Manufacturers without a guaranteed NAND supply are at a disadvantage, as witnessed with some of the smaller players during the recent NAND shortage. Seagate's unfettered access to Samsung NAND, along with their global distribution channel and OEM relationships, positions them as a potent force in the explosive enterprise SSD market. NAND fabricators have direct access to NAND supply, but often do not enjoy the mature supply chains that Seagate has with their extensive distribution network.
Seagate is willing to use the correct components, combined with their own extensive IP to bolster their SSD product stack. Manufacturing one's own controller is an advantage, but utilizing third party manufacturers is not unlike the approach taken for decades with HDDs. The price of a SSD controller is usually roughly 5-8% of the cost of a SSD, and Seagate has tight control over the design of the controller and proprietary firmware. Seagate's approach should provide more success than those without NAND fabrication capabilities and similar production models.
It is not surprising to find two fab-enabled companies duking it out in the cutting-edge 12Gb/s SAS segment. Both SSDs in the evaluation have strengths, with the Toshiba PX02SMF080 coming out on top in many of the sequential and random read-centric workloads. The Toshiba SSD regularly experienced significant variability in our mixed workloads.
The Seagate 1200 excels in heavy write workloads, and also performed well in our mixed workloads. Average measurements fail to expose the real performance of storage solutions, and our high-granularity testing revealed superb performance consistency from the 1200. Solid consistency performance also bodes well for RAID deployments.
A focus of both drives lies on the efficiency front. The Seagate 1200 nearly swept the board with write efficiency per Watt, falling behind in only one test. We measure write IOPS per Watt, but the Seagate is also spec'd with a higher rating of 29,650 read IOPS per Watt, compared to 13,400 from the Toshiba.
The 1200 takes a multi-layered approach to full data path protection. Capacitors, Micro-RAID, ECC, and LDPC, combine to provide resilience to failure and excellent endurance. Options for enhanced security models, and advanced media management, round out a SSD with an AFR of .44%, an MTBF of two million hours, and a solid five-year warranty.
The Seagate 1200 has the features we have come to expect from enterprise-class SSDs at an aggressive price point that makes it an economical solution for many workloads. The Toshiba PX02SM offers great performance and an impressive series of features as well, albeit at a higher price point, underlining that there is a complex multitude of factors to consider when purchasing an SSD.
Seagate has already gained significant traction with their 600 Pro series, and we expect the 1200 series to find similar success. Samsung is quickly ramping 3D NAND for enterprise applications, and we expect Seagate will provide solutions with this new technology in the future. The Seagate 1200 provides a compelling mix of performance, consistency, efficiency, and endurance, at an outstanding price-point.
PRICING: You can find the Seagate 1200 SSD and the Toshiba PX02SMF080 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 Seagate 1200 SSD (200GB) retails for $760.00 at Amazon, and the Toshiba PX02SMF080 (800GB) retails for $3,215.00 at Amazon.
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