Final Words & Conclusion
Final Words & Conclusion
OCZ needed to inject a value SSD that offers strong read performance and, within that range, the ability to forfeit on write performance. In that respect the product series is a success as read performance wise this product can easily attack the competition. And if you use your PC or laptop in a normal fashion like for the internet and gaming, these SSDs will still be plenty fast. Write performance in several segments however was pretty bad. I dare to state that under normal usage you will not notice it as most of your saved data hits the DRAM cache first and then gets written. But if you have heavy writing workloads, this SSD series is not for you. The IOPS performance screams out loud and proud above 90K on 4K random aligned reads, but writes just blew. Our trace testing shows impressive results as well, but again only for reads. This is a trace test and can emulate what you guys do on your PC with spicy workloads focused on reads mostly. Sequential and sustained writes disappoint, copying an ISO or MKV file will drop down to values below 200 MB/sec.
Performance and Endurance
Performance and features wise the SSD series is OK, not fast in writes but consistent, which is good.
OCZ is using TLC NAND here, explaining the write performance as shown. What is interesting to see is that OCZ is now raising the bar as they have rated these SSDs to be capable of writing 55 GB per day for three years with the 240 GB model already. In fact they have put a warranty in place covering these three years.
Talking about warranty, OCZ implemented their ShieldPlus warranty which also applies to this product. As explained, you receive five years warranty with this SSD and you get these luxurious conditions:
- With no original proof of purchase required, end-users simply provide their serial number and a dedicated OCZ customer service representative will provide high-caliber troubleshooting and support.
- In the event that the product is determined to be defective, a brand-new SSD of the same capacity will be advance shipped to the customer.
- When the replacement is received, end-users will find a pre-paid return label and need only to place their original drive in the box for a free return to OCZ.
- With the value added ShieldPlus Warranty there is no support hassle, no endless return loops, no shipping costs, and end-users will benefit from significantly reduced downtime to maximize their SSD experience and productivity.
- OCZ ShieldPlus is available in both North America and EMEA, additional supported regions will be announced in the future.
Though the above mentioned paragraphs already say a lot about reliability I wanted to add this. In the past OCZ has been jinxed with high-failure rates on some of their SSDs, mostly related to 3rd party controllers. Ever since OCZ moved to their in-house controller they have had very low failure rates. Over time the failure rates have dropped well below 1% (even 0.1% with some SKUs) on products like the Vector 150 for example. Combine all these facts like the increased number of host writes, the warranty plan and overall endurance and then you'll realize that their products are a good deal.
Overall SSD Usage
An SSD is enjoyable, very much so. If you put a drive like this into your SATA 3 compatible laptop or SATA 3 compatible PC, you'll have no idea what is about to hit you. We very much enjoy the grand sustained performance of this SSD series. Make no mistake, replacing an HDD with an SSD in your desktop PC or laptop eliminates the random access lag of the HDD head, it is no longer mechanical. That, combined with the performance SATA 3 offers these days, is simply a massive difference and probably the best upgrade you can make for your computer anno 2015.
Some overall recommendations then. Should you be in the market for a SATA 3 SSD then we have a couple of hints though. First and foremost if you have a SATA 2 controller only on your motherboard, then you'll get limited at roughly 270 MB/sec read and writes. SATA 3 (6Gbps) will free you up from that allowing the SSD to perform in the 500 MB/sec range. It is however important that you connect your SSD to the proper controller. We absolutely prefer the performance of the Intel Series 6 and 7 (H67/P67/Z68/Z77/H77/Z87/X79/H97/Z97/X99) integrated SATA 6G controller over anything else available in the market. If you run the SSD from a 3rd party controller like say a Marvell 6G controller, you will see lower performance. The new AMD 85X chipsets also offer fantastic performance. The more recent Asmedia controllers we spotted lately on motherboards also offer good performance, albeit still 20% ~ 25% slower than Intel's controllers. Also make sure you run your drive in AHCI mode, it does make such a difference in performance, a big difference.
The truth is that I have mixed feelings about the Trion series 100, but in all fairness I am a power user. I want the best performance at all times. Read performance for the Trion series is excellent, but if you copy an ISO or .MKV worth a couple of GBs you'll be surprised as to how slow the performance can be. Now I do need to make a side-note here, the higher the volume size of the SSD, the better write performance will get. So writing big files is much slower as to what we can expect these days. Trace read tests however show that under normal workloads the performance is really good. It's all about the DRAM cache; up-to the point it fills up the write performance is very fast, but then it'll drop fast. Now I am nitpicking here as we are talking 100 to 200 GB/sec depending on the volume size. With the low latency that can still be considered fast, and sure, we also have to acknowledge that this is a value series SSD, the cheapest ones you can find. But for an SSD in 2015, hard to get excited about. In that respect and product positioning, things work out OK overall. Endurance numbers are good, and impressive for TLC NAND. Again, depending on the volume size of the SSD, say 55GB per day / three years is guaranteed under warranty. The warranty plan itself is fantastic, though you do need to reside in the US or EU for it. I mean, no original proof of purchase required and OCZ will send you a replacement SSD upfront and will also pick up the bill for shipping. Though with low failure rates you will likely never have to experience that. Power consumption is a tiny bit on the high side if you were planning to use one in a laptop at close to 5 Watts, then again an HDD inside a laptop uses more. OCZ will release four models with the following street prices. Covered with a three year warranty the street prices excluding local TAX/VAT for these SSDs will cost roughly:
|Trion 100 120 GB||$56.99||48 Cents per USD|
|Trion 100 240 GB||$87.99||37 Cents per USD|
|Trion 100 480 GB||$184.99||39 Cents per USD|
|Trion 100 960 GB||$369.99||39 Cents per USD|
So starting at the 240 GB model that is roughly 37 cents per GB in USD and it is also the most price attractive model. Time will tell how successful this product series will be, it is tough to beat the Samsungs and Microns out there. Pricing wise OCZ certainly is playing the cards right, albeit it still should be a notch lower at 35 cents per GB. The product itself will have high endurance, excellent read performance, though has seriously mediocre write performance under hefty workloads. But if your target is a gaming or internet PC, then we have to admit, this is looking to be a great value option with an excellent after sales program as well. Remember, if you purchase a larger capacity Trion 100 SSD, you lifespan writes increase significantly, hence that 480 GB at 185 USD with 110 GB writes per day / 120 TB written under warranty is looking pretty terrific. If you need a little more bite in write performance, have a peek at the excellent value OCZ ARC series instead. However if you want cheap, reliable and fast reads, this is definitely an OK product.