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Toshiba RC100 M.2 2242 240GB and 480GB SSD Review - Tiny NVMe

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Toshiba

Toshiba RC100 240GB/480GB SSD Review

Introduction:

Budget SSDs are a tough trick to pull off. You have components, a PCB, and ultimately assembly - all things which costs money. Savings can be had when major components (flash) are sourced from within the same company, but there are several companies already playing that game. Another way to go is to reduce PCB size, but then you can only fit so much media on the same board as the controller and other necessary parts. Samsung attempted something like this with its PM971, but that part was never retail, meaning the cost savings were only passed to the OEMs implementing that part into their systems. It would be nice if a manufacturer would put a part like this into the hands of regular customers looking to upgrade their system on a budget, and Toshiba is aiming to do just that with their new RC100 line:

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Not only did Toshiba stack the flash and controller within the same package, they also put that package on an M.2 2242 PCB. No need for additional length here really, and they could have possibly gotten away with M.2 2230, but that might have required some components on the back side of the PCB. Single-sided PCBs are cheaper to produce vs. a PCB that is 12mm longer, so the design decision makes sense here.

Specifications:

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Bear in mind these are budget parts and small ones at that. The specs are decent, but these are not meant to be fire-breathing SSDs. The PCIe 3.0 x2 interface will be limiting things a bit, and these are geared more towards power efficiency with a typical active power draw of only 3.2 Watts. While we were not sampled the 120GB part, it does appear to maintain decent specified performance despite the lower capacity, which is a testament to the performance of Toshiba's 64-layer 3D BiCS TLC flash.

Packaging:

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Not much to talk about here. Simple, no frills, SSD packaging. Just enough to ensure the product arrives undamaged. Mission accomplished.

Read on for our full review of the Toshiba RC100 240GB and 480GB SSDs!

Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
How product was obtained: The product is on loan from Toshiba for the purpose of this review.
What happens to product after review: The product remains the property of Toshiba but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
Company involvement: Toshiba had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
PC Perspective Compensation: Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff was paid or compensated in any way by Toshiba for this review.
Advertising Disclosure: Toshiba has purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.
Affiliate links: This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.
Consulting Disclosure: Toshiba is not a current client of Shrout Research for products or services related to this review.

June 12, 2018 | 11:24 AM - Posted by Rocky123 (not verified)

Awe they are so cute baby SSD drives. There was no mention if these have cache or no cache. Well unless I missed it in the post some where. If they do not have cache then it is a no go even though these are budget parts I would expect some sort of cache on them. I have seen non cache drives and the performance is not good at all.

June 12, 2018 | 12:46 PM - Posted by psuedonymous

They use Host Memory Buffer in place of on-drive RAM.

June 12, 2018 | 04:35 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

There is SLC caching (SSDs do not typically cache data in RAM as that is reserved for FTL). These of course have no external DRAM but can share a small amount of memory from the host via NVMe 1.3 extensions.

June 13, 2018 | 01:30 PM - Posted by Rocky123 (not verified)

Hopefully they have gotten better at this because when the first generation SSD's came out without onboard memory cache it really hurt performance of those drives.

June 14, 2018 | 01:43 PM - Posted by Rocky123 (not verified)

I just read the review of these drives over on Anandtech and it was a mixed bag for the results. In some tests the drive just kinda fell apart and performed very badly and in others it did well and in 1 test it actually lead the pack. For my own needs I do not think Dram-less SSDs are the way to go. To be worth it this drive and others like it need to be much much lower in price because you are not getting remotely close performance of the higher end drives but the prices for these types of drives do not really reflect the price to performance ratio.

I do think a drive like this would be great in a value laptop as long as they do not try to install the 120GB version that is I think 250GB-256GB should be the lowest size for any system and even then that is pushing the size limits but is workable at least.

A while back a customer of mine wanted a good but also cheaper gaming system. I got him a Acer Pred system but the thing only had a 256GB SSD (Dram-less)& a 2TB storage drive. I never knew SSD drives could feel so slow until I hit the power button and the system booted up and it felt like it was running on a standard spindle drive but in fact was running windows on the SSD. I did tests on the SSD and it got over 500MB's read and 485MB's writes.

So in theory it should have felt faster. The system had 16Gb DDR4 2600MHz memory and an i7 7700 so plenty of memory and CPU HP and a Geforce 1070 8GB. Yet it felt slow I come to find out it was a 256GB Dram-less drive and used host memory to cache.

At this point I swore off of dram-less drives for my own setups because my old Samsung 512Gb Pro Sata drive felt so much faster and does not have that feeling like everything is lagging and this is on an old i7 2600K@5.1GHz which should not be as peppy as a i7 7700 system.

June 12, 2018 | 03:42 PM - Posted by Dark_wizzie

Please review the EX920! :)

June 12, 2018 | 05:03 PM - Posted by James

Anyone make an x16 card with 8 x2 m.2?

July 7, 2018 | 07:32 PM - Posted by msroadkill612

Or an 8x pcie3 lane slot rigged as 16x pcie2 lane slot, w/ quad m.2 port adapter running 4x 4 lane nvme?

In theory e.g., an Apu, or an intel/am4 desktop pc w/ an 8 lane dgpu, could spare the lanes to run such an array?

How you get 2 lane m.2 ports on a PC is a mystery to me?

June 12, 2018 | 05:56 PM - Posted by elites2012

same price at the western digital. ill stick with WD, since toshiba still give people hell on returning items under warranty. not a company i want to continue buying from.

June 13, 2018 | 06:16 AM - Posted by Anonymousahsdfahldf (not verified)

There are quite a few business oriented laptops that have a regular m.2 2280 slot but if you look closely, also a 2nd m.2 2242 PCI-e only slot that is for a WAN/Cellular card.

I used that empty WAN slot to get two SSDs in a business class Dell laptop. Only had one option back than.

Just FYI, for anyone else wanting to add a bit of extra SSD storage to their laptop.

June 17, 2018 | 10:07 AM - Posted by SMF88011 (not verified)

The problem is that most of the systems I have seen do not support anything other than the 2280 form factor when it comes to M.2. HP Omen, Sager, Clevo, MSI, Gigabyte and many others are this way from what I have seen.

Please be careful when you purchase a M.2 drive to be sure that your system supports that form factor. If you don't, you often have something you cannot use, or face damaging the drive or your system.

June 17, 2018 | 11:17 PM - Posted by HERETIC (not verified)

Wonder if it's the $3 saved from no ram that's causing
poor performance,or the combination of that and a c**p
controller..............
Tosh's lack of info on it's controllers often has me
thinking it's a Phison in disguise......

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