Our review of the OCZ Trion 100 hailed it as "Bringing Toshiba to the Retail". The Trion 100 was branded as an OCZ drive, but it was almost entirely developed and manufactured by parent company Toshiba as their first non-OEM SSD. A few months later, Toshiba entered the retail SSD market under their own brand with the Q300 and Q300 Pro SSDs. The Q300 is based on the same hardware platform as the Trion 100 and is the entry-level model in Toshiba's retail SSD line.

For long-time followers of the SSD market, OCZ's brand may still be associated with controversy and the factors that contributed to their bankruptcy and eventual acquisition by Toshiba. In the broader consumer market OCZ is relatively unknown. By contrast, Toshiba is a massive conglomerate that has been a household name for decades. Drives like the Q300 are intended to expand the SSD market at the low end and are marketed as alternatives to hard drives rather than replacements for previous SSDs. In that light, it appears that Toshiba's strategy may have been to use the Trion 100's earlier release to make sure everything was working properly before releasing the Q300 to catch the eye of a wider audience.

Toshiba Q300 SATA SSDs
Capacity 960GB 480GB 240GB 120GB
NAND Toshiba A19nm 128Gb TLC
Controller Toshiba TC58
Sequential Read 550 MB/s
Sequential Write 530 MB/s
4kB Random Read IOPS 87k
4kB Random Write IOPS 83k
Endurance Rating 240TB 120TB 60TB 30TB
Active Power Consumption 5.1W
Idle Power Consumption 1.1W
Warranty 3 years

Both the OCZ Trion 100 and the Toshiba Q300 are based around the Toshiba TC58NC1000 controller, Toshiba's custom edition of the Phison S10 controller. Toshiba already manufactures Phison's drives that are sold to many other brands, so selling some under their own brands was a small step. The Trion 100 and Q300 use the same PCB, one that is extremely similar to other Phison drives we have encountered but with some minor differences in component selection. The hardware of the Trion 100 and Q300 differs only in the selection of DRAM: The Trion uses Nanya DRAM where the Q300 has a Micron DRAM chip. Both drives sport the same Toshiba A19nm 128Gb TLC NAND flash in four packages with up to 16 die per package for the 960GB versions.

Left: Toshiba Q300.Right: OCZ Trion 100

As SSDs with TLC flash are primarily geared towards the entry level market, they are developed with a focus on price and capacity balanced against more modest performance. Aside from Samsung's 850 EVO, the current crop of TLC drives are all low-end drives judging by their performance - with the similar Trion 100 among the slowest - and the market is in a race to the bottom trying to offer the lowest cost per gigabyte. However with that said, even our current slowest SSD (the Crucial BX200) is significantly faster than a hard drive. As low-end SSDs close in on hard drive prices, they are making the higher performance and lower latency of SSDs available to a wider range of computers. The Q300's initial MSRP and its current price direct from Toshiba make it clear they're somewhat in denial about its status as a low-end drive, but prices at other retailers are only slightly higher than the Trion 100.

AnandTech 2015 SSD Test System
CPU Intel Core i7-4770K running at 3.5GHz (Turbo & EIST enabled, C-states disabled)
Motherboard ASUS Z97 Deluxe (BIOS 2501)
Chipset Intel Z97
Memory Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1866 2x8GB (9-10-9-27 2T)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4600
Desktop Resolution 1920 x 1200
OS Windows 8.1 x64
Performance Consistency
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  • cbjwthwm - Monday, March 7, 2016 - link

    Yes that quote in the review is out to lunch, this drive had the same problems as the Trion 100 with launching on flawed firmware 11.1, which had major reliability bugs--hence the bad user reviews like the Trion 100. Toshiba's link to the updated 11.2 firmware (from late November) is here:


    The reviewer needs to at least search for an updated firmware version before writing such oblivious comments that make his review seem very badly researched right off the mark.
  • serendip - Friday, February 26, 2016 - link

    Big issue with the Q300 and its identical twin OCZ Trion 100 - they don't work with certain Nvidia chipsets, mainly those in Macbooks from 2010 and earlier. You can format the drive on a Macbook but read/write operations stall.

    OCZ are aware of the problem but have stated on their official forum that they can't do anything to avoid breaking support for newer chipsets. Toshiba haven't said a darn thing.
  • yuhong - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - link

    Is there any more technical details like which part of the SATA protocol the problems comes from?
  • serendip - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - link

    No idea, maybe some power management issues? I've tried Sandforce and Samsung 850 Evo drives on those older Macbooks and they work fine. It's the new Toshiba controller that doesn't play well with MCP79/89 chipsets. OCZ have known about this for 3 months and have told customers facing this situation to get a refund and buy another drive whereas Toshiba are keeping silent. Guess that OCZ acquisition hasn't streamlined corporate lines of communication.
  • Kristian Vättö - Sunday, February 28, 2016 - link

    From what I've heard it's a problem Apple would have to fix through a firmware update. OCZ/Toshiba can't fix it, or at least not without massive changes. In the end it's a relatively small niche anyway.
  • serendip - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - link

    It happens only under OSX, all versions, on the Nvidia MCP chipset platform. The Q300 works fine in Windows on those affected Macbooks.
  • cbjwthwm - Monday, March 7, 2016 - link

    The nVidia SATA compatibility problem lies with the drive's Phison S10 controller, and it affects all products using that controller from various manufacturers such as Patriot, Corsair, and Kingston lines using it. Since Phison has been sitting on their hands with this issue for around a year a half (its first use was the Neutron XT iirc), I doubt they're going to get their act together for OCZ but I suppose we can hope?
  • Harry Lloyd - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - link

    Still waiting for a decent 500 GB drive under 100 $. Near the end of this year, maybe?
  • dealcorn - Monday, February 29, 2016 - link

    I understand that you can not test Devslp. Does Toshiba represent that the Q300 supports Devslp?
  • watzupken - Monday, February 29, 2016 - link

    For me, planar TLC will never fly, especially after the Samsung EVO 840 fiasco. The combination of TLC with shrinking NAND size is a perfect recipe for disaster, not to mention that they are not significantly cheaper than their MLC counterpart. There are MLC SSDs out there that run on lesser known controllers, but for some brands I feel its more reliable than the TLC+planar NAND combination.

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