Sony Enters SSD Market with Budget Offering

As SSDs become ever more mainstream, more and more mainstream companies are starting to jump into the market. So far, we’ve already seen AMD and Panasonic jump aboard with OCZ based SSDs and the market is getting a little more crowded with a new entrant. Sony has just announced their first consumer SSD, the simply named SLW-M. The drive comes in 2 capacities so far with 240 and 480GB options to test out the waters.

Based off of the Phison PS3110-S10 controller, the SLW-M uses Toshiba A19 TLC NAND backed by a 128MB DRAM cache. Phison is likely providing the whole solution to Sony with firmware and design bundled in. While sequential speeds are standard at 560 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write, the use of TLC with the already budget S10 controller reveals the budget nature of this drive. Expect performance to be similar to the OCZ Trion 100 but maybe a bit lower unless pseudo-SLC caching is enabled as well. Compared to HDDs though, the SLW-M should still be light years ahead.

One advantage Sony has is the pricing which is at $90 and $150 respectively for the 240 and 480GB models. While a bit higher than comparable drives, we can likely expect retail pricing to be a bit lower if history has taught us anything. Accessories include Sony’s SSD ToolBox which is a rebranded Phison ToolBox, Acronis True Image 2015 and a 7mm to 9.5mm adapter. Most importantly, the drive carries Sony’s brand which still carries a lot of weight in the Asian markets the drive currently sells in.

OCZ TRION 100 240GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


I recently took a closer look at the TRION 100 480GB solid-state drive from OCZ and today the time has come for the 240GB TRION 100. The TRION 100 series is the new value series from OCZ where you don’t get the fastest drive on the market, but instead an unbeatable value for very little money. A lot of good things have come from OCZ since they became a part of Toshiba, and the TRION 100 is surely one of them.

This TRION 100 SSD is a cost-effective performance upgrade that creates an optimal mix of value and performance for both notebooks and desktop systems. The drive is based around a Toshiba SSD controller and also uses Toshiba’s A19 TLC NAND. It is the first OCZ drive series to feature TLC NAND and the first consumer SSD on the market with Toshiba’s TLC NAND.

Ultrabooks, laptops, and netbooks can all benefit greatly from this drive over a mechanical solution. The TRION 100 is OCZ’s first drive to feature DevSleep, making it a perfect companion in a mobile system with its lower power consumption. It only consumes 6mW in DEVSLP mode, 830mW while idle, and 4.8W when active. But the drive is equally great for desktop upgrades on a budget. Home theater PCs, family PCs, and even entry-level gaming rigs can get a great performance boost from this drive for a low cost.

OCZ is now basing their endurance rating on the JEDEC industry standard instead of the previously used worst-case scenario. This 240GB model is rated for 60TB Total Bytes Written (TBW) or 55GB per day and a Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) of 1.5M hours.

The series is also backed by OCZ’s amazing ShieldPlus warranty where you got a no-hassle, no trouble customer service if the worst case should happen. All you need is the serial number and you’ll get a replacement and a return label for the old one. That is a warranty that everyone should provide and the TRION has 3-years of it.

This might be a value series, but the TRION 100 still performs pretty good with a sequential performance up to 550MB/s while reading and 520MB/s while writing. The random IOPS come in at 90K for reading and 43K for writing.

The drive is assembled without any screws or other parts. The cleverly designed chassis allows the PCB to slide right on in and into position after which the two part case can snap together. No need for any screws at all.

The PCB fills about two-thirds of the drive and it is only one side of it that is used. The controller is a Toshiba TC58NC and each of the four TLC NAND packages is 64GB big. We also see a Nanya 128MB RAM chip.

The TRION 100 supports SMART, NCQ, TRIM, Idle Garbage collection, and the aforementioned DevSleep. It is backward compatible to earlier SATA revisions.

Being a budget drive, we only find the drive in itself and the installation manual inside the box. Notebook users won’t need any mounting kits as the 7mm high drive just slides into the appropriate slot. Neither will most desktop users as there aren’t many PC cases out there that don’t support 2.5-inch drives natively by now.

Features

  • Next Gen TLC Technology: Built with premium Toshiba TLC NAND flash
  • Toshiba Controller & Firmware: Leverages Toshiba SSD controller technology
  • Performance Made Affordable: Superior Balance of price and performance
  • Better Battery Life: Optimized for lower energy consumption for longer battery life
  • World-class Quality and Reliability: 100% Toshiba technology built into every drive, keeping data secure
  • ShieldPlus Warranty: Provides an elite, worry-free customer service experience

Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ512GCSU 512GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Toshiba’s drives are mostly sold as OEM models and built into other products such as workstations and laptops, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to get a good spin on my test bench. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Toshiba HG6 series of solid state drives, more specific the Non-SED model with 512GB capacity (THNSNJ512GCSU).

The HG6 is a series of mainstream SATA Solid State Drives that combine high performance with power efficiency to satisfy a wide range of applications from notebook PCs to servers in the data centers. Toshiba is the inventor of NAND flash memory technology, so we know that we have some of the best on our hands when dealing with these drives.

Toshiba leverages its NAND flash memory expertise to optimize the performance and data integrity, integrating enterprise-class technology such as the Toshiba Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) for improved error correction and reliability. It is the 2.5-inch drive that I’m taking a look at today, but the drive is available in a wide variety of form factors such as mSATA and M.2 2280 and with capacities between 60GB and up to 512GB.

Toshiba’s Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) technology is in improved error correction code (ECC) that is said to be far superior to the otherwise used technologies and as such should provide you with far better data security. It also features End-to-End Data Protection, S.M.A.R.T., TRIM and Garbage collection. The drives support Read-only mode for emergency and serial ATA DIPM (Device Initiated Power Management), HIPM (Host Initiated Power Management) and Device Sleep for reduced power consumption.

The reduced power consumption from the above-mentioned features is great for use in laptops and so it the drives weight of just 53 grams. The HG6 is using Toshiba’s own A19nm Toggle 2.0 MLC NAND Flash memory as well as the in-house created Toshiba T635879BXBG SSD controller. It comes with a normal mean time to failure for this market segment of 1.5 million hours and an expected product life of 5 years. Since this is an OEM product, the warranty is based on whatever product you’ve purchased with it built-in.

The drive doesn’t use a RAM buffer like most SSDs on the market, but rather relies on the Adaptive Size SLC Write Cache technology that assumes a similar function as Samsung’s TurboWrite feature. It is treating a portion of the NAND as SLC for write operations to improve performance before flushing the writes to the MLC when idle. It’s also to be noted that Toshiba used thermal pads on all chips, providing the most efficient heat dissipation for high-performance systems such as servers.