After Toshiba picked up the bankrupt OCZ we have seen OCZ drives move to using Toshiba NAND. With the launch of the Trion 100 though things are a little different. For the first time this is full Toshiba drive that is branded with the OCZ branding. The Trion falls in OCZs product lineup as a budget drive under both the Vertex and Vector drives. The Trion 100 is the first TLC based drive for OCZ, TLC (Triple Level Cell) is similar to MLC but with an additional layer to provide a higher storage density and with that help lower costs as well. So today I’m going to dig into the Trion 100 and find out what makes it tick and then run it through our performance testing to find out how well it performs. Then at the end of the day we will put all of that together along with the price and find out if the Trion 100 is the budget drive for you.
Product Name: OCZ Trion 100 480GB
Review Sample Provided by: OCZ
Written by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Amazon Link: HERE
|Max Read||550 MB/s|
|Max Write||530 MB/s|
|Max Random Read||90,000 IOPS|
|Max Random Write||54,000 IOPS|
|Steady-State Random Write||3,200 IOPS|
|Usable Capacities||120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB|
|NAND Components||Toshiba A19nm Triple-Level Cell (TLC)|
|Interface||Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/s (SATA III)|
|Form Factor||2.5-inch, 7mm height|
|Dimension (L x W x H)||100.00 x 69.85 x 7.00 mm|
|MTBF||1.5 million hours|
|Product Health Monitoring||Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) Support|
|Operating System||Windows / Linux / Mac OSX|
|Power Consumption||Idle: 830mW, Active: 4.8W|
|Operating Temperature||0°C ~ 65°C|
|Storage Temperature||-45°C ~ 85°C|
|Vibration (Operational)||20G (10-2000Hz)|
|Vibration (Non-operational)||20G (10-2000Hz)|
|Certifications||UL C/US, FCC, CE, C-Tick, KCC, BSMI, VCCI, WEEE, CSA|
The packaging for the Trion 100 is basically an inverted copy of the Vector 180 that I took a look at last. OCZ matched the packaging to the silver theme of the drive, just like they did with the Vector 180 and its black top. The front of the box has the Trion 100 logo down in the bottom left corner but it is hardly visible with it being reflective on a grey. Then most of the front is just a photo of the drive itself, we get an OCZ logo here. Then down in the bottom right corner is the 480GB capacity of our sample. I love the simple and to the point design and I can never complain when they actually put the real product photo on the cover.
The back of the box has the product number as well as a serial number down in the bottom right corner. Then from there we have a short (very short) specification list that basically notes the 3-year warranty, the form factor, TRIM support, and the Toshiba TLC NAND used. The rest of the back has a short fluff paragraph and then a note that SSDs are faster and more durable than hard drives, that note is then repeated in every possible language.
Inside the box the drive comes in a clear plastic clamshell tray. This is a little different from OCZ drives in the past where the drive came in foam. They dropped the 2.5 to 3.5 inch adapter for this drive so you just get the drive and then under the tray are the installation instructions and note about returning defective drives directly to OCZ. I should also note that this also doesn’t come with the cloning software that OCZ more expensive drives come with as well.
Photos and Breakdown
For the past few years I’ve really liked the direction OCZ has gone aesthetically and the Trion 100 isn’t any different. They have dropped the squared off plan black drive design and have gone with a look that is quickly recognizable as an OZC drive with a silver casing and rounded corners. The Trion 100 has slightly less rounded corners than the previous drives because it uses a different casing but I will get into that shortly. For styling the top sticker covers almost all of the drive and has the silver background that shows that it is a Trion 100. Beyond that we have the dark and light blue stripes and OCZ logo for the OCZ branding. Then down in the bottom left corner if we look close we can see the Trion 100 branding as well.
The Trion 100, like nearly every drive out now comes in a 2.5 inch form factor and is a thin design to make sure it fits in the thinner Ultrabooks and other devices that require an 8mm or less form factor (the Trion 100 is actually 7mm’s thick). For its data connection the drive has stayed with the SATA form factor, specifically SATA 3. That means the end has the L shaped data connection on the left and the shorter power on the right.
On the bottom of the Trion 100 OCZ has hidden all of the less pretty information on the sticker. Here we have all of the required certification logos as well as information on our specific drive. Here we can see the capacity, model number, and we even have our serial number for any future RMA use.
So earlier I mentioned that the Trion 100’s casing is a little different. Well on the higher end OCZ drives the top half of the drive is basically machined out of aluminum. The Trion 100 is stamped; this helps keep costs down but it did mean that they couldn’t do the higher radius corners. On the bottom of the casing I was able to see something else that was interesting as well. The Trion 100 doesn’t use any screws at all to hold the casing together. I’ve been seeing this a lot more as it makes production a lot easier but I was surprised that OCZ didn’t put a warranty is void if removed sticker at least over the edge somewhere. That said I dug into the drive sticker or not. To get into the drive you just need a small flathead screwdriver to work in each of the 8 clip holes. From there the bottom panel popped right out of the top case. With that apart I found that the PCB is also just snapped into place on the bottom panel as well. So to get it all loose I just worked around the edge and popped it out as well.
With the Trion 100 apart I was finally able to really see what is making the drive tick. The PCB is only about 2/3 of the length of the drive. OCZ went with a blue PCB. The back side of the PCB doesn’t really have much going on but the other side has everything. The biggest thing is the Toshiba's TC58NC processor in the middle of the drive. Toshiba doesn’t really talk too much about this controller but it is very close looking to the Phison S10 quad core controllers that we have seen on other SSD’s. The S10 is actually made in Toshiba factory’s so I can see where the similarities would come from. For the cache the Trion 100 has Nanya DRAM, specifically one NT5CC256M16DP-D1 from what I can tell that is a 256MB cache with the size being different depending on the drive capacity. Then for the NAND the Trion 100 is the first drive to ship with the new Toshiba A19 TLC NAND. The NAND chips have a Toshiba TH58TETOUDKBAEF label on them and have a capacity of 128GB each. This puts the drive up to 512GB but with 447GB visible leaving 65 Gigs buffer.
Test Procedures and Test Bench
|Intel LGA2011 V3 Test System|
|CPU||Intel i7-5960X CPU||Live Pricing|
|Motherboard||MSI X99A MPower||Live Pricing|
Noctua NH-U12S for cooling
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666MHz DDR4 4x4GB||Live Pricing|
|Storage||Kingston HyperX 240GB||Live Pricing|
|Video Card||Nvidia GTX 780||Live Pricing|
|Power Supply||Thermaltake Grand 850W PSU||Live Pricing|
|Case||Dimastech Test Bench||Live Pricing|
|OS||Windows 7 Pro 64-bit||Live Pricing|
|CrystalDiskMark||Sequential read and write speed testing|
|AS SSD||File Copy benchmark using ISO, Program, and Game settings|
|Passmark 8||Advanced Disk Benchmark using the four default tests Database, File Server, Web Server, and Workstation|
|PCMark 8||Default storage benchmark but we use the bandwidth result not the score|
|Anvile’s Storage Utilities||We run the whole SSD benchmark but only use the 4K QD16 IOPS|
|Queue Depth Testing||This uses Anvil’s as well but we run individual tests set to 4k file size at a queue depth from 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and for read speeds 128|
So we know the Trion 100 has a controller that is very similar to the S10 but beyond that we don’t know too much about it. We also know that for NAND they went with new Toshiba TLC NAND. As mentioned earlier TLC is similar to MLC but is able to fit 3 bits per cell due to having third state/level. So in order to put the new NAND and controller to the test I ran the Trion 100 through our standard benchmark suite. This consists of a range of tests that touch on most situations to help us get a better feel for how the drive will perform. To start off the testing I jumped right in with CrystalDiskMark to see sequential write and read speeds. For read speeds the Trion 100 performed extremely well pulling 548.8 MB/s putting it nearly at the top of our charts. The write speeds were a little slower with a few of the Phison S10 drives out performing but the 518.1 MB/s write speeds of the Trion 100 were still very good.
Next I tested the Trion 100 in AS SSD, to avoid too much test overlap I use AS SSD’s file copy benchmark that uses three different file types. The results are the timed copy results with all three combined to help average out the performance differences the different file types. The end result is the Trion being faster than all of the older drives but struggling against the higher end OCZ drives as well as the S10 based drives with MLC.
The next set of tests are similar to the previous test in that I test using four different settings. Only this time each setting simulates a different usage scenario in a business environment using Passmarks advanced storage benchmark. The results are the average transfer speed so the higher the result the better. For the graph I combine all four together to get a peek at what drives might be the best overall drive no matter the situation. So how does the Trion 100 perform? Well It performed better than the MLC based S10 drives in the File Server test helping it pull ahead in the overall numbers. That said the higher end OCZ drives are still faster overall with the exception of the Vector 180 in the Web Server test.
The next benchmark I run is in my opinion the best representation of a real world benchmark that you will find. This is the PCMark 8 Storage Benchmark. I avoid using the scores that PC Mark likes to give out because they don’t really show the difference between drives. I use the overall average bandwidth result that shows the average transfer speed of the drive over the entire course of the benchmarks. This includes the gaps between each test so the numbers look a little slower than what you might expect the drives to do over the full 1-3 hour test, but they do compare very well to each other. So how did the Trion 100 do? Well sadly it fell at the complete bottom of the chart with both the MLC S10 drives and higher end OCZ drives out performing by a big gap.
What about total IOPS? Well for IOPS I test using Anvils Storage Benchmark with a 4k file size and a Queue Depth of 16 on both the read and write tests. Again I combine the results in the graph because I prefer to look at the overall drives performance, great read speeds aren’t anything unless the write performance is good for example. Here The Trion 100 performed very well on the write speeds but fell on its face on the write speeds. I think this is because the benchmark wasn’t able to take advantage of the SLC Caching on the write test, but I will get into that in the next test.
For my last test I stuck with Anvils Storage Benchmark but this time I focused on how well the drive would handle various queue depths across both read and write performance. To do this I doubled the queue depth for each test starting at 1 and moving up to 64 on write testing and 128 on read testing. On the read testing the Trion 100 performed well accelerating faster than the other drives as the queue depths went up until a queue depth of 32 where the OCZ Vector 180 pulled ahead and stayed ahead for the rest of the tests. That said the Trion 100 performed really well here, being the second fastest drive tested in the high queue depths and the fastest drive in the lower queue depths.
For the write performance on the queue depth testing things got a little more interesting. Specifically, I ran into an issue on my first round of testing that I wanted to highlight. The second graph below was my first tests and I was surprised to find that the Trion 100 zig zagged its way through the chart. After looking into it it was determined that as I was doing the tests I was actually testing every other test while the drive was clearing out the SLC Cache. Basically the time between my benchmarks was enough to prompt the drive to clear the catch but not enough time for it to finish. So every other benchmark was actually showing the true write speed of the Trion 100 without its SLC Cache. I was able to confirm this by running the same test over and over and even with the exact same queue depth setting I would see a good performance every other time. I took a little additional time between each benchmark and was able to get our proper graph (the top one) to show that the Trion 100 when using its SLC Cache is very quick on the write speed tests. Of course this is only testing the cache really so in real world testing you will sometimes run into times where the write speed is a little slower as well. That is why I wanted to include both results as I think pretending the retested result is what you will see every time would be a little disingenuous.
Overall and Final Verdict
So as expected being an entry level drive from OCZ, the Trion 100 isn’t exactly a chart topper in most of our tests. I was surprised to see that it did perform well in a few of our tests though. That said it really fell on its face in some of the write speed benchmarks, especially when it comes to write IOPS. I ran into a few the issue with the SLC cache as well that caused other slowdowns. I think this is why the performance numbers in the real world testing were lackluster. That said I felt the Trion 100 did still have an edge with its styling, the rounded corners and OCZ look was still there even though they went with a lower priced casing. The TLC NAND had similar performance to the MLC based drives with the Phison S10, this is most likely because the Toshiba controller that the Trion 100 is using had a LOT of similarities to the S10 as well.
So where does the Trion 100 fit in to everything? Well if you only looked at the MSRP and the performance numbers it might not look like the best drive to pick up. But when spending a little time on Newegg I saw that at least right now the Trion 100 480GB drive that I tested is selling for $139.99 with just the Mushkin Chronos selling any cheaper at that capacity. Lucky for us I have tested that drive as well and with the exception of the PCMark 8 benchmark the Trion 100 outperformed the Chronos by a big margin. This to me makes the Trion 100 a great value focused drive. You aren’t going to get top shelf performance, but when compared to other value drives you are getting a quick drive.
Live Pricing: HERE