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WORLD EXCLUSIVE - Toshiba PX02SM Series 12Gb/s Enterprise SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: May 30, 2013 9:55 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Toshiba

Final Thoughts




The Toshiba PX02SMF080 leverages the dual port SAS 12Gb/s interface to provide the fastest read speeds we have witnessed from a single 2.5" SSD. The PX02SMF080 also brings a mix of enterprise-class features that separates it from the pack in terms of reliability and data security.


Dual port SAS connectivity enables multipath and failover, creating a Tier-0 storage solution deployable into mission critical environments. Enterprise class data security is provided by SANITIZE Cryptographic Erase, TCG SSC protocols and 256-bit AES encryption. The addition of power loss protection and enhanced layered ECC with Toshiba's proprietary QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code) secures user data in the event of data corruption or power loss.


A wide range of capacities, up to 1.6TB in a 2.5-inch form factor, provides a scalable solution for end users. A healthy helping of endurance (10 DWPD) provides a robust solution that will survive the rigors of life in the datacenter.


The Toshiba PX02SMx series and its Toshiba/Marvell TC58NC9036GTC controller with 24nm eMLC NAND flaunted some of the fastest read speeds from a single 2.5" device we have witnessed, but there was some significant performance variability in heavy write workloads. We were also unable to reach the maximum sequential speed in steady state, falling short by roughly 40MB/s. This could be the result of the relatively new firmware and hardware combination. In the past, we have witnessed enterprise solid state solutions mature significantly with time in the channel.


When we move into the mixed read/write workloads, the Toshiba PX02SMx series really comes into its own. The SSD performed well in our OLTP, Fileserver and Email server workloads. In read centric workloads, the Toshiba delivered dominating performance with up to 124,000 IOPS available in 4K random read testing.


The Toshiba drive also proved to exhibit miserly power consumption figures with low power draw in all of our workloads. Dual port SAS solutions tend to be a bit power hungry, it is an expected tradeoff for the enhanced capabilities, but the PX02SMF080 defied that expectation. The low power consumption was not reflected entirely in our IOPS to Watts testing, we focus on Write IOPS to Watts. The Toshiba PX02SMF080 is spec'd for 13,400 read IOPS per watt. In our 4K random read workload at QD256 the Toshiba delivered an amazing Read IOPS to Watts ratio of 17,142 IOPS.




We utilized the SMART Optimus as our comparison SSD due to its excellent dual-port performance characteristics. This was a tough task for the 6Gb/s Optimus to stand up to an SSD featuring a faster interface, but the Optimus held up well to the competition. We commend SMART Storage Systems for the performance offered by the Optimus in our testing.


The broader implications of 12Gb/s SAS's enhanced density and new topologies created by longer cabling and management features will take time to penetrate into the datacenter, but storage devices like the Toshiba PX02SMF080 will hasten this transition with their offering of radically improved speed and density. The addition of a five year warranty from a NAND flash fabricator guarantying the longevity and endurance of the SSD, along with bleeding edge speed and connectivity, combine to make the Toshiba PX02SMF series of SSD's a recipient of the TweakTown's Best Performance Award.


Look to these pages soon for a RAID evaluation of the Toshiba PX02SMF080.



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