Solid state storage is the most important performance component found in a modern system today. Without it, you do not even have a performance system.
Being one of the largest flash memory manufacturers on the planet gives Toshiba several advantages that lead to an awesome product like the Q Series Pro. Toshiba can have their pick of the very best flash they make, and it doesn't cost them a dime more than initial production cost for that advantage. The very nature of flash means that some of the flash they produce will be much, much faster than the rest. We're just speculating here, and we have no data to prove this, but we think that Toshiba has indeed utilized binned flash that's so good that they really don't need a DRAM buffer to enhance the performance of the Q Series Pro.
Toshiba is one of the world's largest companies, and as such, they have the resources necessary to write their own specialized firmware. Toshiba's firmware engineers created specialized firmware for the Q Series Pro that's their own exclusive IP. We believe, and again we are only speculating here, that the controller utilized on the Q Series Pro is more than likely Marvell silicon. The thing about utilizing Marvell silicon is that Marvell provides the chip, but not the firmware. Whatever the actual facts of the matter are, Toshiba is keeping that knowledge under wraps.
Today, we learned that you can't judge a book by its cover, and if you win the race, it doesn't matter that you started last. Like I said, if you just FOB test, and don't throw data into the mix, then you wouldn't know that the Q Series Pro comes into its own when its loaded up with data, and written into a steady state. You would just think you had an average SSD; when in reality, it is actually one of the fastest SSD's ever made. We also learned that some of our preconceived notions about synthetic performance indicators (like high 4K QD 1 read/write performance) can't always predict a drive's real-world performance potential.
Toshiba's Q Series Pro is a bona fide Hyper-Class SSD, and if that wasn't enough, it's also one of the most cost-effective solid state solutions on the market. For the moment, Toshiba's Q Series Pro is our performance champion, despite its choppy write performance in our synthetic benchmarks. Hopefully we can get some other capacities in the lab soon for some more RAID goodness.
RAIDing two or more drives together provides you with storage that takes performance to the next level, and is something I recommend you try. Once you go RAID, there's no going back.
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