Model: OCZ Trion 100 480GB Solid State Drive
Manufacturer: OCZ Storage Solutions
Provided By: OCZ Storage Solutions
OCZ Storage Solutions is no stranger to the computer industry. Founded by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, the company entered the memory market in 2002. Determined to manufacture the very best memory for overclockers, OCZ quickly established itself as a leader in the industry by breaking speed barriers and maintaining a reputation of quality. Today, OCZ is fully committed to the solid-state storage market. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba, the company offers a variety of high-performance SSD solutions for the enterprise and consumer markets.
At this year's Computex show, OCZ unveiled its first TLC NAND-based SSD, the Trion 100. Designed to deliver a superior balance of performance, reliability, endurance and value, the Trion 100 provides an easy and affordable way for entry-level users to enhance their mobile or desktop systems. Powered by Toshiba's TC58 controller and available with up to 960GB of the company's A19 TLC NAND flash, the drive is capable of 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write speeds for faster boot ups, file transfers, and system responsiveness. The Trion 100 is also optimized for lower energy consumption which translates into longer battery life to keep you up and running longer.
The Trion 100 is available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960TB capacities. For this review, OCZ sent us the 480GB version of the drive which is capable of delivering up to 550 MB/s sequential read and 530 MB/s sequential write speeds as well as up to 90,000 random read and 54,000 random write IOPS.
|OCZ Trion 100 480GB Solid State Drive|
Dimensions and Weight
Needless to say, this is only a taste of what the Trion 100 has to offer. To give you an idea of what to expect, we'll take a closer look at OCZ's new SSD and then see how well it performs. Does the Trion 100 have what it takes? More importantly, is it the best bang for your buck? Keep reading as we find out.
The Trion 100 comes in a small, off-white box. While there aren't a lot of details on the front, the back of the box advertises many of the drive's key features including its SATA 6Gbps interface, 2.5" ultra-slim form factor, Toshiba TLC NAND flash memory and a 3-year warranty.
OCZ doesn't include a lot of extras with the Trion 100. Along with the SSD, the box contains a small drive installation manual with instructions for both desktop and notebook computers as well as a sheet of paper with information on how to reach OCZ's tech support.
The Trion 100's construction is very different from OCZ's other 2.5-inch SSDs. Instead of aluminum, the outer casing is made out of a metal alloy that is thinner, lighter weight and probably cheaper to manufacture. Also, similar to Crucial's new SSDs, the Trion 100 is held together using clips, rather than screws.
The Trion 100 is the first SSD to use Toshiba's TC58 (TC58NC1000GSB-00) controller chip. At the moment, very little is known about this controller. However, considering its size and the way it is positioned on the PCB, the TC58 has more than a passing resemblance to the Phison S10.
For the 480GB Vector 180, OCZ opted to use Toshiba's A19nm TH58TETOUDKBAEF TLC NAND flash modules. Looking at the pictures above, you can see that there are four of these 128GB NAND flash packages on the top of the PCB. The drive also has a single 256MB NANYA NT5CC256M16DP-DI DDR3L SDRAM memory chip that is used for caching and garbage collection.
The test system used in this review was an HP 8200 Elite. The computer came equipped with an Intel Core i5-2400 CPU, 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory, Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3250312AS 250GB SATA 6 Gb/s hard drive, NVIDIA Quadro FX580 512MB PCIe graphics card and an Intel 82579-LM gigabit network card. For the operating system, I installed a fresh copy of Windows 8.1 Enterprise.
To test the performance of OCZ's Trion 100 SSD, I ran a series of benchmarks using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1, HD Tach RW 188.8.131.52, ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46, AS SSD, HD Tune Pro 5.00, Anvil's Storage Utilities, Iometer and PCMark 8. For comparison, I've also included test results from the Kingston HyperX Savage, Crucial MX200, OCZ Vector 180, Kingston BX100, Samsung 850 EVO M.2, Samsung 850 EVO mSATA, AMD Radeon R7, Silicon Power Slim S80, Samsung SSD 850 EVO, OCZ ARC 100, SanDisk Ultra II, Kingston MX100, SanDisk Extreme Pro, Samsung SSD 850 PRO, Plextor PX-256M6S, Toshiba Q Series Pro, Plextor PX-256M6M, Samsung SSD 840 EVO mSATA, OCZ Vector 150, OCZ Vertex 450, Silicon Power Slim S55, Samsung SSD 840 EVO, Seagate 600 SSD, SanDisk Extreme II, OCZ Vector, Plextor PX-256M5Pro Xtreme, and Samsung SSD 840 Pro.
As I mentioned earlier, the Trion 100 is based on Toshiba's TC58 controller chip. Looking at the screenshot above, you can see that it performs equally well with both incompressible (0%) and compressible (100%) data.
First, I ran a few quick tests using CrystalDiskMark. This benchmark tool measures the performance of a storage device by testing its sequential read and write speeds as well as its random read and write speeds using blocks 512K and 4K in size.
According to OCZ, the 480GB Trion 100 is capable of reading at 550 MB/s and writing at 530 MB/s when connected to a SATA 6 Gb/s port. While the drive performed well, it came up a bit short of these numbers in CrystalDiskMark's sequential read and write speed tests.
The Trion 100 performed equally well when using highly compressible 0x00 (0 Fill) data. This time around, the drive was able to read at 515.9 MB/s and write at 486.4 MB/s.
HD Tach RW 184.108.40.206:
Next, I used HD Tach to test the Trion 100's read, write and burst speeds as well as its seek times and CPU usage.
Looking at the screenshot above, you can see that the Trion 100 had average read and write speeds of 366.6 MB/s and 136.6 MB/s respectively, as well as a burst speed of 349.7 MB/s. The screenshot also shows that, like most other TLC-based SSDs, the Trion 100 uses some sort of SLC caching. The drive starts writing at about 340 MB/s and then drops to about 140 MB/s when the write operation exceeds the size of the cache.
ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46:
I also used ATTO Disk Benchmark to test the Trion 100's sequential read and write speeds. The tests are run using blocks ranging in size from 0.5KB to 8192KB and the total length set to 256MB.
When tested with ATTO, the Trion 100's read speeds topped out at about 564 MB/s and its write speeds at 538 MB/s.
AS SSD is a relatively new benchmark designed specifically for solid state drives. The application contains five synthetic tests used to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of a drive.
AS SSD also includes a copy benchmark. This test copies an ISO (two large files), program (many small files) and game (small and large files), returning the speed and duration of each.
HD Tune Pro 5.00:
Next, I ran a series of tests using HD Tune Pro. This hard disk utility measures a drive's performance by testing its sequential read and write speeds as well as its access time, burst rate and CPU usage. For this review, I'm also going to use it to benchmark the Trion 100's random read and write speeds, random access times and the number of operations per second.
The Trion 100 performed relatively well when benchmarked with HD Tune. The drive had average read and write speeds of 497.4 MB/s and 141.3 MB/s, respectively, and a burst rate of 116.7 MB/s when reading.
When writing 4KB blocks, the Trion 100 reached 14,135 IOPS and had an average speed of 55.216 MB/s. The drive was even faster when writing, reaching 16,741 IOPS with an average speed of 65.396 MB/s.
Anvil's Storage Utilities:
Anvil's Storage Utilities is another new benchmark designed with SSDs in mind. The standard storage benchmark measures a drive's performance by testing its transfer speeds, access times and IOPS.
Lastly, I ran a series of tests using Iometer. This tool can be configured to benchmark a number of things. In this case, I used it to measure the Trion 100's read and write speeds and the number of operations per second. The tests were run using random bytes and a queue depth of 3.
The Trion 100's performance was hit and miss when tested with Iometer. While the drive was able to read at a respectable 537.28 MB/s, its sequential write speed averaged out at only 208.14 MB/s.
The Trion 100 wasn't one of the faster drives we've tested when it came to random reads and writes. In our tests, the drive was able to read at 123.5 MB/s and write at 118.21 MB/s.
According to OCZ, the 480GB Trion 100 is capable of 90,000 IOPS when reading and 54,000 IOPS when writing 4K blocks. In our tests, the drive reached 31,616 random read IOPS and 30,262 random write IOPS. Increasing the queue depth had little impact on the Trion 100's random write performance. However, with the queue depth set to 32, the drive was able to reach 82,626 random read IOPS.
Vantage PCMark 8 - Storage Test:
PCMark 8 is a complete benchmark for Windows. It includes five benchmark tests, each designed around a specific scenario. The storage benchmark measures drive performance using real-world traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games.
PCMark 8 also includes a consistency test which measures the performance consistency and degradation tendency of a storage system. The test reports the performance level at the start, the degraded steady-state and the recovered state as well as the number of iterations required to reach them. For this test, we are focusing on the Adobe Photoshop (Heavy) trace and will look at both the bandwidth and latency of the drive
The Trion 100 didn't do as well as some of the other drives in this test. Like the Samsung EVO and Crucial MX200, its bandwidth dropped below 100 MB/s during the degradation and steady phases. The Trion 100's performance increased some during the recovery phase. However, it came up short of the other drives, topping out at 183 MB/s.
While SSD's offer many benefits, there are some downsides to using flash memory. One of the biggest issues people run into is performance degradation. Over time, an SSD will run out of fresh blocks and will have to write over data the file system has marked as deleted. This procedure is very complicated and can slow an SSD's write speeds considerably.
To fix this problem, most manufacturers have added TRIM support to their SSDs. The TRIM command allows an operating system, such as Windows 7, to tell an SSD which data blocks are no longer in use. Using this information, the drive pro-actively erases these blocks and adds them to the free block pool.
To test the Trion 100's TRIM and garbage collection functions, I first put the drive in a "dirty" state. I used Iometer to fill the entire drive and then ran a random write test for 30 minutes. Looking at the screenshot below, you can see that the Trion 100's average read and write speeds dropped to 212.8 MB/s and 225.9 MB/s, respectively.
OCZ Trion 100 - Dirty
I let the computer sit for about an hour and then reran the test. The drive's average write speed jumped up to 287.6 MB/s. However, its read speed lagged a bit behind, averaging out at 222.3 MB/s.
OCZ Trion 100 - After TRIM
Lastly, I used OCZ's SSD Guru software to perform a secure erase on the Trion 100. With the drive wiped clean, it had average read and write speeds of 359.5 MB/s and 299.9 MB/s, respectively.
OCZ Trion 100 - Secure Erased
While not the fastest or most feature packed SSD to come through the 'Labs, OCZ's Trion 100 delivers a lot of bang for your buck. Powered by Toshiba's new TC58 controller, the Trion 100 uses A19nm TLC NAND to provide an easy and affordable way for consumers to improve the performance of their mobile or desktop systems. In our sequential read and write tests, the 480GB version of the drive was able to read at speeds as high as 564 MB/s and write at speeds in excess of 489 MB/s. It also had no problems holding its own when doing random reads, but lagged behind other drives in our random write tests, producing a little more than 30,000 IOPS at low queue depths.
Like most TLC-based SSDs, the Trion 100 does have its limitations. To compensate for the slow write speeds typically associated with this type of NAND, the drive employs a form of SLC caching. Using this cache, the drive is able to maintain peak performance under normal workloads. However, once a consecutive write operation exceeds the size of the cache and you make the transition to TLC NAND, the Trion 100's write speed drops considerably. It's unlikely that you will ever run into this situation if your computer is used primarily for web browsing or word processing, but, if you have heavier workloads, you may want to consider one of OCZ's other drives.
- Available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities
- Good sequential read and write speeds under most conditions
- Performs equally well with compressible and incompressible data
- SATA 6Gb/s interface
- Supports TRIM and idle background garbage collection
- Ultra-slim form factor
- Works with OCZ's SSD Guru software
- Supports DEVSLP
- Reasonably priced
- 3 year ShieldPlus warranty
- Mediocre random write performance
- Write speed drops when SLC cache is full
- Does not support hardware based encryption