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Our first look at Toshiba 15nm TLC toggle flash comes in the form of MDD's Phison S10-powered BP5e 480GB SSD. Let's take a close look at it.
By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jan 14, 2016 3:16 pm
TweakTown Rating: 89%Manufacturer: MyDigitalSSD





My Digital Discount's newest SSD affords us our first look at Toshiba's 15nm TLC toggle flash. Lately, we've been inundated with TLC based drives and with the exception of Samsung's 850 EVO, they have all been a disappointment. So far, we've seen 16nm Hynix TLC flash, Micron 16nm TLC flash, and Toshiba A19nm TLC Flash. Both Hynix and Micron's TLC flash have proven to be big disappointments, topping out at barely 100 MB/s sustained write speeds which is slower than most traditional rotating platter HDDs. Even A19nm Toshiba TLC flash as served up by OCZ's Trion 100 has been a disappointment.



SSD manufacturers are looking to TLC (Triple Level Cell) flash to further decrease cost and at the same time boost capacity. Other than abysmal sustained write speeds, the main issue with most TLC-based SSDs continues to be cost. Typically, this new wave of TLC-based SSDs have not been priced competitively in comparison to value-centric MLC-based SSDs. They are a little lower in price, but when you factor in performance, not low enough for someone to choose a TLC based drive over a low-cost drive with an MLC (Multi Level Cell) flash array.


Today's TLC SSDs all have one thing in common, a pseudo-SLC (Single Level Cell) caching layer and the BP5e is no different. The 480GB drive we have on the bench has 8.4GB of its flash array programmed as an SLC cache. An SLC caching layer is designed to mask the TLC flash array's write performance. As long as writes fall within the capacity of this layer, they can be executed at up to 540MB/s sequential write speed. Transfers that exceed 8GB are written directly to the drive's TLC array at reduced speeds, and this is where we typically find current TLC SSDs (850 EVO excluded) writing at about 100 MB/s with our transfer testing. The BP5e has a flash array and a firmware revision for its Phison S10 controller that we have not tested before and may deliver better-sustained write performance; at least, that is what we are hoping for.


Does the BP5e 480GB TLC SSD perform well enough to be considered a viable alternative to the 850 EVO? Let's take a look.


The My Digital BP5e 480GB SSD ships as a bare drive, no value add's are included. My Digital's 480GB SATA III 2.5"x 7mm SSD is currently retailing for $124.99 at Amazon. At 26 cents per gigabyte, this is the lowest per GB cost we've seen for any SSD to date.







The My Digital (Bullet Proof) BP5e SATA III 2.5" x 7mm FF SSD is available in three capacities: 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. Performance for the 480GB capacity we have on the bench is listed at up to 565 MB/s sequential read, 540 MB/s sequential write. Random performance is not given. MDD backs the BP5e with a standard three year limited warranty. No TBW (Total Bytes Written) limit is given or implied. However, we contacted Phison, and they told us that the 480GB BP5e should have a TBW of 160TB.

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