Toshiba's $7000+ 400 GB SSD: SAS 6Gb/s, SLC Flash, And Big Endurance

Test Setup And Benchmarks

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Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.1 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3
MemoryKingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System DriveOCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s
Tested DrivesIntel SSD 710 200 GB SATA 3Gb/s, Firmware: -
Row 5 - Cell 0 Intel SSD 320 300 GB SATA 3Gb/s, Firmware: -
Row 6 - Cell 0 Intel SSD 520 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: -
Row 7 - Cell 0 Toshiba MK4001GRZB 200 GB SAS 6Gb/s, Firmware: -SAS Controller: LSI SAS 9211-8i
GraphicsPalit GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
Power SupplySeasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS Gold
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriverGraphics: Nvidia 270.61 RST: Virtu: 1.1.101
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Iometer 1.1.0# Workers = 4, 4 KB Random: LBA= Full Span varying QDs, 128 KB & 2 MB Sequential
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Enterprise Testing: Iometer WorkloadsReadRandomTransfer Size
Database67%100%8 KB - 100%
File server80%100%512 Bytes – 10%1 KB – 5%2 KB – 5%4 KB – 60%8 KB – 2%16 KB – 4%32 KB – 4%64 KB – 10%
Web server100%100%512 Bytes – 22%1 KB – 15%2 KB – 8%4 KB – 23%8 KB – 15%16 KB – 2%32 KB - 6%64 KB – 7%128 KB – 1%512 KB – 1%

We used LSI's SAS 9211-8i HBA for testing Toshiba's drive. Without it, we wouldn't have been able to generate the long-term endurance numbers for SLC NAND. We do have other SAS cards in the lab, but they're hardware-assisted RAID controllers, which usually means SMART monitoring is disabled when drives are accessed individually. In addition, Toshiba and others recommend an LSI-based solution for the purposes of benchmarking, as that's most common to enterprise environments.

  • compton
    Good job, Mr. Ku.

    Perhaps the Enterprise SSD Fairy will bring you a Hitatchi UltraStar with Intel's 6gbps controller. I'd be eager to see how it compares.

    There is no substitute for SLC though.
  • nebun
    $7000 any company willing to pay this much for an SSD is fullish
  • bennaye
    nebun$7000 any company willing to pay this much for an SSD is fullish
    ...fullish of cash? Definitely. Foolish? Probably not.
  • nebun
    bennaye...fullish of cash? Definitely. Foolish? Probably not.damn the english language.....there are way to many words that sound alike
  • confish21
    How is this $7000 drive profitable over it's competition again?
  • nitrium
    Why is the 4KB Random read/write performance shown as IOPS, but 128KB and 2MB performance is in MB/sec? What speed (in MB/sec) does this drive achieve in 4KB? I guess I could calculate it from (IOPS * 4KB) / 1024 (I think that's right), but why should I have to?
  • spazoid
    amdfreakIt is too expensive for the performance it offers. You can get a RAID array of many Intel SSDs beating Toshiba in every segment.
    You've clearly not understood the purpose of this article. Stick to commenting the desktop drive reviews in the future, please.

    Thank you for this review, and especially your estimations on the endurance of the drive. It's something that's damn near impossible for us IT professionals to get accurate estimations of in the real world. For some reason, bosses tend to want the expensive hardware to be put to use instead of being thoroughly tested.

    More of these types of articles please! :]
  • @spazoid, so you are telling me that you are willing to pay 10x for an endurance of 3x over the INTEL 520 SSD?
    Even when the INTEL SSD already has an endurance longer than your refresh cycle for your tech stack?
  • EJ257
    frozonicLOL, i can just imagine myself in ten years telling my kids that we had to pay 7000$ for a 400gb that time we are gonna have 400+ TB ssds
    "Back in my days storage drives used to have moving parts. Now its all solid state."
  • jaquith
    I own a small data center and thankfully have access to a 'major' financial institutions test data, and I agree with your conclusions especially regarding deployment into production. $7K SSD is a tough call with a 5-year, but if it were 7~10-year then probably an easy call.

    Unlike super-sized enterprise which I am not, the cost/benefit calculations would be difficult for myself. I know firsthand the money that i.e. financial institutions push into their data centers, and for those folks $7K isn't out of the question.

    Interesting SSD and if the prices come down and warranty extended then IMO it would be something to consider and compare against Intel's products.