Toshiba's latest addition to its range of consumer NVMe drives is the RC100, aimed at the value end of the NVMe market. It sits between the TR200 SATA SSD and the enthusiast NVMe RD400 in Toshiba's consumer SSD drive line up.
The first thing that grabs you about the new drive is just how small it is – built on the M.2 2242 format, it's just 42mm long. To get such a small package Toshiba has used a BGA (Ball Grid Array) design with the controller and the 64-layer TLC BiCS NAND stacked into a single package. The controller is an in-house Toshiba design but details about it are pretty non-existent. While it's their first BGA PCIe SSD for the consumer space, the company has been offering BGA SSD's in the OEM segment for around three years.
There are a couple of limitations going down this design route; there's not enough space for any DRAM cache and the interface is limited to PCIe x2. Instead of DRAM cache, the RC100 uses something called Host Memory Buffer (HMB). HMB was part of the NVMe Rev 1.2 specification. It allows a drive to have access to part of the host system's main memory to use as a small scale cache.
The new drive comes in three capacities: 120 GB, 240 GB, (the drive that Toshiba kindly provided for review) and the flagship 480 GB. The official sequential performance figures for the 240GB drive are up to 1,600MB/s for reads and up to 1,050MB/s for writes. The 120GB drive is rated at up to 1,350MB/s and 700MB/s for reads and writes respectively, while the 480GB drive read figures is the same as the 240GB with a slight increase in write speed at 1100MB/s.
When it comes to random read/write performance, Toshiba quotes figures at a QD of 32. The 120GB drive is rated as up to 80,000 IOPS for reads and up to 95,000 IOPS for writes while the 240GB drive gets an up to 130,000 IOPS rating for reads and the 480GB drive gets 150,000 IOPS. Both drives are rated as up to 110,000 IOPS for writes.
Toshiba quotes an endurance figure for the 240GB drive as 120TB TBW which works out at around 110 GB/Sday writes for the length of the 3 year warranty the drive comes with.
- Usable Capacities: 240GB
- NAND Components: Toshiba 64-layer 3D BiCS TLC
- NAND Controller: Toshiba
- Cache: DRAM less design
- Interface: PCIe Gen 3.1a x2
- NVMe command set: 1.2.1
- Form Factor: M.2 2242 B-M key
- Dimensions: 42 x 22 x 0.15mm
- Drive Weight: 3.1g
Firmware Version: ADRA0101
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