, crucial, BX200, ocz, Trion 100, ssd
Scott may have moved on but The Tech Report is still going strong and recently posted a double review covering the OCZ Trion 100 and Crucial's BX200. Al has tested out two of the Trion 100s previously, he was less than impressed with the drives performance and The Tech Report's testing revealed the same lacklustre performance. Sadly they preferred the Trion to the BX200, though perhaps not for the reason you might expect. The previous BX100 was an MLC drive which had a great price to performance ratio, it was fast and inexpensive, which lead to certain expectations for the next iteration of BX SSD. Sadly the TLC used in the new drive simply could not match the BX100's performance and so neither drive received accolades for there performance. Check out the actual performance and TR's recommendations in their full review.
"OCZ and Crucial aren't resting on the laurels of their entry-level Arc 100 and BX100 drives. Instead, they've cooked up even more attainable SSDs built with TLC flash—OCZ with its Trion 100, and Crucial with its BX200. We put these drives through their paces to see what they can do."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Patriot Blast 240GB SSD Review @ NikKTech
- 2 TB Seagate Portable HDD Teardown @ Tech ARP
- Seagate 6TB Enterprise NAS HDD @ eTeknix
- NETGEAR ReadyNAS 212 Review @ Missing Remote
- Thecus N4310: A 4-Disk Linux NAS @ Phoronix
- Asustor AS3104T @ Legion Hardware
Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
Since their acquisition by Toshiba in early 2014, OCZ has gradually transitioned their line of SSD products to include parts provided by their parent company. Existing products were switched over to Toshiba flash memory, and that transition went fairly smoothly, save the recent launch of their Vector 180 (which had a couple of issues noted in our review). After that release, we waited for the next release from OCZ, hoping for something fresh, and that appears to have just happened:
OCZ sent us a round of samples for their new OCZ Trion 100 SSD. This SSD was first teased at Computex 2015. This new model would not only use Toshiba sourced flash memory, it would also displace the OCZ / Indilinx Barefoot controller with Toshiba's own. Then named 'Alishan', this is now officially called the 'Toshiba Controller TC58'. As we found out during Computex, this controller employs Toshiba's proprietary Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) error correction technology:
Error correction tech gets very wordy, windy, and technical and does so very quickly, so I'll do my best to simplify things. Error correction is basically some information interleaved within the data stored on a given medium. Pretty much everything uses it in some form or another. Some Those 700MB CD-R's you used to burn could physically hold over 1GB of data, but all of that extra 'unavailable' space was error correction necessary to deal with the possible scratches and dust over time. Hard drives do the same sort of thing, with recent changes to how the data is interleaved. Early flash memory employed the same sort of simple error correction techniques initially, but advances in understanding of flash memory error modes have led to advances in flash-specific error correction techniques. More advanced algorithms require more advanced math that may not easily lend itself to hardware acceleration. Referencing the above graphic, BCH is simple to perform when needed, while LDPC is known to be more CPU (read SSD controller CPU) intensive. Toshiba's proprietary QSB tech claims to be 8x more capable of correcting errors, but what don't know what, if any, performance penalty exists on account of it.
We will revisit this topic a bit later in the review, but for now lets focus on the other things we know about the Trion 100. The easiest way to explain it is this is essentially Toshiba's answer to the Samsung EVO series of SSDs. This Toshiba flash is configured in a similar fashion, meaning the bulk of it operates in TLC mode, while a portion is segmented off and operates as a faster SLC-mode cache. Writes first go to the SLC area and are purged to TLC in the background during idle time. Continuous writes exceeding the SLC cache size will drop to the write speed of the TLC flash.