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OCZ Trion 100 240GB 480GB 960GB SATA SSD Review - Toshiba TLC

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

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:

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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:

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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.

Read on for the full review!

Specifications:

  • NAND: Toshiba 19nm TLC
  • Capacity: 120GB / 240GB / 480GB / 960GB
  • Sequential Read: 550 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: 530 MB/s
  • 4K Random Read: 90,000 IOPS
  • 4K Random Write: 64,000 IOPS
  • Form Factor: 7mm high 2.5”
  • Interface Type: SATA 6.0 Gb/s (SATA 3)
  • Endurance: Up to 240TBW / 219GB/day (960GB)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Capacities in this review are highlighted bold.

The specs are not the highest we've seen, particularly the random write performance. More on that shortly. The write speed specs are a bit overzealous as well, as they are clearly rated off of the SLC-only area, with OCZ claiming the 'lowest' is 450 MB/sec for their 120GB model. We expect the TLC area will be more limiting here and will determine what those figures work out to during the course of the review.

Packaging:

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Standard OCZ packaging. They have done away with the 3.5" bracket, likely as that is rarely needed in modern cases / systems.


July 9, 2015 | 09:48 PM - Posted by Kingkookaluke (not verified)

OCZ....Meh!

July 22, 2015 | 03:25 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

Not even Toshiba could save them from the very bad habit of making crappy SSDs, lol.

July 9, 2015 | 09:49 PM - Posted by Kingkookaluke (not verified)

Maybe they will come out with a NVME version!!!!?

July 10, 2015 | 01:27 AM - Posted by Hakuren

OCZ in the name is deal breaker for me. Lot of hype and nothing at the business end. 2nd deal breaker is TLC flash. Not a fan of it by long shot. I would be more optimistic if they come with pure TLC drive and like 4-5TB capacity for 400-500$.

If they want to take a stab at something, stab the region where no competition reached before. And that's beefy SSDs for the masses intended as storage. You don't need 500MB/s+ transfers here. Also random access/write/read is not major factor. I said as long as SSDs are around. Storage of rarely accessed data that's the only good place for SSDs.

July 10, 2015 | 10:16 PM - Posted by Simms (not verified)

$.10 per GB I like that idea

BackBlaze StoragePod made of only SSD
Only like $20k

July 11, 2015 | 12:10 AM - Posted by btdog

Thanks for the solid write up, Allyn.

As I see it, OCZ continues to struggle. I thought with Toshiba acquiring them, allowing the access to Toshiba's inventory "at cost," they would provide some solid SSDs at affordable prices. Think Crucial. Instead we have prices higher than Samsung with subpar performance.

I'd love to support OCZ but they make it so darn hard! Unless they have some huge OEM contracts, I don't see how they can stay relevant.

July 11, 2015 | 01:10 AM - Posted by HERETIC (not verified)

Perhaps Toshiba should ask their manufacturing partner Sandisk
for a little help here,as it's possible the flash they are using
is exactly the same....................

Haven't seen write speeds that low since the 120GB-840......
Uphill battle-even if OCZ reduces prices by 30% they still have
the-"Friends don't let friends OCZ" to contend with............

July 11, 2015 | 08:12 AM - Posted by Sean Sinha (not verified)

It makes you wonder why OCZ released this product when they could clearly see in their testing/validation that it couldn't compete with the 850 Evo? Releasing a product after the competition that costs more that offers worse performance? *sigh*

July 13, 2015 | 02:42 PM - Posted by Nathaniel (not verified)

My spoon is too big...

July 22, 2015 | 03:23 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

*Sings in David Bowie's voice*
G-g-g-g-GAR-BAGE, G-g-GARBAGE. G-g-g-g-GAR-BAGE, Ga-ga-GARBAGE!

November 7, 2015 | 12:45 PM - Posted by rajii (not verified)

One major plus for me is that OCZ offers a linux version of their "SSD Guru" utility. I'm wondering if some of the short comings in this review might be mitigated by an update.

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