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Toshiba XG6 SSD Review - System Builders Get 96L First

By: Chris Ramseyer | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: Aug 29, 2018 1:00 pm

1TB Class Performance Testing

 

Product Comparison

 

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As an OEM specific drive, the Toshiba XG5 has been off our comparison drive list for quite a while now. We'll add the drive in with a few results to see how it compares to its successor, the XG6.

 

The charts show performance from the most popular mainstream and premium NVMe SSDs shipping today. The Adata SX8200 and HP EX920 both utilize Silicon Motion's SM2262 controller paired with Micron's 64L TLC memory.

 

The Plextor M9Pe and SanDisk Extreme Pro NVMe both utilize Toggle2 memory from Toshiba and manufacturing partner SanDisk/Western Digital.

 

The other two drives everyone knows from Samsung with the Phoenix controller and 64L V-NAND. The 970 Pro is the only drive in this review with 2-bit per cell MLC flash.

 

 

 

Sequential Read Performance

 

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The 1TB XG6 starts off the sequential read test surprisingly low with around 1,350 MB/s at queue depth (QD) 1. The performance increases rapidly, as we increase the workload through queue depth. By QD4 the drive is near peak performance with a single worker right around 3,200 MB/s.

 

 

Sequential Write Performance

 

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Oh my. The 1TB Toshiba XG6 rips through the sequential write test with a very high QD1 speed and insane peak performance that climbs all the way to 3,000 MB/s with a single worker. Toshiba managed to squeeze more sequential write burst speed out of the new Toggle3 memory than Samsung's MLC V-NAND found on the 1TB 970 Pro.

 

 

Sustained Sequential Write Performance

 

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Writing 128KB block data to the entire user area exposes an issue we found on the XG5 that carries over to the XG6. The SLC buffer area performance is very high, the sustained performance is also high, but it's possible to reach a thermal throttle condition before we fill the drive with data.

 

We were able to write more than 512 gigabytes to the drive before the drive throttled.

 

 

Random Read Performance

 

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Our only expectation for Toshiba's new 96L TLC was improved random read performance at low queue depths. Micron ran away from the competition with 64L TLC with the MX500 SATA SSD, and a number of third-party NVMe drives like the SX8200 and EX920 shown in the charts today.

 

The Toshiba XG6 did not reach the 15,000 to 17,000 random read IOPS range at QD1, where we find the Micron 64L TLC and Samsung 64L MLC. The XG6 gets within 1,000 IOPS to Samsung's 970 EVO at QD1.

 

 

Random Write Performance

 

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The random write performance is stellar with high and predictable performance through the queue depth range. We expect Toshiba SSDs to perform really well here. The company's products have historically been some of the best-working SSD's with random data writes.

 

 

70% Read Sequential Performance

 

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Toshiba has a few other areas where we expect high performance. Mixing reads and writes is another one. In the sequential mixed workload test with 70% writes the XG6 outperforms the other drives from QD2 to QD8. The difference is more than trivial; this is a substantial increase over the median performance of the other drives in the charts today.

 

 

70% Read Random Performance

 

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With random performance on the lower-end of the scale, the XG6 has an uphill climb to get near the top in the random mixed workload test. The drive has strong random write performance, but that's not enough to overcome the 70% reads. The performance is still very good, but its less than we hoped to see with the latest generation Toshiba NVMe SSD.

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