It's been about six months since OCZ released its Trion 100 SSD series targeting value-orientated consumers, and despite featuring premium TLC NAND flash from parent company Toshiba, pricing wasn't exactly competitive on arrival. The first Trion 100 drives were notably more expensive than the competing Samsung SSD 850 Evo and Crucial BX100.
OCZ promptly addressed this issue, but even today the Trion 100 series comes at a slightly higher cost per gigabyte than Samsung's TLC series. It's also significantly slower and based on what we've read online its reliability is also questionable.
With the Trion 100 series floundering about, OCZ is looking to replace it with a slightly cheaper revision that should improve performance and hopefully reliability as well.
I say revision, because other than a shiny new white enclosure, the only substantial change is OCZ moving away from Toshiba's A19nm TLC NAND in favor of its newer 15nm TLC NAND.
OCZ claims that while throughput specifications remain the same, users will see up to a 50% increase in performance in many real world cases such as file transfers and this is obviously something we will be looking at closely.
The Trion 150 series is being pitched as the ultimate hard drive replacement and that's ultimately what these TLC based SSDs are all about. While performance might not be the primary concern here, as any SSD released in the last year or so is going to smoke any hard drive, reliability is a huge concern.
OCZ says that the Trion 150 series provides world-class quality and reliability, if true the series will be a massive step forward from its predecessor. Thankfully the drives are backed with the OCZ ShieldPlus Warranty and while this won’t make losing your data any less painful, you will at least get a replacement product quickly.
OCZ Trion 150
The Trion 150 series comes in four capacity options, the cheapest being 120GB for $50, though we feel most will see considerably better value in the 240GB model for just $70. Spending $140 lands you the spacious 480GB model and for those shifting loads of data to and fro, the 960GB version can be had for $270.
All four models feature the same 550MB/s sequential read speed but as usual you can expect the write speeds to vary. The 120GB model states a maximum write speed of 450MB/s which is quite a bit slower than the 520MB/s of the 240GB model and the 530MB/s of the 480GB and 960GB models.
Endurance also varies greatly. The 120GB model is only good for 30TB of total writes which equates to 27GB per day over the three-year warranty period. The 240GB model allows for 60TB of data to be written, the 480TB model can handle 120TB of writes, and the 960GB model should remain healthy for at least 240TB of written data, which is a mind blowing 219GB per day.
Regardless of capacity, they all feature Toshiba's 15nm Triple-Level Cell (TLC) NAND flash connected to the Toshiba TC58 controller. To date, Toshiba hasn't released any information about this controller, though it's thought to be a rebadged Phison S10 and not a Toshiba creation. This wouldn't be the first time an OCZ SSD came fitted with a controller wearing a sneaky disguise.
The Indilinx Everest controller for example was really a Marvell controller with custom firmware -- we'd really prefer companies to be clear about these things. Claiming that the Trion 150 is class-leading and ultra-reliable because it features 100% Toshiba technology built into every drive could be an issue if you are in fact using a controller from another company, especially when that controller isn't in any way class-leading.
Moving past any controller controversy, the Trion 150 series is in fact slightly cheaper than the Trion 100 series, dropping the cost per gigabyte down to $0.29, around the same price as the Samsung SSD 850 Evo and Crucial BX200 series.
Today we would consider purchasing a BX200 drive for the simple fact that they work out to be roughly the same price as the equivalent 850 Evo, albeit with considerably weaker performance but at least reliability seems about the same.
For the Trion 150 to be deemed an instant success it needs to be relatively competitive with the 850 Evo in terms of performance while costing less. We already know it doesn't cost any less, so how does it perform? Let's move on to find out...