Toshiba's Q Series Pro is one of TweakTown's all-time favorite drives. It was our RAID champion for a while. The Q Series Pro was edged out as our two-drive RAID champion by SanDisk's Extreme II. Then along came Intel's 730, which ran away with the crown, and is our current RAID champion.
Looking at the chart above will show you exactly what happened. We consider Steady State (as represented by the blue bar) the most important metric, and rank our arrays accordingly.
If you have been following our RAID reports lately, we have been showing you why SATA RAID 0 is the fastest OS Disk you can own. As you can see, newly launched PCIe drives have proven to be no match for a two-drive array when utilized as an operating system volume. In addition, when you go PCIe you are giving up slots and or lanes, which is not something a serious gamer with two or three high-powered video cards is going to want to do.
I firmly believe that right now, a three-drive SATA array is the sweet spot for the enthusiast. It can deliver astounding performance for a relatively low cost. A good SATA array can even run with the newest NVMe drives and more than hold its own, as demonstrated here. A three-drive array is able to max-out the sequential read/write bandwidth of current Z87 and Z97 chipsets, which is why I consider a three-drive array more desirable than a two-drive array.
I recently got my hands-on a third Toshiba 256GB Q Series Pro, so of course we need to see what a three-drive array has got under the hood. Today we are doing a three-way, three-drive array showdown, featuring past and current RAID champions. Even though our two-drive Extreme II array was able to take down our two-drive Q Series Pro array, when you take a closer look the Toshiba array, you will notice it has better TRIM performance than the Extreme II array.
This may indicate that it will scale better than the Extreme II as we move to a three-drive array. Will Toshiba's low-cost, high-performance, Q Series Pro have what it takes to take down our reigning RAID champion? Let's find out!
PRICING: You can find the Toshiba Q Series Pro SSD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Toshiba Q Series Pro 256GB SSD retails for $139.99 at Amazon.
You can also find the Intel 730 Series 480GB SSD for $409.99 at Amazon, and the SanDisk Extreme II 240GB SSD for $179.99 at Amazon.
You can also find the Intel 730 Series 480GB SSD for CDN$631.51 at Amazon Canada, and the SanDisk Extreme II 240GB SSD for CDN$182.50 at Amazon Canada.