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Toshiba HG5D Series SATA M.2 SSD Review (512GB) – Amazing Performance in a SATA M.2 SSD


The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications


The Toshiba HG5D M.2 cSSD Pulled through Vantage testing with a Total Score of 71137 points and a high transfer speed of 431MB/s while testing in Media Center.  This result is very indicative of that 109MB/s low 4K random write performance seen earlier.  Very encouraging is the fact that seven of the eight test results were excellent SATA 3 speeds.

Toshiba 512GB M.2 Vantage

Our Hierarchy chart below lists only M.2 and mSATA form factor SSDs as both are very similar.  The only factor considered for chart placement is the PCMark Vantage Total Score and the Samsung M.2 PCIe SSD is only included to demonstrate the vast difference between SATA and a native PCIe SSD.

Toshiba HG5D M.2 Vantage Chart Highlighted


When we consider the fact that a native M.2 PCIe SSD can provide more than twice the performance of a SATA based M.2, the question that came to mind was why manufacturers wouldn’t simply make the move to native M.2 SSDs completely.  We spoke with a few manufacturers regarding this and the common thread evident in all conversations was the increased power usage that the native M.2 will require in its high transfer speeds, reducing precious battery life.  The fact that SATA wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as well as SATA 3 speeds being more than enough power for the typical user, were also valid points considered.

Toshiba 512GB M.2 SSD Closer2

Although not being a consumer retail SSD, the Toshiba HG5d cSSD is an excellent example of what SATA 3 M.2 SSDs can provide.  It is a low power and high performing M.2 form factor, one that provided one of the top 4K random write results we have seen to date.  The Toshiba 512GB M.2 is a great example of where we have come in the SSD arena and Toshiba’s partnership with Marvell in the development of their SSD controller just may have resulted in one of the best controllers available today, certainly indicative of an upper tier product.


Between Technology X and the SSD Review, we have been fortunate to get our hands on all of the latest Toshiba cSSD form factors, as well as their newest Q Series Pro SSD which earned our Top Value Award. Heck, the Toshiba M.2 SSD has still only been reviewed here and we thank Toshiba for that honor. At the end of the day though, we wanted to put a final grade on the Toshiba cSSD from the perspective of having looked at all three form factors, the M.2, the mSATA and the 2.5″ Toshiba cSSD. With this in mind, we have decided that the Toshiba client family of cSSDs is deserving of our Gold Seal Standard.

TSSDR Gold Seal Opt

UNDERSTANDING SATA M.2 AND NATIVE M.2 PCIE SSDS By now, many are aware that there is a new SSD standard known as NGFF or M.2.  NGFF is actually a slang term that started the process rolling and means 'next generation form factor'.  If you have been following our reviews as of late, you would have also learned that, within the M.2 standard, there are two separate SSD configurations.  On one hand we have SATA M.2 SSDs capable of 6Gbps speeds above 550MB/s while, on the other, native PCIe M.2 SSDs can reach as high as 2GB/s through the use of…

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  • Frank J.

    hmm… too slow. Really M.2(NGFF)’s release?
    It’s likes only swapping SATA6G and PCIe I/O.

  • Eric

    I have to wonder about a few things:

    1. Why is SATA3 still used when SATAexpress (12Gbps) is already here? SATA3 has been around for several years and it’s already showing its age…it’s the reason that SSDs are bottle-necked at around 550MB/s.

    2. Even when SATA3 makes way for SATAexpress, it will be already outdated, as 12Gbps (1.5GB/s) can already be surpassed by high-end SSD, which can reach over 2.5GB/s.

    3. The claim that SATA3 SSD are already fast enough for most consumers is just bullshit.

    In computers, the name of the game is SPEED. Anyone trying to stop/uphold the evolution is only doing consumers a dis-service.

    4. Besides SATA and PCIe, there’s also SAS, which currently tops at 12Gbps (same as SATAexpress). SAS is usually reserved for workstations and servers. Why hasn’t SAS trickled down to consumer PCs? Why have a different standard, if SAS has some advantages over SATA? Is it merely to charge extra for a more “professional” port?

    5. What about that NAND flash that can sit in a RAM slot and have the best & fastest connection with the least latency? It’s faster than SATA3, SATAespress, SAS12 and even faster than PCIe x8.
    For example, Diablo MCS:

    • iCrunch

      What the hell are you talking about? SATA Express is hardly “here”. I’d love for you to show me some laptops that contain SATA Express drives. Yea, didn’t think so.

      And SAS? Really? If SAS was going to make it into mainstream computers, it would have happened AGES ago.

      As for your shot at this article (and site), you will be hard pressed to find another site dedicated to SSDs with as much history as this forum/blog. PCIe is where it’s at, bro-sees.

      • Eric

        SATA express (SATA 3.2) is coming, and I believe will be in consumer machines before the end of this year. My guess is that the only reason for its existence is support for DEV-SLP, which PCIe devices do not support. DEV-SLP is important for laptops where battery life is crucial.

        I love this site, and fully support it. It brings very interesting information, which is not usually found anywhere else.

        My wish was simply that manufacturers switch to PCIe 3.0 x4 (or even x8) to enable the full potential of SSDs. The SATA standard is simply getting in the way.
        Manufacturers will need to find a solution to bring PCIe power consumption down.

        It could be that SATA express storage will be used mainly on battery-powered devices, and PCIe 3.0 storage will be used mainly on desktops where more performance is more important than saving power.

      • Antey

        1. SSD are already too fast for current Operating Systems, which still have many depdendencies on timing hard-coded somewhere. Bottleneck is 1. OS 2. Drivers 3. Applications 4. “Protein Interface” i.e. human
        2. SSD are already sacrificing most important characteristic – RELIABILITY and DURABILITY chasing still unnecessary performance.

      • dhj

        “… chasing still unnecessary performance.”

        Awwww. Eric, that’s so cute. Did you just get your first leapfrog computer? Well, at least you haven’t upgraded to SSD yet. That goes right up there with: “640k memory should be enough for anyone.” Only you actually said it — after it was outdated! I hope you realize that the most constrictive bottleneck in data transfer rates has been the hard drive for a looooong time. That’s why starting a program used to take 20 seconds instead of 2 and why booting used to take 60 seconds instead of 6. Now run along and go upgrade your computer with a new SSD drive. You will swear you bought a new computer… from the future!

      • dhj

        My bad… Antey, Not Eric. Very sorry for the mixup, Eric.

  • iCrunch

    The last slide is interesting for me in particular, because check out that Plextor M5M beating out everything but the XP941 (no surprise there). When I sold my maxed-out Mac mini, so I could afford my new BTO iMac with PCIe SSD, I was forced to use another mini in the meantime while waiting for its arrival, but I had sold my 250GB 2.5″ Samsung 840 EVO SSD along with it.

    Luckily, I had already ordered and received an mSATA-to-2.5″ SATA converter, so I took out my 128GB Plextor M5M that I had purchased for caching purposes in my Drobo 5D, and put it in the Mac mini. I was BLOWN AWAY! It has a Marvell controller, so the performance difference between the 128GB and 256GB capacities is quite negligible, but this tiny little mSATA SSD beats out the Samsung 840 EVO, the Intel 520 Series, the OWC Extreme and every SSD that I’ve owned prior. I can’t wait to see how much faster the XP941 in the new iMac is as compared to the amazing performance of the Plextor M5M series. I just wanted to mention it, because I really didn’t expect that!

    P.S.: Plextor is coming out with its next-gen. M6 series shortly, so I would only buy an M5 series variant, if you can find a crazy awesome deal for it. 😉

  • Mike


    Where can you buy this? RamCity doesn’t have it :/

    • Hi Mike,

      Unfortunately I am not aware of anywhere for retail sales. RAMCity would have been my best guess as well. It is a M.2 client (non-retail) SSD.

      • Mike

        This is pretty much the best SSD for a Samsung Ativ Book 9 940X3G eh?

        It is a SATA M.2 looking @:

      • Yup…it seems to be a SATA M.2. Availability is the next issue. At retail, I have ONLY seen Intel M.2 SSDs listed on Amazon and Newegg in very small amounts. I might ask RAMCity if they can get you ANY SATA M.2. What exactly are you looking for, simply a larger capacity?

      • Mike

        512GB and the fastest possible .. whatever options then can provide would be great… I’m sure all SATA M.2 owners would be interested

      • This is actually a bit amusing because, when mSATA first came out, i was the first to tell manufacturers to get it out to the retaiul market. Most declined and stated that there was no need for M.2 just yet, failing to think about the millions of Lenovo notebooks that contained them. The result was a vry large shortage of demand where, just like now, you have to keep your eyes open for wherever they pop up fast. I have been watching the 80 and 300GB Intel M.2 530 on Amazon and newegg for a few days and they are gone fast!

        I will keep an ear open Mike!

      • Mike

        When my AB9+ arrives soon its 256GB… so I would need a 512GB to make it worth while… now doing a clone from one to the other is going to be interesting, how to do it

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