OCZ Trion 150 SSD Review

OCZ is on its second-generation TLC-based effort. The new Trion 150 updates the flash to Toshiba's 15nm TLC, but the largest improvement comes from firmware that increases sustained write performance.

OCZ Storage Solutions released its Trion 100 last July. We had high hopes for the series, and for Toshiba's triple-level cell (TLC) flash. The Trion was to be the company's entry-level solution designed for first-time SSD owners and anyone looking for excellent value.

With regard to the flash, Toshiba has routinely delivered products that run faster than its rival Micron. But our results came far from meeting those expectations. The Trion 100 launched with an inflated price tag and its performance just wasn't good. In the end, the drive was a disappointment. OCZ's new Trion 150 was designed to address its predecessor's shortcomings, and we expect it to be a much better entry-level SSD.

On paper, the only difference between the Trion 100 and 150 is flash. OCZ went with Toshiba's 15nm TLC for its new models. This should allow the company to drop its price tag and truly get the Trion into entry-level territory.

There is more to the Trion 150 story, though. In the background, OCZ manipulated its firmware to enable writes directly to the NAND dies. This increases sequential write performance after the emulated SLC buffer layer fills up and can no longer accept data. The boost can be as high as 50 percent, which makes the drive more attractive to anyone who installs large software packages or transfers lots of data from a wired network.

OCZ also "fixed" its pricing situation. At launch, the 960GB Trion 100 sold for $370. A similarly-sized Trion 150 goes for $270. The Trion 150 at its other capacity points is also quite a bit cheaper to better compete in the cutthroat entry-level SSD space.

Specifications

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Aside from the change in flash, OCZ's specifications remain the same from its previous Trion effort. We're testing the 960GB and 480GB models today, but OCZ also has 120GB and 240GB Trion 150s.

The drives in our lab are both rated for sequential reads up to 550 MB/s and sequential writes at 530 MB/s. Their random read performance is specified at 90,000 IOPS. Writes are different, though. The 960GB Trion 150 peaks at 64,000 IOPS, while the 480GB model tops out at 54,000 IOPS according to OCZ. The smaller Trion's steady state performance is also slightly behind the 960GB flagship—3600 IOPS compared to 3200.

The Trion 150's endurance ratings fall in line with industry standards for the entry-level market. This series does not support full disk encryption like some of the other drives available at this low price do. I personally don't believe that the lack of FDE is a deal-breaker for most enthusiasts. Even though the technology is widely available in many mainstream SSDs, very few people use it.

Pricing, Warranty And Accessories

The entry-level market is dominated by discussions of cost. Most of the folks shopping at these price points want exceptional value, and price typically rules supreme over other considerations. The Trion 150 shipped to reviewers the same day it appeared on Newegg and other sites. You'll find the 960GB model available at $270 and the 480GB version going for $140. The 240GB and 120GB models sell for $72 and $46, respectively.

All four drives include a three-year ShieldPlus Warranty, which allows you to schedule an RMA and have a replacement shipped to you before sending OCZ the original drive. This minimizes downtime and streamlines the process. You can learn more about this unique approach to coverage here.

As a value-oriented SSD, the Trion 150 does not include an accessory package. But you do gain access to OCZ's SSD Guru software.

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  • hdmark
    is anyone else still kind of blown away that SSD's are getting this cheap? maybe im just in a nostalgic mood but I remember when SSD's cost a TON more than this and now were seeing 960gb for almost a quarter a gb
    3
  • zhunt99
    Quote:
    is anyone else still kind of blown away that SSD's are getting this cheap? maybe im just in a nostalgic mood but I remember when SSD's cost a TON more than this and now were seeing 960gb for almost a quarter a gb


    I'm right there with you. I picked up a 480 gb Sandisk Ultra II over black friday for $110. I was pretty happy with that.
    1
  • ssdpro
    The value has gotten quite good. I also beliew SSDs are at a good value point right now. Sure, they can go lower and closer to HDDs in cost/GB, but you also don't want HDD performance, power consumption, or weight.

    OCZ products on the other hand are complicated. Seeing early review returns from actual customers isn't going so well. Some SKUs are showing early failures just like the Trion 100. OCZ needs to make a few drives that are so reliable none fail. Supercaps, full pfail circuitry, two controllers, whatever even at a loss if necessary. OCZ's enemy is reputation and reality.
    -1
  • stevenrix
    When your OCZ ssd runs out of IOPs or fails, try to reflash it, sometimes it will reset the # of IOPS and put it back to 0 and it will work again....
    0
  • alidan
    Quote:
    is anyone else still kind of blown away that SSD's are getting this cheap? maybe im just in a nostalgic mood but I remember when SSD's cost a TON more than this and now were seeing 960gb for almost a quarter a gb


    cheap to the point that in my next computer i was considering a 512gb drive, but now im looking at 900+gb drives... not so much for their boot as i could get by with a 256 drive for just that, but as a loading heavy game drive too.
    granted the next pc i build will get partitioned to hell and back due to the boot options i want, possibly a win 7 partition, a second one that is just os for emergency my main os crapped up, win 10 and the same, then some linux distros for playing around with. should be able to get all that and my required programs to run on less then 300gb, so the rest could be for load heavy games.
    0
  • Sakkura
    Terabyte SSDs are flirting with the $200 barrier. Quite nice, but I'm going to hang onto HDDs for secondary storage for a while longer.
    0
  • jrharbort
    Quote:
    is anyone else still kind of blown away that SSD's are getting this cheap? maybe im just in a nostalgic mood but I remember when SSD's cost a TON more than this and now were seeing 960gb for almost a quarter a gb

    At the sacrifice of overall speed and endurance.
    0
  • cryoburner
    Quote:
    At the sacrifice of overall speed and endurance.


    That implies you actually need that additional speed and endurance though. How many users need a drive that can handle a petabyte of writes? It's unlikely that you'll write much more than a terabyte of data to your system drive each year, so write endurance shouldn't matter much outside of specialized usage scenarios like database servers. I'm not sure if you ever saw that endurance test that Tech Report ran, but they performed continuous writes on various SSDs until failure...

    https://techreport.com/review/26523/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-casualties-on-the-way-to-a-petabyte

    Their 250GB Samsung 840 Evo with TLC flash survived over 900TB of writes in that test, and they didn't detect any uncorrectable errors until after 200TB. That would be over 100 years of typical desktop usage, making the endurance of the TLC a non-issue.

    And as for performance, just look at the "Real-World Software Performance" benchmarks here. All these drives perform very similarly under most usage scenarios to the point where it's unlikely you would notice any notable difference between them in day to day use. Software is still designed with the performance limitations of hard drives in mind, so aside from perhaps large file transfers and some other fringe scenarios, you're not likely to see a huge difference in performance between lower and higher end SSDs.

    And ultimately, if the endurance is far higher than what people using the drive will actually need, it makes sense to trade some of that headroom for additional capacity. Cost per gigabyte is the main thing holding SSDs back from universal adoption over hard drives, and multi-level cell flash is helping to bring those prices down to be competitive.
    0
  • samopa
    The elephant on the room is reliability. People tend to buy large storage to hold their valuable data. If performance is what they need, RAID 0 of small disks usually is enough.

    OCZ is not well-known for their reliability, and most people do not want to store their valuable data on unreliable media. In past few years, I only used Samsung and Intel brands for SSD, yes they cost higher than competing brand like OCZ, but (at least) to me, the value of my data are even higher than that.

    So, are they improved their reliability ? I do not want to to loose my dear data overnight because like some people here, I only backup my personal data once a week.
    -1
  • Sakkura
    Anonymous said:
    The elephant on the room is reliability. People tend to buy large storage to hold their valuable data. If performance is what they need, RAID 0 of small disks usually is enough.

    OCZ is not well-known for their reliability, and most people do not want to store their valuable data on unreliable media. In past few years, I only used Samsung and Intel brands for SSD, yes they cost higher than competing brand like OCZ, but (at least) to me, the value of my data are even higher than that.

    So, are they improved their reliability ? I do not want to to loose my dear data overnight because like some people here, I only backup my personal data once a week.


    OCZ had major reliability problems in the early Sandforce days, that's for sure. They were actually improving later on as firmware problems were ironed out and so on. They probably just jumped on the Sandforce bandwagon a bit too quickly. Anyway, improvements or not they went bankrupt. Toshiba bought them up, and if they weren't high quality before, they are now.

    Meanwhile, Samsung has had its misstep with the 840 and 840 Evo. But their 850 Evo is great. Again it seems like being an early adopter, this time of TLC NAND, caused issues.

    Personally I have an OCZ Agility 3 from 2012 (before the bankruptcy), and it's running just fine. Not that it proves much.
    0
  • Archaic59
    Samsung and Crucial are still better options with Sandisk coming in third due to high price on their great performing pro model.
    0
  • Sakkura
    Anonymous said:
    Samsung and Crucial are still better options with Sandisk coming in third due to high price on their great performing pro model.


    Crucial is not a good option like it was just a few months ago, since their BX200 is too slow and their faster, older drives like the BX100 are going up in price.

    Sandisk is a very solid option, since their Ultra II is reasonably fast and cheaper than anything Samsung offers. At the ½TB point right now, the Ultra II and OCZ's Arc 100 seem like the prime contenders at $130, the Samsung 850 Evo pricing itself out of the picture a little bit. The Trion 150 does go cheaper than the Arc 100 today (price fluctuations since the review), but the Adata SP550 is cheaper still and probably the best option for anyone on a tight budget.
    0
  • Archaic59
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    Samsung and Crucial are still better options with Sandisk coming in third due to high price on their great performing pro model.


    Crucial is not a good option like it was just a few months ago, since their BX200 is too slow and their faster, older drives like the BX100 are going up in price.

    Sandisk is a very solid option, since their Ultra II is reasonably fast and cheaper than anything Samsung offers. At the ½TB point right now, the Ultra II and OCZ's Arc 100 seem like the prime contenders at $130, the Samsung 850 Evo pricing itself out of the picture a little bit. The Trion 150 does go cheaper than the Arc 100 today (price fluctuations since the review), but the Adata SP550 is cheaper still and probably the best option for anyone on a tight budget.


    Thanks for the info. I know about the BX200 performance issue but I didn't realize the 100 was moving up in price. I replaced the stock HD in my laptop with an MX100 last year and it's been great. MX200 competes with the 850 EVO, may as well get the 850. I recently replaced my Sandisk Extreme with a 250GB 850 EVO and it's very solid so far as boot drive. I'm kinda put off by TLC so far and try to recommend MLC whenever possible. You?
    0
  • Sakkura
    Anonymous said:
    Thanks for the info. I know about the BX200 performance issue but I didn't realize the 100 was moving up in price. I replaced the stock HD in my laptop with an MX100 last year and it's been great. MX200 competes with the 850 EVO, may as well get the 850. I recently replaced my Sandisk Extreme with a 250GB 850 EVO and it's very solid so far as boot drive. I'm kinda put off by TLC so far and try to recommend MLC whenever possible. You?


    Mwell, Samsung seems to have figured out TLC with their 850 Evo, and Sandisk with the Ultra II. But other than that, I'm waiting for 3D TLC to proliferate. In general it's an awkward time for SSD upgrades, since we are waiting for both 3D TLC and NVMe to spread through the product stack and become affordable. For now, it's mostly SATA SSDs with performance stuck in 2014.
    0