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Toshiba SSD Q Series 128GB review

Alan Lu
23 Oct 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
70
inc VAT

Uneven performance makes this SSD a weak choice compared to the competition

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Specifications

128GB sata solid state disk

Toshiba isn’t well known as an SSD manufacturer, but the company is actually one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of the NAND flash chips that go inside SSDs. The Q Series is Toshiba’s latest SSD range and comes in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities. We looked at the 128GB version, also the cheapest model, which has a formatted capacity of 119GB. At £70, the 128GB Q Series SSD works out to be 55p per gigabyte, which is in line with the cost of similarly sized SSDs.

Toshiba SSD Q Series 128GB

All the Q Series SSDs use 19nm MLC flash chips. Toshiba won’t reveal which controller the 128GB Q-series SSD uses, but we strongly suspect the SSD uses Marvell controllers loaded with custom Toshiba firmware, rather than Marvell’s own, in the Q Series. Carefully prising open the casing (which isn’t for the faint of heart) reveals a chip with a partially obscured Marvell logo, but the controller firmware version number as reported by the free CrystalDiskInfo program doesn’t match the pattern of any Marvell firmware versioning we’ve seen before.

The Q Series’ two year warranty is short compared to its rivals, and we’d prefer to see a three-year warranty at least. Sadly, Q Series SSDs aren’t available as kits (complete with mounting brackets) for installation inside a desktop PC. However, the NTI Echo disk cloning software is available as a free download from http://www.toshibastorage.com/SSDKit. This software lets you create a complete copy of your hard disk to ease the migration from your old hard disk to your new SSD.

The SSD’s performance was surprisingly inconsistent. Large files were read at a quick 432.4MBs, but written far more slowly at 141.6MB/s which was unusual. The SSD’s small file transfer speeds were more in line with what we’d expect from a drive such as this, with small files being written at 108.4MB/s and read at 96.9MB/s. However, the 128GB Q Series’ small file performance is brisk, not exceptionally fast.

Toshiba SSD Q Series 128GB

This variable performance is disappointing, as previous Toshiba SSDs have been consistently fast in all our benchmarks, beating many other SSDs. The 128GB Q Series isn’t a bad SSD, but it’s not especially good value compared to the competition. Toshiba has already announced the Q Series Pro range of SSDs which will be available later this year in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities. Pricing has yet to be set, but hopefully the performance of the Q Series Pro will be far better than the lacklustre showing here. In the meantime, if you want a cheap, small capacity SSD we’d recommend the 120GB version of the Crucial M500.

Basic Specifications

Rating***

Storage

Capacity128GB
Formatted capacity119
Price per gigabyte£0.59
InterfaceSATA3
Power connectorSATA
CacheN/A
Seek timeN/A
Bearing technologyN/A
Noise (in normal use)N/A

Buying Information

Price£70
Warrantytwo years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.dabs.com
Detailswww.toshiba.eu

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