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

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Toshiba

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

Internals

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There's really nothing 'internal' about these, well not without taking apart that single package and separating the dies from the controller, but we won't be doing that today :). Simple single sided *tiny* PCBs. 80mm wide x 42mm long. M.2 B-M keyed as they are only 2-lane PCIe parts. Here's the RC100 next to a more standard sized M.2 part:

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Testing Methodology

Our tests are a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. We have developed a custom test suite as off-the-shelf tests just no longer cut it for in-depth storage testing. More details on the next page. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!

Test System Setup

We have several storage testbeds. A newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and a Gigabyte Z170X SOC Force (for RAID testing). Future PCIe and SATA device testing, including this review, take place on an ASUS Sabertooth X99, which comes equipped with USB 3.1, M.2, and can also handle SFF-8639 (U.2) devices with the proper adapter.

PC Perspective would like to thank Intel, ASUS, Gigabyte, Corsair, Kingston, and EVGA for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i7 5820K @ 4.125 GHz
Motherboard ASUS Sabertooth X99
Memory 16GB Micron DDR4 @ 3333
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 750
Video Drivers GeForce Game Ready Driver 347.88
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version N/A
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro X64 (update)
  • PCPer File Copy Test
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • IOMeter
  • YAPT
  • PCPer Custom SSD TEST SUITE!!!

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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