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Toshiba OCZ TR200 SATA III SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago
TweakTown Rating: 85%Manufacturer: Toshiba

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 that 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 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 - Lightly 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. This is exactly why we focus on steady-state performance.

 

Stunning scores when empty, but empty is practically meaningless. At 75% full and lightly used, the TR200's all score about the same. The TR200 manages to outperform its predecessor the TRION 150 as well as the UV400 with data on the drive, but that's about it. Workload performance is where a 2-channel controller is at a disadvantage, although the TR200's 3D flash array is offsetting a lot of the disadvantage.

 

 

 

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.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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We are typically looking for a minimum score of 5K from a value-oriented SSD. The TR200 is able to exceed our minimum. Again, the TR200 outscores the TRION 150 and the UV400.

 

 

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. We focus on the total score first and then storage bandwidth when evaluating PCMark 8 results.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's overall performance. We consider overall score more important than bandwidth because scoring takes latency into account.

 

This time we find that the smaller address table on the 240GB can't overcome the advantage of more die on the higher capacity models. The 480GB and 960GB TR200's both deliver better performance than their planar flash-based sibling the TRION 150. The TR200 at all capacity points scores higher than we were expecting to see from a DRAMless SSD.

 

 

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE System 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.

 

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Our 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.

 

Real application testing shows us that the TR200 will deliver an average to above average user experience. The 240GB model does especially well. Here is a clear demonstration that low capacity DRAMless SSDs are typically faster than high capacity models.

 

Note: we are replacing our PCMark 8 Extended testing with SYSmark because we believe SYSmark is much more relevant for consumer SSD testing.

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