512GB SSD Performance
The TR200 480GB should be more competitive than the larger 1TB model. All three TR200 SSDs use the same controller, so they have the same amount of SRAM. Toshiba doesn't disclose how much embedded memory is inside the controller, but SRAM is expensive and consumes valuable die area. You can think of it like L1 cache on CPUs -- a little bit goes a long way.
The TR200 480GB costs just $10 less than the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB, which has established itself as the performance standard that all SATA SSDs are compared to. We added the 850 EVO, Crucial BX300, Intel 540s, and the MX300 for this series of tests. All these drives feature 3D NAND flash. The Mushkin Triactor, Sk Hynix SL308 and OCZ (Toshiba) Trion 150 also made the list.
The Trion 150 went through a couple of rebrands. You can find it listed online as the TR150 under both the OCZ and Toshiba brands. The new Toshiba TR200 is the successor to the Trion 150.
Sequential Read Performance
The TR200 480GB provides nearly the same sequential read performance as the larger 960GB model, but the comparison products have lost a little speed. That makes the TR200 480GB appear a bit faster. Sequential read performance isn't what ails this series.
Sequential Write Performance
The TR200 480GB delivers around 100 MB/s less sequential write performance than the model twice its size. If we write compressible data to the drive, and to clean flash, it delivers a large performance increase. But most of your sequential transfers consist of data that is already compressed.
Random Read Performance
In relation to the comparison drives, the TR200 480GB looks good for an entry-level SSD. The drive delivers around 1,400 IOPS more performance at QD1 than the model it replaces.
Random Write Performance
Random performance is still a problem with the TR200. We've had this problem with most of the DRAMless products we've tested over the last three years. We hoped the introduction of 3D flash would fix the random write hole, but it hasn't.
80% Mixed Sequential Workload
The TR200 480GB didn't get faster at mixed workloads than the 960 GB model, but the other drives also lose performance in this capacity. The TR200 is in the mix (so to speak), but it's still on the lower end of the performance scale.
80% Mixed Random Workload
The mixed random test shows that the 20% write workload reduces overall performance. If Toshiba priced the TR200 like a true entry-level SSD this level of performance wouldn't be that big of a deal, but what you get for your dollar is out of balance.
None of the entry-level and mainstream drives in the charts were designed for strenuous workstation-class workloads. We still like to run the drives through this test to look for a standout that may cross over. This test also measures performance when the drives are nearly full of data, which hampers SSD performance.
Like the higher capacity TR200, the 480GB model skims the bottom of the charts with low random IOPS performance under steady-state conditions. These are worst-case scenario random numbers, but they tell a pretty damning story about the TR200 under these conditions.
PCMark 8 Real-World Software Performance
For details on our real-world software performance testing, please click here.
The 480GB TR200 drive catches up to the comparison drives and even outperforms a few of the other products in some tests.
Application Storage Bandwidth
The average results provide a condensed view of performance. The new TR200 with BiCS NAND is slower than the product it replaces in the Toshiba line up.
PCMark 8 Advanced Workload Performance
To learn how we test advanced workload performance, please click here.
The PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test is widely regarded as the best way to measure long-term performance. Entry-level products are considered light-use devices, and we measure their performance during the recovery phases of the test. The TR200 does recover some of its lost performance, but it is well off the pace of the other products.
Total Service Time
The service time results show that the TR200 simply needs more time to complete the workloads than the other products.
Disk Busy Time
The disk busy time result shows how long each drive is active. This removes any CPU processing time associated with loading the data.
The Toshiba TR200 480GB delivers the least responsive user experience of all the drives tested in this capacity class. The mid-capacity model is more efficient than the largest capacity, but it still consumes quite a bit of power.
Notebook Battery Life
We already explained the power consumption issues that plague DRAMless SSDs. The mid-capacity drive performs quite a bit better than the 960GB in our test with a Lenovo Y700-17, but it still trails many of the popular SSDs on the market.
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