Skip to main content

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.

Conclusion

Over the last year, we've tested a number of low-cost, entry-level SSDs. A few premium SSDs were also released during that time, most of them NVMe-based. A majority of today's launches target value hunters looking for low-cost solid-state storage, though.

To drive prices down, Micron, SK hynix and Toshiba invested in triple-level cell flash before a vertical NAND base was available. And that's why Samsung has the colossal advantage it's been swinging around. Everyone else is still playing catch-up. This includes OCZ, which must play the cards it was dealt now that it's a Toshiba brand.

To be fair, that fact alone doesn't really matter. None of the flash from Micron or SK hynix could help put Toshiba's controller on the same level as Samsung's 850 EVO. All of those companies must step up with a 3D rival for V-NAND.

Selling the 480GB Trion 150 at its current price is going to be difficult, especially since there are still drives out there with MLC flash. OCZ's own ARC 100 with MLC is available on Newegg for the same price as the Trion 150. That's a much better option. But the more compelling competition isn't even in OCZ's portfolio. Aggressive pricing from smaller manufacturers like Zotac is keeping MLC alive at affordable price points.

The Trion 150, along with OCZ's other SSDs, has some nice features that provide extra value. Its SSD Guru software is one of the nicest utilities out there. The ShieldPlus warranty is also a great value-add should you need to return your drive for service. Otherwise, the Trion 150 doesn't include the generous accessory package that helped make OCZ a big player in the SSD game. Those missing extras and uninspiring pricing turned the company into just another name in the SSD business.

MORE: Best SSDs For The Money 
MORE: Latest Storage News 
MORE: Storage in the Forums
 

Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. 

Follow Tom's Hardware on TwitterFacebook  and Google+.

  • 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
    Reply
  • zhunt99
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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....

    Reply
  • alidan
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • jrharbort
    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.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    17699394 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.
    Reply