Toshiba Q Series Pro SSD Review (256GB) – Toshiba Pushes The SSD Price Bar Even Lower

The importance of Toshiba in the flash industry cannot be overstated.  Toshiba is not only one of the world’s largest flash suppliers, but also, they are often recognized as the prime choice when SSD manufacturers are making quality SSDs.  Some SSD manufacturers refuse to use anything nut Toshiba NAND flash memory in their SSDs. So where has Toshiba been as a SSD manufacturer?  It is no secret that Toshiba was late from the gate in the SSD race right off, but really, why has Toshiba taken so long to mature with respect to both client and consumer SSDs?

Toshiba THNSN EarlyToshiba THNSN SSD With Toshiba ControllerEarly Model Toshiba THNSN SSD With Proprietary Toshiba Controller (196/49MB/s R/W)

The answer to this is relatively simple and comes down to something as simple as the SSD controller; they weren’t really comfortable with their market positioning with respect to controller performance.  For that reason, Toshiba sat back for some time until their partnership with Marvell enabled the two to work hand in hand in building a solid contender.  This was recently shown in their updated THNSN releases where we reviewed and published reports on client 512GB capacities of their updated THNSN mSATA and newest M.2 SSDs ; this documenting their progress and success with a controller based on Marvell hardware and Toshiba engineering expertise. It is, in fact, the first Marvell controller release void of any requirement for a DRAM cache which demonstrates the vital role that Toshiba has played in this relationship.

Toshiba-Goods

TOSHIBA Q SERIES PRO SSD

For the most part, the Toshiba Q Series Pro SSD we are reviewing today is the same as both the mSATA and M.2 client versions we have linked above, except of course this is the consumer retail version and is 256GB vice 512GB.  Specifications and exterior packaging list performance at 554MB/s read and 512MB/s write with a three-year warranty included.  The exterior packaging is well laid out and clearly states compatibility with all Windows versions, including Windows 8.

Toshiba Q Pro SSD Exterior FrontToshiba Q Pro SSD Exterior Back

The Toshiba website lists immediate availability of the Q Series Pro and pricing on their website is $159.99 (128GB), $309.99 (256GB), and $739.99 (512GB). BEFORE YOU JUMP to buy one of these babies at the Toshiba’s own website, you might be wise to check out this link to Toshiba’s own Amazon store  that has better pricing at $94 (128GB), $169.99 (256GB) and $399.99 (512GB).  These prices are presently the best prices found on Amazon for regular retail SSD pricing.

Toshiba Q Pro SSD AngledToshiba Q Pro SSD Back

A first look at the Toshiba Q Series Pro SSD identifies a very simple 7mm aluminum design with a very nondescript front branding sticker.  Packaging includes a rubber gasket for older systems requiring the 9mm width and includes installation instructions which identifies a link to FREE migration that we didn’t see on the exterior packaging.

Toshiba Q Pro SSD Insulation

Initial disassembly of the Q Series Pro revealed that all memory modules, as well, as the controller, contain a rubber padding that provides for heat dissipation as well as shock resistance.  The frame opens by way of removal of the four screws on the front of the SSD, however, any damage to the ‘VOID’ security tape will immediately void the SSDs warranty.

Toshiba Q Pro SSD PCB Front 2

The Q Series Pro PCB contains the Toshiba TC358790XBG controller along with eight modules of Toshiba 19nm MLC Toggle 2.0 NAND flash memory, all on the one side of the PCB.  This controller matches the same physical size as the Marvell labelled controllers of the previously reviewed client SSDs that we have in the shop, however, the product number doesn’t match and the numbering goes back to traditional Toshiba product numbering that one might see on completely proprietary Toshiba components.  We expect this to still be the same controller as the client products and we are awaiting clarification from Toshiba; this report to be updated only if this is a new and unannounced Toshiba controller.

Toshiba Q Pro SSD PCB Memory

Each module of memory is 32GB in capacity for a RAW total of 256GB.  Once formatted, the total available storage available to the consumer is reduced to 238GB.

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jennmahmoud samiLuiz Rogério de Carvalho NetoLes@TheSSDReviewremi durand Recent comment authors
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jp1wc1
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jp1wc1

what is the m.t.t.f./m.t.b.f.? what is the total drive writes per day and t.b.w.? does the controller have encryption implemented?

Les@TheSSDReview
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The information provided is all that is available from Toshiba. There is no data sheet available and very little information in the consumer specs we linked.

tygrus
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tygrus

Are you able to add a mixed Read/write test to your standard tests eg. copy folder of files from SSD to same SSD; read-modify-write data; or simultaneous runs of random read and random write. This is a worst case scenario.

Benjamin
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Benjamin

I’m amazed how were they able to put out such a good drive without DRAM cache 🙂

Dom54
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Dom54

les any chance this may be the BF3 controller licensed from ocz?

Les@TheSSDReview
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You know thats an excellent thought but would also mean that Toshiba and OCZ would have been in talks for much longer than originally believed.

Dom54
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Dom54

it is just interesting that toshiba has not disclosed their controller for over a month now… why the wait? also note the huge volatility in ocz’s SP the past 4 days… looks like back and forth between the two companies. also note, OCZ Vector 150 has Toshiba’s 19nm NAND. looks like some kind of deal was struck and ocz had an injection in cash recently especially to enter a supply agreement of NAND.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Come work for us! Your points are VERY intriguing and the move to Toshiba memory surely plays some part in the mystery.

Dom54
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Dom54

haha, ok, where do I sign up? just my DD from following OCZ and FIO for 3 years… (and losing a fortune on OCZ due to the RP mess!) my e-mail is domino54@yahoo.com

remi durand
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remi durand

I’m in the boat too (FIO / OCZ )
I’m really curious also about this “strange” controller … and now that the VECTOR 150 is out … with TOSHIBA memory ??? is there something real there ??

Les@TheSSDReview
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Just our speaking out loud on this one and that may in fact be the same controller…with a diff prod number, branding, firmware and performance.

Dom54
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Dom54

Now that I think about it… If it’s marvel silicon it may be Everest 2.

Dom54
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Dom54

les, here are my thoughts on ocz (btw) i e-mailed you back but the email address you supplied bounced back (don’t know why): i’ll try to do this in chronological order: 1-ocz stated in their latest CC of a large OEM arrangement for its client side. 2-toshiba announces Qseries SSD’s and does not disclose controller used, huh? why not? 3-There’s been ongoing rumors regarding toshiba BO of the entire company or portion (consumer) for a range of 50-100M. 4-ocz tanked from the 1.30 level to .40s in a matter of days w/no word from Mgmt 5-ocz has halloween party and… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
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Well thought out but th e-mail should work…

JakeLee
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JakeLee

So what’s your opinion, is this drive a better buy over the Samsung Evo series, comparing 2.5″ drive models, 128GB. I can’t find access time numbers for the Q Pro drive.