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Toshiba HK3R2 960GB Enterprise SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 6, 2015 6:40 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Toshiba

Final Thoughts




Toshiba is the only NAND manufacturer with ingrained HDD manufacturing, providing them with an extensive portfolio of datacenter storage products that run the gamut from HDDs up to the fastest of 12Gb/s SAS SSDs. The SATA segment's growing popularity stems from vast compatibility with existing infrastructure, and its lower cost structure compared to SAS SSDs.


Toshiba's HK3R2 and HK3E2 are competitive products that feature a suite of proprietary enhancements to boost endurance and resilience to data errors. QSBC ECC provides a higher level of error correction capability in comparison to most standard approaches, and end-to-end data protection identifies and corrects data errors in flight. A two-tier power loss scheme ensures data integrity during unintentional power loss, and protects the internal management tables and firmware.


The HK3R2 displayed incredible 4k random read speed that rivals the 845DC EVO. The random write speed easily beats the 845DC EVO, and it offers three times the endurance as well, but the HK3R2 comes in second to the M500DC in heavy write workloads. The M500DC fares extremely well in random write testing, but doesn't match the HK3R2 in random read speed. The M500DC also features a lower amount of user-addressable capacity, which boosts performance, but can affect price-per-GB metrics. The HK3R2 emerges as a balanced SSD, well suited for a wide variety of workloads and use-cases, and that translated over to our server workload testing.


The HK3R2 leveraged its impressive random read speed to run away with the lead in webserver testing, and provided leading performance in OLTP tests. The heavy mixed read/write workload in the email server test provides a clear view of how the HK3R2's balanced characteristics provide enhanced performance in the mixed workloads required for smooth application performance. The HK3R2's IOPS-to-latency measurements consistently provided the best performance profile in server workloads.


The HK3R2 also has a clear advantage in sequential activity, where it provides best-in-class performance in mixed workloads. It also led the field in sequential write performance, and placed a very close second in sequential read workloads. Surprisingly, the HK3R2 even ran away with the lead in power metrics during sequential testing. Higher performance usually equates to more power draw, but the HK3R2 provided a much lower power draw than competitors with sequential workloads, even though it has the highest performance and the highest addressable capacity in the test pool. Power consumption metrics across the board revealed the HK3R2 features low power draw, and excellent efficiency.


Toshiba's move to A19nm NAND fields a well-rounded SSD, well suited for mixed random workloads, and sequential read/write workloads. A differentiator is the HK3R2's higher endurance, which is higher than the 845DC EVO (3x), and the DC S3500. The HK3R2 narrowly falls below the M500DC's endurance, with 1.76 v 1.9 PB of endurance. The M500DC features a lower one per 10E15 rating, in comparison to one per 10E17 for the HK3R.


The Toshiba HK3R2 is an impressive entrant into the read-centric class of enterprise SSDs that offers balanced random performance, leading sequential performance, terrific mixed workload performance, and low power consumption metrics. The Toshiba HK3R2 earns the TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Quality, Design, Build and Warranty94%
General Features93%
Performance Consistency92%
Power Consumption and Efficiency96%
Overall TweakTown Rating94%

The Bottom Line: Toshiba's HK3R series offers incredible performance in random workloads, and it leads in server workload performance. It also features class-leading sequential performance characteristics, along with impressive low power consumption and great efficiency.

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