Toshiba generally isn't the first name that comes to mind when thinking of impressive solid state drives. However, there is more to a well-designed product than purely raw speed. A component needs to fit in your case and stay cool to perform as intended.

As with any component, bigger is not always better, especially if you are building a small form factor PC. If there is an option to make it smaller without sacrificing performance, manufacturers certainly do their best to do so, and Toshiba is no exception.

The Toshiba BG3 is a new choice of SSD for small form factors. It comes as an M.2 2230 card or M.2 1620 BGA chip that has storage capacities of up to 512GB. The BG3 packs 64-layer TLC BiCS Flash memory with 3-bits per cell, read speeds of up to 1520MB/s, and sequential writes up to 840MB/s. Over the previous generation of Toshiba's low cost SSDs, read speeds see a 60% improvement while write speeds gain 120%.

One of the shortcuts taken to fit so much storage into a small space was the removal of DRAM. Solid state drives typically have some amount of fast memory allocated to caching so that the on-board controller has reduced load and I/O operations complete faster. An SLC cache mode is available, which should keep random read speeds up to satisfactory levels.

An astoundingly small, high capacity drive may sound like something you would want to have, but the BG series is only readily available for OEMs. However, both M.2 cards and BGA chips will be making their way to finished products over the next several months.