Toshiba wants to be a serious player on the SSD market. The Japanese giant has been doing quite well the past few years as OEM supplier, by selling its SSDs to laptop and server manufacturers. Probably inspired by the success Samsung has been having with its 830 and 840 SSDs, Toshiba also wants a piece of the retail pie. For the first time, Toshiba has released a series of SSDs with consumer-friendly names. In this review we will take a closer look at the 128GB, 256GB and 512GB versions of Toshiba's new Q series.
Toshiba is definitely a heavyweight in the world of SSDs. After Intel/Micron and Samsung, Toshiba is the largest manufacturer of flash memory for SSDs. Toshiba chips have been used in countless SSDs of the past few years, often referred to as 'premium flash' by the SSD manufacturers. That's because, like Samsung, Toshiba employs the ToggleFlash standard, where Micron/Intel makes flash according to the ONFI standard.
Nowadays, the latest versions of both standards (ONFI 3.0 and ToggleFlash 2.0) are equally fast (in theory up to 400MB/s) and they're both asynchronous. We therefore see no reason to choose one type of flash over the other. Toshiba has the advantage that it also manufactures its own chips, which in theory gives the company a little more freedom in the pricing of SSDs.
The flash chips in the Q series of SSDs have 19nm transistors of the 2-bit MLC variety, but Toshiba doesn't want to say whether it's 64 Gigabit per die or 128 Gigabit per die. That's fine, but what's more frustrating is that Toshiba also doesn't make any claims about the expected lifespan of the chip, or the minimum number of p/e cycles. There has never been an issue with the quality of Toshiba NAND chips, and there's a reason for why so many SSD manufacturers use the chips in their premium products. So we're not worried about the quality, but we do appreciate transparency. You can read the rest of Toshiba Q series 128/256/512GB SSD preview on Hardware.info.