Toshiba has announced an array of products
featuring various flavors of its 64-layer BiCS 3D Flash memory. We previously took a look at the speedy Toshiba XG5 NVMe M.2 SSD
, and found it to be a capable performer. Today, however, Toshiba takes its 64-layer BiCS
3D Flash technology in another direction with the brand-new TR200 series SATA solid state drives we’ll be showing you here.
The Toshiba TR200 series SSDs are built around 64-Layer 3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) BiCS
Flash, but use the legacy SATA interface and target budget-conscious do-it-yourselfers. Toshiba’s BiCS Flash memory employs a three-dimensional (3D) stacked cell structure that is designed for high density applications, but it also offers higher endurance than typical 3D NAND Flash memory, and is also low power, which is why a number of industry players are now leveraging the technology. BiCS 3D Flash memory is capable of higher performance as well, in certain configurations. Maximum performance isn’t what these drives are about, though.
The TR200’s main features and specification and where they fit in Toshiba’s
current SSD line-up, are outlined in the table below. Take a gander and then we’ll dive a little deeper on the pages ahead...
Toshiba TR200 SATA SSDs
Specifications & Features
We should mention that from this point forward, SSDs released to retail will ship under the Toshiba brand name, while OCZ-branded drives will only be a sub-series of products. So, while the TR200 has the look of an OCZ SSD
, there is no OCZ
branding on these drives.
Toshiba TR200 series drives feature textured aluminum housings, similar to previous-gen mainstream offerings, though they're not quite as rigid or heavy as some older OCZ drives. The enclosures snap together at multiple points, and there are slots inside that secure the PCB in place. Sticky thermal pads on the controllers add a bit of cushion and help keep things cool and in place as well. Even if you pull the bottom plate off of a TR200 drive, the PCB remains secure in its slots, though they can be removed with a bit of force.
All of the drives in Toshiba
TR200 series are standard 2.5” / 7mm form factor offerings, similar to virtually all of today’s SATA-based SSDs. The enclosures are all metal (top and bottom) and there are no stand-out external features to speak off, other than a dimpled texture pattern, their decals / branding, and the SATA power and data connectors at one end. You can say just about the same things about the vast majority of SATA SSDs on the market, that is of course unless some manufacturer decides to RGB
light the things (wait for it).
Crack open a Toshiba TR200 and you’ll find third-generation, 64-Layer 3-bit-per-cell TLC BiCS 3D Flash
memory (based 15nm floating gate technology) and a small Toshiba controller (under the thermal pad). Details are scarce on the Toshiba controller though, so we don’t have much to share in that regard. However, it is the same controller used in the TL100 series. Astute readers may notice that there’s no DRAM in these drives. The architecture is such that DRAM isn’t required, which reduces costs and power. That said, some performance is sacrificed as well.
The Toshiba TR200 series drives are all rated for max read speeds of up to 550MB/s, with up to 525MB/s writes, or essentially the top end of the SATA interface. All of the drives support TRIM and idle garbage collection, as you would expect, but endurance ratings differ based on capacity, ranging from 60TBW on the 240GB drive on up to 240TBW on the 960GB drive. Active power is a relatively low 1.6W on these drives, and when in DEVSLP mode, power consumption is only up to 10mW.
Toshiba offers a standard 3 year warranty on these SSDs and physically bundles them only with some basic documentation. The TR200 series, however, is compatible with the latest version of Toshiba / OCZ’s excellent SSD Utility, seen above.