NVMe based mostly M.2 drives have been within the shopper panorama for a few years now. Sometimes these blazing quick mass storage units include a a lot larger worth per gigabyte than its 2.5″/7mm SATA based mostly cousins. As time has gone on, extra gamers entered the market and finances oriented NVMe M.2 drives began to seem decreasing the worth per gigabyte whereas nonetheless being quicker than SATA based mostly drives. On this case, Toshiba OCZ has despatched us the RC100 480GB M.2 NVMe SSD to assessment.
This drive is their first low-end entry and is promising sequential learn/write speeds of as much as 1600/1100 respectively. Whereas these numbers will not be what some could also be used to in an NVMe based mostly drive, it’s nonetheless a lot quicker than its SATA counterparts. The RC100 stacks the SSD controller and flash reminiscence in a single Ball Grid Array (BGA) package deal which yields a smaller footprint. We’ll check out the drive measurement, efficiency, and pricing on this evaluation seeing the way it compares to different NVMe based mostly drives.
Specs and Options
One of many options of this drive outdoors of the lower cost level can be its small measurement. All three capability RC100 drives are single-sided 42mm lengthy drives. Many M.2 drives, be they SATA or NVMe, measure in at 80mm utilizing the 2280 type issue. The small measurement makes it preferrred for small type issue builds, laptops, and wherever area is restricted.
The merging of elements which permits for its small measurement integrates the 64-layer 3D BiCS Flash reminiscence and the controller right into a single package deal on the PCB. In contrast to many different drives, the RC100 saves on prices by not together with a DRAM buffer however as an alternative makes use of Host Reminiscence Buffer (HMB) know-how to retain efficiency. The HMB function makes use of PCI Categorical lanes and the DMA to permit the SSD to make use of DRAM hooked up to the CPU as an alternative of its personal inner DRAM. Accessing this reminiscence is slower than built-in DRAM, however nonetheless notably quicker than studying from flash.
The only package deal design is a 2-lane PCIe module and is energy environment friendly. Toshiba has stated the OCZ RC100 makes use of round half the facility of typical fanatic degree NVMe SSDs (Four-lane) Samsung 970 Professional of the identical capability makes use of 5.2W). This decrease energy use is usually a plus for cellular units the place battery life is a consideration. Whereas a 2-lane configuration will restrict the potential of the drive, sequential efficiency isn’t an incredible barometer to go by, however random efficiency at decrease queue depths is the place the rubber meets the street.
240 GB – Learn 1600 MB/s, Write 1050 MB/s
120 GB – Learn 1350 MB/s, Write 700 MB/s
240 GB – 130okay / 110okay IOPS
120 GB – 80okay / 95okay IOPS
240 GB – 120 TBW
120 GB – 60 TBW
240 GB – $74.66
120 GB – $58.00
The drive is available in a small cardboard field with an image of the drive together with a honeycomb pink background. The drive capability is listed on the top-right nook with the OCZ RC100 identify on the backside proper. We additionally see the M.2 measurement listed in addition to the promoting of the BiCS flash used. Flipping the field round it exhibits customers a bit extra info such because the PCIe Gen Three x2 and NVMe 1.2.1 specification. It additionally lists the Three-year restricted guarantee.
After opening the package deal up, we’re greeted by the drive sitting comfortable sandwiched between two items of plastic. Sometimes the OCZ drives embrace a key for Acronis backup software program, nevertheless, as possible a part of a price financial savings effort, customers won’t discover a key with this drive. This shouldn’t be an enormous deal nevertheless as there are many free choices out there to clone drives if wanted.
On the drive itself, there actually isn’t terribly a lot to see on the tiny gadget. We’re capable of see the blue PCB and some bits on it in addition to the Toshiba sticker overlaying the package deal. If we flip over the module, we’re greeted by a sticker on the PCB with some drive particulars. The final picture is an in depth up of IC. We will’t inform a lot, simply that we will see Toshiba lasered on it together with some figuring out numbers.
On the software program aspect of issues, OCZ consists of its SSD Utility for preserving tabs on the drive(s). The software program is ready to show SMART details about the drive together with well being standing, temperatures, firmware model, capability, and extra. The Tuning part permits customers to run a fast benchmark displaying the speeds and latency in addition to complete and used capability. Customers are capable of replace the firmware and arrange the OS to for greatest outcomes.
General, the SSD Utility offered by OCZ is an informative software with loads of performance to watch the drive and hold it in fine condition.
Check System and Check Strategies
We set up the drive as a secondary gadget on the check system and run the listed benchmarks towards it. Whereas sometimes, many will use these drives as system drives, the check machines may be totally different as will individuals’s OS implementation within the first place, so we attempt to isolate as many variables as potential in an effort to have the outcomes as repeatable as attainable with any reviewer who might check drives.
Under are the checks we run with a quick description.
- Crystal Disk Mark – Run at Default Settings (5 Passes)
- AS SSD – Run at Default Settings
- ATTO – Run at Default Settings apart from the QD Set to 10
- Anvil Storage Utility Benchmark – Default Settings
A particular thanks goes out to EVGA for offering the CLC 240 CPU Cooler and 750W G3 Energy Provide to chill and energy the system, G.Talent for the Trident Z DRAM, and Toshiba OCZ for the 480GB TR200 SSDs storage operating the OS, benchmarks, and video games. With our companions serving to out, we’re capable of construct matching check methods to mitigate any variations discovered between utilizing totally different hardware. This enables for a number of reviewers in several places to make use of the identical check system and examine outcomes between reviewers minimizing system variance.
Wanting on the learn aspect of our CrystalDiskMark outcomes, we’re capable of see the drive pulling 1615 MB/s reaching its label score with ease. That result’s fairly a methods behind when evaluating x4 PCIe NVMe playing cards that are notably costlier fanatic degree drives. Shifting on to the 4K outcomes, the RC100 makes an excellent displaying right here operating simply behind the ADATA drive taking second place on this check at almost 52 MB/s. Shifting into larger queue depths, the drive continues to be within the ballpark of the a lot quicker fashions.
The writes aspect of the CrystalDiskMark checks once more exhibits the RC100 is ready to attain its specified speeds on sequential writes with a excessive queue depth. A decrease queue depth drops that worth considerably however nonetheless manages to compete with the older fanatic class Intel drive. 4K writes outcomes are, for probably the most half, pretty shut collectively right here, although the finances drive does discover itself a bit behind with larger queue depths once more displaying enchancment.
General, the RC100 held its personal towards a few of the rather more costly fanatic class drives on this benchmark.
Our AS SSD learn outcomes present the drive coming near its specs within the sequential reads, however shining in 4K reads managing to steer the pack. The AS SSD write outcomes present an analogous story with it almost hitting the nameplate specs in Sequential and main the pack in 4k writes.
General efficiency has the drive scoring nearly as quick because the older Samsung 950 Professional which is a strong outcome contemplating the worth on this drive (when each have been new).
Shifting on to ATTO, the outcomes right here peak on the specified speeds the drive was rated at so we’re good there. The curious a part of this result’s that as an alternative of sustaining that velocity within the greater file sizes, it truly slowed down. This was curious and in wanting across the net, is a end result distinctive to this technique. I attempted a number of boards and OS installs, made positive write-caching buffer was disabled and so on nevertheless it nonetheless ended up like this.
Anvil Storage Utility
In our final check, Anvil Storage Utility, the drive scores an general eight.7K factors. This result’s spot on for the drive with the write-cache buffer disabled. Nothing out of line right here for what is predicted of this drive.
Under are pictures of the benchmark outcomes used within the graphs.
The Toshiba/OCZ RC100 fills a big hole of efficiency between the ‘standard’ 2.5″ SATA based mostly SSDs and the PCIe/NVMe based mostly drives when it comes to efficiency in addition to worth. On the efficiency aspect, customers are paying round 44 cents per GB for the Samsung 970 Professional (512GB at $230) and seeing double the sequential efficiency in addition to being quicker on the smaller file sizes like 4K. The RC100 480GB has an MSRP of $155 and with the 480GB drive that equates to 32 cents per GB or round 25% much less per GB. That stated, there’s competitors on the market within the PCIe x2 panorama. As soon as such mannequin is the 512GB ADATA XPG SX6000 a PCIe Three.zero x2 gadget is sitting available on the market for $160. The drive is notably slower on paper coming it at 1000/800 sequential R/W with IOPS reaching 100Okay/110Okay respectively.
What units the drive aside from the remaining is its measurement and energy consumption. Sometimes we don’t see 480GB+ drives within the 2242 type issue resulting from how the drives are made (controller, cache DRAM, and storage ICs all taking over area). The mixed controller/storage package deal permits this to occur in addition to value financial savings usually concerned when utilizing fewer elements. Whereas SSDs and energy use are usually not sometimes a priority, a few watts (actually a 40% distinction right here on common) might be useful when utilizing the small gadget in moveable electronics.
The RC100 bridges the hole between efficiency NVMe based mostly SSDs and SATA based mostly SSDs and at an reasonably priced worth. The overwhelming majority of customers are unable to inform outdoors of benchmarks the distinction between this high-performance, high-cost drives in comparison with one thing a bit extra center of the street. The RC100 is a strong option to construct a system with as both an OS drive or a storage drive whereas saving a couple of dollars within the course of.
Joe Shields – Earthdog
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