HD Tune is a Hard Disk Utility with many functions from error checking, health testing (S.M.A.R.T.), and of course benchmarking. To build upon our real world write test we also looked to see where the write speeds leveled off to by using HD Tune Pro. If SLC caching is being utilized, this test will typically show it.
In HDTune we got a surprising result. With the full test running, the write speed showed to be much higher than when we tested with our real-world transfers. With results hovering around 475-500MB/s here we can only conclude that the controller/firmware recognized a pattern with this test and fed it false results based on what was most likely fully compressible data. We have seen in the past other controllers show artificially high results with fully compressible data as well and believe this result is no different.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
In today’s review the Toshiba OCZ TL100 reached its specified performance figures as promised. In ATTO it hit reached over 560MB/s read and 545MB/s write. In terms of IOPS it hit 95K read and the 240GB model even hit 109K write! Looking more closely at 4K QD1 performance, a very important metric in an SSDs performance, we noted very high read results in CDM and AS SSD and average write results. This, however, was not enough to give it a lead in our trace based benchmark tests using PCMark. In PCMark 8 the TL100 was simply the lowest performing SSD. On the other hand, it still out performs hard drives by magnitudes.
Moving onto our own file transfers, the TL100s didn’t do too well. With its small SLC cache and slow write base performance, its results show it to be slower than almost every drive we have tested. This didn’t give it that great of an efficiency score either. Although its average power consumption was around 1.2-1.3W during the transfer, the length of time to actually move the files over offset its lower power consumption and it delivered an average result for a TLC based SSD. Even when looking at idle power consumption there is room for improvement. Many SSDs at idle will consume under 100mW, the TL100 on the other hand gulps down power in comparison at nearly 400mW. So, it isn’t the best choice if you are looking to save battery life in your mobile device.
Finally, we tested it with HD Tune to see if we could show you, our readers, its base write performance, but the controller/firmware seemed to have found a recognized pattern with the test and the result was simply over 475MB/s, which does not go in line with what we saw during our 30GB transfer test where performance dropped to 70MB/s or so after a few seconds.
The Toshiba OCZ TL100 is an interesting drive with its DRAM-less design and use of 15nm TLC, but in light of today’s performance results, the TL100 is the lowest performing SSD we have tested. This is in great contrast to their OCZ VX500, which is a great performing and top value product that features a similar DRAM-less architecture. The VX500 is much more competitive in its market segment. It has been tweaked to consume less power at idle, deliver much better write performance, and overall it has much higher endurance, albeit, it has MLC NAND rather than TLC.
The use of TLC NAND and lack of DRAM should drive the cost down and help give it a slight advantage in the market, however, at the current prices, is the savings really being passed down? With street prices of $50/$70, no advantage is had. You can find many alternatives that perform a bit better for the same cost or just a few $ more. The MX300 at 275GB capacity or PNY CS1311 are both better buys than the TL100 240GB and if you are looking for a 120GB capacity SSD the Kingston UV400 or ADATA Premier SP550 both better options in terms of price as your bottom of the barrel pick. Even the Trion 150/TR150 are better buys until they are phased out over the next few months so that there is no overlap in product lines/capacities. (Keep in mind, these are just examples from a quick look on Amazon at the time of publication and the market is always changing.) Like we said before, the battle to the bottom is intense and cut throat. Typically, the cheapest SSD wins the battle and the one that is the cheapest and best performing wins the war. The TL100 needs a slight drop in price to be a contestant in this battle, especially with its lower performance compared to much of the competition.
With this said, at the end of the day the TL100 is still an SSD, and as such, it still destroys HDDs, especially as a boot drive. Sure, it isn’t the fastest, it isn’t the cheapest, but there is hope for the future for this little guy. With the Winter holiday’s coming up, and especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming in the next few weeks, Toshiba will be monitoring the market and surely want to undercut the competition. If you are looking for something to speed up your system and don’t want to spend a lot of cash, the TL100 is an option that may just be more appealing once sales and price cuts start going on. So, if you are interested in this drive, be sure to be on the lookout and don’t miss your chance to grab a deal on it when one pops up!