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Toshiba Q-Series and Q-Series Pro reviews and quality?


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#1 Seville Orange

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 07:12 AM

Will these Toshibas be tested and reviewed by StorageReview?

 

There are some enthusiastic reviews out there, others saying "good at the price," but also some disappointing user feedback on some of the customer reviews.

 

Anyone have strong feelings either way about about Toshiba SSDs?


#2 Brian

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:50 AM

We don't see a lot of Toshiba consumer gear, they're really a very small player in the US when it comes to SSD. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them, but I'd expect more development out of OCZ with their larger footprint in the US now that Toshiba owns that brand. Like most SSDs, you can find a lot of enthusiasm in reviews. It really comes down to what you want and need and your budget. Can you provide more clarity there?


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#3 Seville Orange

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:06 AM

I don't have a very specific requirement in mind, although I was browsing reviews for small(ish) capacity drives when the Toshibas piqued my interest. I like to have a few options on a shortlist so that I can grab a good deal if one appears, or just pick the best deal available at short notice if necessary. That said I think it's at the 128GB capacity where the Toshiba looks most interesting as a price vs performance choice. So, not necessarily in order, here are a few comments and questions in my mind about the Q-series:

- I agree Toshiba SSD as a consumer/retail purchase hasn't been much of an option until now. It does look like they are making a push into the end user market, but whether they will back away again and leave it to OCZ remains to be seen. However, if I was forced to bet a shiny penny I'd predict this push into retail will continue because Toshiba HDDs have been the mainstay of some very large pan European retail chains, I think the brand and partnership works for those retail chains and they will prefer to continue selling Toshiba as the mainstream, mid price choice. How that compares to USA and Canada I'm not sure.

- Q-series is using a Toshiba/Marvell controller with no DRAM cache, one of the reviews claims that canned benchmark performance is erratic (which might explain some users saying their drives are slow) but real application performance is typically very good, getting close to the best of OCZ, Samsung and Sandisk (high praise which I'd like to see backed up by other independent testing)

- I prefer to look at StorageReview and Anand to get an overall idea of how good an SSD really is, but so far the reviews on Q-series have been at Hardware.Info (Q-series) and TheSSDReview (Q-series Pro.) I'd like to see more testing outside of the usual suspects of benchmarking programs as it's very typical for manufacturers to make a products that looks good in benchmarks and mediocre in real use.

- how consistently do the drives perform? how good are they when nearly full? how do they cope with poor housekeeping (especially if building or recommending a system for non-enthusiasts and their families who might fill their PC with rubbish and then start complaining that their system got really slow.)

- power consumption in all reviews so far suggests that Toshiba is extremely power efficient, beating Samsung and Intel.

- I wouldn't have given Toshiba any consideration until now as previously their kit has been sold with OEM status and the only warranty available has been 100% with the sellers. The retail drives should have Toshiba support, although I have some doubts about how good this support might be (I don't see a lot of positive talk about Toshiba warranty support, but quite a lot of complaints, although OCZ probably are as bad, Sandisk are slow (Czech Republic RMA base for Europe) and other brands have RMA bases in Asia)

- questions remain of how reliable the Toshiba SSDs are, and how resilient they are to power sudden power failures. I guess the OEM drives must be fairly reasonable in terms of reliability, but how do they stand up to unexpected power loss. I believe Intel are pretty good, but very few consumer drives have power loss protection, only the Crucial M500s?

- my preferred system configuration is to have one SSD for a couple of OSs (Windows, Linux) + applications and a second SSD for games + workspace. For the OS drive 120GB is enough, but we know the best performing drives are 240GB and larger.

- I think that for a long time the Samsung 840 Pro was the best 128GB option despite it being slower than the 240-256GB alternatives. OCZ Vector 150 and Sandisk Extreme II may now rival the 840 Pro at this capacity, but they are all relatively expensive and usually it seems like a better option to just pay the difference and get better value 240GB anyway. The Toshiba may get close to the leaders, but at a noticeably lower price which makes the 120GB a more attractive option.


#4 Brian

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 08:09 AM

What's the price that you're looking at? Last I looked nothing was cheaper than the EVO or vertex 460 or in some cases the m500.

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#5 Seville Orange

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:34 AM

I'm in Europe, so perhaps the price order plays out quite differently than in North America. The prices below are a snapshot of some of the 120GB drives I had short listed previously, plus a couple of others for relative price comparsion. I removed tax and converted to US dollars.

 

$76  -  Crucial M500 120GB
$82  -  Toshiba Q-Series 128GB
$86  -  Seagate 600 SSD 120GB
$90  -  Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB*
$102  -  Toshiba Q-Series Pro 128GB**
$102  -  OCZ Vertex 460 120GB
$122  -  SanDisk Extreme II 120GB
$127  -  Samsung SSD 840 Pro 128GB
$130  -  OCZ Vector 150 120GB

 

The way things are at the moment prices are changing quite frequently, several times a day in some cases. The SanDisk Extreme II was actually $110 not long ago and I really wish I'd known sooner how good it was, would've grabbed one at that price for myself. Still, I think I might be needing to put together a system or two for other people next month so I will be watching the prices for a while.

 

*840 EVO dropped in price by $6 since I posted this thread.

**Toshiba Q-Series Pro is only listed by a few sellers so far, once it arrives in other stores I expect the price to drop quite a bit and very likely undercut the 840 Evo.

 

A few other thoughts after seeing prices change for the last 6-8 weeks: it looks like there is currently a phase of price competition or inventory clearing. Perhaps flash prices have dropped? (SDHC cards are also getting cheaper again) but I'm not sure NAND prices would explain the rapid prices changes on stock already in retail. I wonder if the most likely explanantion is that this is a prelude to new generation of drives about to be announced? particularly from Crucial and Samsung, maybe also Intel. A few stores have jumped the gun and listed the Intel 730 Series SSD at 480Gb (it's probably an enterprise class drive and not so interesting for consumers)


Edited by Seville Orange, 07 February 2014 - 01:25 AM.

#6 Brian

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:32 AM

The EVO is relatively new, no replacement any time soon. Intel can really only update with the new SandForce controller, but we haven't heard much about the consumer vendors pumping those out very soon. Looking at your list though, the M500 looks to be an excellent value. Well supported drive that while not the fastest, will be reliable.The Vertex 460 looks pretty good if you want something with more performance while keeping a good price.


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#7 continuum

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 01:35 AM

Intel's high-end controller appears to be made by LSI, but looking at pricing and peformance it doesn't seem worth it.

 

If value is a key concern, and you just want a quality SSD, honestly the Crucial M500 is hard to say no to-- you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and faster SSDs in your daily use unless you're the type to sit there with a stopwatch every time you do something.


#8 Brian

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 08:22 AM

There are a lot of great pricing options out there right now, the M500 at under .50/GB is darn good. The EVO too and Vector 150. 


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