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Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

The XG5 is our first look at Toshiba's second-generation NVMe SSDs. How does it do? Join us as we find out the answer.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Wed, Jul 26 2017 3:03 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Toshiba

Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing & Availability

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VIEW GALLERY - 72 IMAGES

2017 is going to be remembered in the storage world as the year of 64-layer TLC (3-bit per cell) flash. We are of the opinion that this year also marks the point where we will no longer be seeing much in the way of new MLC -based SSDs hitting the market. With 64-layers, 3-bit flash has become far more enduring, more powerful and more power efficient than ever before. All the major players are either currently shipping 64-layer flash products or ramping up production to begin shipping 64-layer flash products.

Toshiba's OEM XG5 is already shipping to key OEM partners and will be competing for slots primarily with Samsung's OEM PM961. The PM961 in its current iteration is based on Samsung 48-layer 3D 3-bit (TLC) flash and is available as a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor in capacities of up to 1TB. Toshiba's XG5 is based on Toshiba 64-Layer TLC flash and is initially available as a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor in capacities of up to 1TB. The XG5 and the PM961 are primarily intended to fill slots in OEM Laptop and Notebook computers, where a very thin single-sided design (all components on one side of the PCB) is most desirable.

With this in mind, we will be closely comparing the performance of Toshiba's XG5 to that of Samsung's PM961. We need to point out that we recently reviewed the Samsung PM961 for MyDigitalDiscount and we did so using Samsung's NVMe driver because it can be installed on the PM961 without jumping through any hoops. Samsung's NVMe driver greatly increases the performance of the PM961, but it is not used by OEM's. OEM's exclusively employ the native NVMe driver built into Windows. With this in mind, we wanted to level the playing field by retesting Samsung's PM961 using the native Windows 10 NVMe driver. This is why the performance results for the PM961 found here are different than those when we previously reviewed the PM961.

Toshiba has been busy refining their 3D-flash process called BiCS. BiCS is now in its third generation and refined to the point where Toshiba feels it is ready for prime time. Third generation BiCS, or BiCS 3, was first demonstrated at this year's Dell/EMC World via the XG5 and touted as the first shipping SSD product powered by 64-layer flash technology. Toshiba feels BiCS flash is superior to others for the following compelling reasons:

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Of the features listed above, the feature that interests us most is the faster 1-shot programming called "Full Sequence." With Full Sequence programming, three pages can be programmed at the same time resulting in fewer steps. Full Sequence programming delivers better performance and at the same time reduces power consumption. It sounds like magic to us. More performance with less power consumption isn't something you see every day. In a mobile environment, power consumption becomes a primary concern. Toshiba engineered the XG5 family of SSDs for power efficiency, through lower power state modes, the use of components engineered for power efficiency and programming techniques like Full Sequence.

The XG5 sports a second-generation Toshiba TC58 NVMe controller that is capable of pumping out over 3,000 MB/s sequential read and over 2,000 MB/s sequential write. We asked Toshiba for some details about their new TC58 controller, but they were unwilling to divulge any specific information other than it is a new controller and that it is in-fact not the same TC58 controller that powers the XG3 and RD400.

Reliability is requirement number one for any OEM product, and Toshiba has a reputation for building SSDs that are rock solid. One of the reasons for this reputation is Toshiba's proprietary error correction technology. The XG5 employs Toshiba's proprietary Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) error-correction technology - a highly efficient error correction code (ECC), which helps protect customer data from corruption, improves reliability, and extends the life of Toshiba SSDs. QSBC is rumored to be even more efficient than LDPC.

At TweakTown, we are of the opinion that testing SSD performance should be done in a fashion that replicates actual usage. This is why we primarily test while running the drive as our system disk filled to 75% of its capacity. Over the years, this methodology has revealed aspects of certain test subjects' performance that cannot be revealed any other way. Just filling a secondary disk and testing that way will not always reveal certain nuances that a disk with the OS on it will. The XG5 happens to be a drive with a secret up its sleeve that will only come to light when being tested as a system disk.

When the XG5 first arrived at the lab, we ran some preliminary benchmarks with the drive attached as a secondary storage device to establish a base-line for what we should expect. We got excellent results as demonstrated by the following CDM benchmark:

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After running a few preliminary benchmarks, we began our OS disk testing with the drive filled to 75% of its total capacity, and we thought we might have found a problem based on this result:

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WTH? What is going on here? We contacted Toshiba USA about our findings, and they immediately agreed to investigate. Toshiba USA was able to quickly replicate what we were seeing with the drive running as a system disk. Toshiba USA contacted Toshiba Japan, and they were able to provide an explanation. This is the way the OEM XG5 is programmed to function. They explained that the XG5 is intended to fill laptop slots for OEM's and because laptops are lower performance PC's they are actually boosting user experience by pinning the OS (Operating System) to the drive's SLC cache. They further explained the performance reduction when running benchmarks on the OS disk is due to the SLC cache being filled by pinned objects, as intended, which in-turn triggers a direct write to TLC.

The explanation we were given makes sense to us. With this in mind, we are going to place great importance on the outcome of our SYSmark 2014 SE testing as it will be able to demonstrate the cached OS feature in action. We decided we will do this particular review a little different than normal. We will be showing our OS benchmarks alongside empty benchmark screenshots where applicable. Showing the empty benchmarks will give us a rough idea of what we can expect from the soon to be launched OCZ consumer version of the XG5 which we assume will be the called the RD500 or something similar. We are assuming that our empty results will be very close to what OCZ's consumer version of the XG5 will do with the OS and data on it because as far as we know, the coming OCZ RDxxx will not be pinning anything to the drives cache. Looking at our Windows 10 MOP (Maxed-Out-Performance) results will give us even greater insight into the performance we can expect from the forthcoming consumer version because we ran those benches with OCZ's NVMe driver.

Specifications

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Toshiba's XG5 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD is available in capacities of up to 1TB. The 1TB model we have on the bench today sports the following factory specifications:

  • Sequential Read: up to 3,000 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: up to 2,100 MB/s
  • Max 4K Random Read Speed: Unknown
  • Max 4K Random Write Speed: Unknown
  • Endurance: Unknown
  • MTBF: 1.5 Million Hours
  • Warranty: Unknown
  • SMART
  • TRIM
  • Garbage Collection

Pricing: Unknown. Availability: Currently shipping to OEM Partners.

Drive Details

Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD

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As mentioned, the Toshiba XG5 is a single sided design. All of the drive's components are located on this side of the PCB. There is a manufacturer's label that covers the drives controller and flash packages.

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Removing the manufacturer's label exposes the drive's second-generation Toshiba TC58 NVMe controller and gives us a clear view of the drive's two Toshiba TLC flash packages.

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This side of the drives PCB is devoid of components – thus making the XG5 a single-sided design.

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A close-in view of the drive's second-generation Toshiba TC58 NVMe controller manufactured by TSMC. We speculate the controller is an 8-channel design with between three and five CPU cores.

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A close-in view of the drive's two Toshiba 512GB 64-layer TLC flash packages. We speculate that there are eight 512Gbit die in each flash package.

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A close-in view of the drive's edge connector and Nanya 1024MB DDR DRAM cache package.

Test System Setup & Drive Properties

Jon's Consumer PCIe SSD Review Test System Specifications

Drive Properties

Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD - OS Disk 75% Full

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The majority of our testing is performed with our test drive as our boot volume. Our boot volume is 75% full for all OS Disk "C" drive testing to replicate a typical consumer OS volume implementation. We feel that most of you will be utilizing your SSDs for your boot volume and that presenting you with results from an OS volume is more relevant than presenting you with empty secondary volume results.

System settings: Cstates and Speed stepping are both disabled in our systems BIOS. Windows High-Performance power plan is enabled. Windows write caching is enabled, and Windows buffer flushing is disabled. We are utilizing Windows 10 Pro 64-bit OS (Build 14393) for all of our testing except for our MOP (Maxed-Out Performance) benchmarks where we switch to Windows Server 2012 R2 64-bit. Empty Windows 10 benchmark screenshots will also be shown on our MOP page.

Please note: When comparing our results to those of other review sites, look at page 10 Maxed Out Performance-Windows 10 which is done with the disk empty.

OS Disk 75% full benchmark screenshots will be shown first - followed by empty secondary disk benchmark screenshots where applicable.

Synthetic Benchmarks – ATTO & Anvil Storage Utilities

ATTO

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.05

ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufacturers with data used for marketing storage products. When evaluating ATTO performance, we focus on the drive's performance curve.

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As demonstrated by these benchmarks, the XG5 when running an OS, is bypassing the drive's SLC cache when writing sequential data. Keep in mind that this is by design as we will demonstrate when we get to our SYSmark testing.

Sequential Write

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Graphing the performance curve shows that without an OS on the disk, the XG5 sets a new lab record for sequential write performance. With an OS on the disk, data has been pinned to the drives SLC cache causing the drive to write directly to TLC.

Sequential Read

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We would like to see sequential read performance ramp up a bit quicker, but with or without an OS on the disk, the XG5 is able to meet or exceed its factory sequential read specification. At 32KB transfers or larger, the XG5 surpasses its predecessors; the XG3 and RD400. At 64KB transfers, the XG5 is able to surpass the PM961.

Anvil Storage Utilities

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1.0

Anvil's Storage Utilities is a storage benchmark designed to measure the storage performance of SSDs. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test or just the read or write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16. When evaluating performance with Anvils, we focus on the total score. When evaluating NVMe SSDs, we are typically looking for a minimum total score of over 10K.

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Scoring

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With or without an OS on the disk, the XG5 gives us our 10K minimum and then some. In either state, the XG5 is outperforming its predecessors. We are particularly pleased with the read performance of the XG5 when running as a secondary device where it once again shows better performance than its primary competitor the Samsung PM961. Again, we will reiterate that we believe the empty results of the XG5 will give us a reasonably accurate representation of what we can expect from OCZ's next generation NVMe SSD even with an OS on it and filled to 75% of its capacity.

(Anvil) Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale

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The way Anvil's, as well as most synthetic benchmarks work, is they write a test file then read it back. With an OS on the drive, the XG5 is unable to read cached data from its SLC cache, resulting significantly lower random read performance at QD32.

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Because of the way the XG5 is programmed to pin data to its SLC cache when an OS is in place, the XG5 doesn't chart well with an OS on it. However, when running with an available SLC cache to read from, the XG5 turns into a beast that is able to easily outperform the PM961 and 960 EVO at queue-depths of up to 32.

(Anvil) Write IOPS through Queue Scale

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Sequential write performance takes a big hit when an OS resides on the XG5, but random write performance is hardly affected when data is pinned to the drives SLC cache. This is due to Windows write caching boosting random write performance.

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As mentioned, random write performance remains relatively unscathed when an OS is on the XG5. The Samsung contenders are able to generate incredible random write performance at high queue depths which is the primary reason they score higher. The RD400 outperforms the XG5 at queue depths of up to four. The XG5 and XG3 perform similarly at QD1-2. At QD8, the TLC powered XG5 is able to out-muscle its MLC powered predecessors.

Synthetic Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD

CrystalDiskMark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0 Technical Preview

CrystalDiskMark is disk benchmark software that allows us to benchmark 4K and 4K queue depths with accuracy. Note: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 Technical Preview was used for these tests since it offers the ability to measure native command queuing at QD4. When evaluating CDM results, we focus on 4K random performance at QD1 and QD4.

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Focusing in on QD1 and QD4 reveals once again what we've seen all along; random read performance takes a big hit at low queue depths when an OS resides on the disk. Running as a secondary attached device, the XG5 performs excellent at low queue depths which bodes well for the upcoming consumer version.

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When tested empty the XG5 again delivers stunning sequential write performance. When the XG5 is running an OS, sequential write performance is pure TLC; the SLC cache is completely bypassed. Random write performance still manages to hold strong even when an OS is on the disk.

AS SSD

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.8.5611.39791

AS SSD determines the performance of SSDs. The tool contains four synthetic as well as three practice tests. The synthetic tests are to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. We evaluate AS SSD performance in terms of overall score. We are looking for a minimum score of 2,000 when evaluating NVMe SSDs

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AS SSD is a demanding test, and whether the XG5 is running as an OS disk or a secondary device it is able to deliver a better score than the previous generation XG3 and RD400. The PM961 gets the better of the XG5 mainly because it has superior multi-threaded random performance.

So far, the PM961 has shown itself to deliver better synthetic performance than the XG5 due to the way Toshiba programmed the XG5 to benefit laptop user experience. Now let's delve into what really matters - moderate workload performance, and even more importantly application performance as served up by SYSmark 2014 SE.

Benches (OS) - Vantage, PCMark 7, PCMark 8 & SYSmark 2014 SE

Consumer Workloads

We categorize these tests as indicative of a moderate workload environment.

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0.0

The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.

We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive 75% full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's consumer guidelines. Steady state testing simulates a drive's performance similar to that of a drive that been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.

OS Volume 75% Full - Moderately Used

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OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

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Secondary Volume Empty - FOB

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There's a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.

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The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states. When a drive is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing.

Focusing in on OS volume 75% full, we find the XG5 delivering the best performance of any of the TLC powered contenders. The XG3 and the RD400 are able to get the better of the XG5 in this category because they are both MLC powered SSDs. Looking at steady-state performance shows the XG5 taking a big hit - which is likely a byproduct of its laptop oriented programming and not so much an indication of garbage collection inefficiency.

PCMark 7 - System Storage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.0

We will look to Raw System Storage scoring for evaluation because it's done without system stops and, therefore, allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives. When evaluating NVMe SSDs, we are looking for a minimum score of 11,000.

OS Volume 75% Full & Moderately Used Secondary Disk

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As a secondary device, the XG5 crushes the competing drives in our test pool except the uber-powerful MLC equipped 960 Pro. With an OS on it, the XG5 is running in laptop mode and falls back into the last place. However, even with the OS on it, the XG5 still delivers a score that exceeds our 11K minimum.

PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.4.304

We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

OS Volume 75% Full & Moderately Used Secondary Disk

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PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate consumer type workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's performance. We consider this to be the second most important test for this particular review. As already stated, we are going to pay close attention to the battle for supremacy between the XG5 and the PM961, because they are both directly competing to fill the same OEM slots. In this important battle, the Toshiba XG5 emerges as the clear winner over the Samsung PM961.

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE Application Performance

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.0.0.70

SYSmark 2014 SE is considered the gold standard for testing system performance because it is an application based benchmark. This test gives us the ultimate in real-world results because it utilizes actual applications running on the system, instead of playing back recorded traces. If you want to know what kind of impact a particular SSD will have on your system's overall performance; this test will show you.

Please note: We have reevaluated the way we chart SYSmark. We have decided that the Overall Rating more accurately represents an SSDs impact on system performance than does the Responsiveness Score on its own.

This is the one benchmark that will indeed show the impact of OS caching on the XG5. Most system makers rely heavily on SYSmark to guide their hardware buying decisions. In the case of the XG5, we feel that this application-based benchmark is the best way to determine if we will or will not recommend the XG5 over the PM961 for OEM implementation as a system disk.

Toshiba XG5 1TB

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Samsung PM961 1TB

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Our test systems are much more powerful than the calibration system (1000-point baseline) used by BAPCo, so we ran an OCZ TL100 120GB SATA III SSD to establish a comparison point relative to our test systems. We will be running this test going forward, and we will add drives to our chart as we test them.

It is important to keep in mind that with SYSmark 2014 SE a few points are significant when comparing one drive to another on the same platform.

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SYSmark scoring is heavily influenced by OS performance. The XG5 caches the OS by design, and according to these results, Toshiba's OS caching scheme does pay off. The Toshiba XG5 does indeed outperform the Samsung PM961 when running actual applications.

Note: The drives shown on this chart with a higher Overall Rating are all MLC-based SSDs.

Benchmarks (Secondary) - IOPS, Response & Transfer Rate

Iometer – Maximum IOPS

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

We use Iometer to measure high queue depth performance. (No Partition)

Max IOPS Read

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Max IOPS Write

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We test NVMe SSDs using eight threads at QD32, or QD256. We do this because we want to see what the drive can generate at its maximum attainable queue depth.

Iometer – Disk Response

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

We use Iometer to measure disk response times. Disk response times are measured at an industry accepted standard of 4K QD1 for both write and read. Each test runs twice for 30 seconds consecutively, with a 5-second ramp-up before each test. We partition the drive/array as a secondary device for this testing.

Avg. Write Response

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Avg. Read Response

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When the XG5 is running in a scenario that allows the drives SLC cache to be accessed, the XG5 delivers better read response than the PM961.

DiskBench – Transfer Rate

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.6.2.0

We use DiskBench to time a 28.6GB block (9,882 files in 1,247 folders) composed primarily of incompressible sequential and random data as it's transferred from our Toshiba RD400 1TB NVME SSD to our test drive. We then read from a 6GB zip file that's part of our 28.6GB data block to determine the test drive's read transfer rate. Our system is restarted prior to the read test to clear any cached data, ensuring an accurate test result.

Write Transfer Rate

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Read Transfer Rate

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We recently upgraded our test system to Windows 10 build 14393. With that upgrade, write transfer rates almost doubled. The reason for this, as far as we know, is that CPU power switching modes have been relaxed on the latest version of Windows 10. We included the NVMe drives we've tested to date on this build of Windows 10. If you needed a good reason to upgrade to a newer version of Windows 10; this is a good reason.

Again, when the XG5's SLC cache is in play, it delivers astounding performance. The XG5 sets a new lab record for read transfer rates by defeating Samsung's MLC powered SM961. The XG5's write transfer rate is the second best we've seen to date.

Benchmarks – 70/30 Mixed Workload & Sustained Sequential Write

70/30 Mixed Workload Test (Sledgehammer)

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

Heavy Workload Model

This test hammers a drive so hard we've dubbed it "Sledgehammer." Our 70/30 Mixed Workload test is designed to simulate a heavy-duty enthusiast/workstation steady-state environment. We feel that a mix of 70% read/30% write, full random 4K transfers best represents this type of user environment. Our test allows us to see the drive enter into and reach a steady state as the test progresses.

Phase one of the test preconditions the drive for 1 hour with 128K sequential writes at QD32. Phase two of the test runs a 70% read/30% write at QD32, full random 4K transfer workload on the drive for 1 hour. We log and chart (phase two) IOPS data at 5-second intervals for 1 hour (720 data points). 60 data points = 5 minutes.

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What we like about this test is that it reflects reality. Everything lines up, as it should. Consumer drives don't outperform Enterprise-Class SSDs that were designed for enterprise workloads. Consumer drives based on old technology are not outperforming modern Performance-Class SSDs, etc.

The XG5 manage to deliver a higher average than its predecessors despite its massive variability. The PM961 delivers a 5K higher average than the XG5.

Sustained Sequential Write

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

Heavy Workload Model

We write to the drive for 1 hour with 128K sequential writes at QD32. We log and chart megabytes per second data at 5-second intervals for 1 hour (720 data points). 60 data points = 5 minutes.

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An hour is more than enough time to fill the drive twice, and the XG5 averaged 944 MB/s for the entire hour.

Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)

Maxed-Out Performance

This testing is just to see what the drive is capable of in an FOB (Fresh Out of Box) state under optimal conditions. We are utilizing empty volumes of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2 64-bit for this testing.

Note: We ran these benchmarks using OCZ's NVMe driver to give us some insight into what we can expect from OCZ's coming retail version of the XG5.

Windows 10 MOP

Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD – OCZ NVMe Driver

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This is the highest PCMark 8 storage bandwidth we've ever seen from any TLC-based SSD. Only the 950 & 960 Pro can put up better numbers, and those are both MLC SSDs. The TLC-based 960 EVO doesn't even come close to the XG5.

Windows Server 2012 R2 MOP

Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD – OCZ NVMe Driver

Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review 60 | TweakTown.com
Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review 61 | TweakTown.com
Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review 62 | TweakTown.com
Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review 63 | TweakTown.com
Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review 64 | TweakTown.com
Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review 65 | TweakTown.com
Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review 66 | TweakTown.com

Final Thoughts

Toshiba XG5 1TB OEM M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review 67 | TweakTown.com

There are several reasons that we are excited about Toshiba's XG5. First and foremost is the arrival of Toshiba's much anticipated BiCS 3D NAND flash. The XG5 represents the first mass produced storage product to feature BiCS flash. Even though the XG5 is the first product to hit sales channels armed with BiCs flash, BiCS is actually in its third generation of development and is currently hitting retail channels as a well refined 64-layer product called BiCS 3.

The XG5 also represents the first TLC based NVMe SSD that can go toe to toe with Samsung's TLC based NVMe SSDs. The only thing that holds us back from declaring the XG5 the best performing client TLC SSD ever made is the way it has been programmed to cache the OS. We feel that benchmarks with the OS on the drive would have to be class-leading for us to declare it the fastest TLC SSD ever. For now, the 1TB Samsung 960 EVO will remain our top performing TLC-based OS Disk.

However, as shown by our secondary storage device benchmarks, where the drives SLC cache is in play, the XG5 is a much better performer than even the 960 EVO where it matters most – moderate workload performance. What we can say is that when running as a secondary storage device, the XG5 is easily the best performing client TLC SSD ever made – we have the benchmarks to prove it.

At the end of the day, we at TweakTown are enthusiast's first and foremost. Toshiba's XG5 is not an enthusiast SSD; it is an OEM SSD. However, based on history with the XG3/RD400, we can get a very good idea of what to expect from an enthusiast version of the XG5 that is coming soon via OCZ. Unofficially, we have been told that the enthusiast version of the XG5 will not employ OS caching and will, of course, have a dedicated NVMe driver. With this in mind, we are of the opinion that our Windows 10 Maxed Out Performance results are very close to what we can expect from OCZ's retail version.

Before we get off-track, let's get back to what this review is really about. Is Toshiba's 1TB XG5 a better performing OEM OS disk than Samsung's 1TB PM961? We are of the opinion that the answer to that question is yes. Based on our PCMark 8 results and our SYSmark results we believe the XG5 to be the superior OS disk. This is quite an unexpected accomplishment. We cannot remember a time where anyone has delivered a better performing SSD than its Samsung equivalent.

Because TweakTown tests SSDs with the drive running as our system (OS) disk we are in a relatively unique position to comment on what matters most – user experience. In terms of user experience, Toshiba's XG5 1TB SSD really delivers. Boot performance, multi-tasking and system response are all just about as good as it gets. The XG5 delivers a tier-one user experience which is why Toshiba's XG5 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD is TweakTown recommended.

Pros:

  • Moderate Workload Performance
  • Premium Components
  • Single-Sided Design

Cons:

  • OS Caching
TweakTown award
Performance95%
Quality98%
Features90%
ValueN/A
Overall94%

The Bottom Line: Toshiba's XG5 is the best performing TLC-based OEM SSD we've tested to date.

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Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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