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.
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.