The once mighty OCZ looked as though it was going to become a dominant force in the SSD industry in the early days with their Vertex and Agility SSDs. Unfortunately, the company was never able to ward off reliability issues and this played a key role in their demise, which came in the form of Toshiba purchasing the company in early 2014.
Since then under the control of Toshiba we’ve seen a few new products come out of OCZ, though truth be told none of them have been stellar. Last year we reviewed the Trion 100, the first OCZ SSD to feature both a Toshiba controller and A19 TLC NAND flash memory.
The bar for TLC SSDs was set by Samsung in 2012 and frankly that bar was set very high. As a company that develops everything in-house, Samsung has a massive advantage when it comes to new technologies because its controller and NAND teams can collaborate in a way that’s not possible for other companies.
Thanks to its parent company OCZ was now in a similar situation but unfortunately, they weren’t able to deliver a package that could rival Samsung’s already established Evo series. The initial MSRP was far too high though OCZ was able to correct this before long. Today the 480GB Trion 100 costs $150 which is roughly the same price as the 850 Evo 500GB.
Regrettably even with competitive pricing the Trion 100 can’t hold a candle to the 850 Evo’s performance and even worse is the reliability. My Trion 100 is still going strong, though I must admit it’s seen very little use in the time I’ve had it, and user reports online are very damning.
For example, on newegg.com the majority of user reviews complain about failures. Just 38% of all users were happy with the drives with 42% giving the lowest score possible and almost all said the drive died within weeks or months. Having only had my Trion 150 for a few days now it is impossible to gauge how reliable not just my uniy is, but the series as a whole.
Moving past the reliability concerns, what does the Trion 150 bring to the table? As the name suggests the Trion 150 is an incremental upgrade as it shifts focus from Toshiba’s A19nm TLC to their 15nm TLC. Other than the adoption of this technology, the rest of the specifications go unchanged.
The 480GB model that I have in hand boasts the same 550MB/s read speed and 530MB/s write speed. The endurance still sees a total bytes written rating if 120TB which equates to 110 gigabytes per day over the 3-year warranty. With the specifications being largely unchanged, let’s jump into the benchmark results…
AS SSD Access Time
The Trion 150 greatly improves the read and write access time of the previous model and provides our best results yet, making it faster than even the Samsung SSD 850 Pro.
The Trion 150 provided the same read performance as the Trion 100, largely due to the limitations of the SATA interface. The write performance on the other hand was slightly improved and now matched the Samsung SSD 850 Pro and Kingston HyperX Savage.
Crystal Random 512K
The above graph is arranged by read result and interestingly the Trion 150 was slower than the previous model. This is despite what can only be described as a truly massive jump in performance when looking at the write results. Here the Trion 150 sustained 494MB/s to making it one of the fastest SATA SSDs tested and much faster than the 291MB/s of the Trion 100.
Crystal random 4K
The random 4K performance of the Trion 150 is slightly improved over the previous model and while the read performance was actually very strong the write result was lacking behind the competition.
PCMark 7 Video Editing
Although the Trion 150 was technically faster than the Trion 100 in the PCmark video edition test, it is fair to say the 2MB/s increase is negligible at best. Unfortunately this means while faster than the Trion 100 and Kingston HyperX Savage, the Trion 150 is still considerably slower than the bulk of its competition.
PCMark 7 Gaming
This time the Trion 150 was slightly slower than the Savage and although it did provide a reasonable performance gain over the Trion 100, it was still much slower than the Samsung SSD 850 EVO and Crucial drives for example.
PCMark 8 Storage Score
The original Trion 100 didn’t perform particularly well in the PCmark 8 storage benchmark and frankly the Trion 150 isn’t much better. Granted it did outperform the Kingston HyperX Savage it was over 30% slower than the Samsung SSD 850 Evo.
When it comes to Serial ATA SSDs these days, particularly these TLC based models, it is all about pricing and reliability – performance is now less of a concern for a few reasons. Firstly, the limits of the SATA six gigabits per second bus were reached quite some time ago now so with the exception of small random transactions there isn’t a great deal to improve upon.
Secondly those looking to invest in a TLC based SSD are usually coming from a hard drive and even the slowest modern SSDs are worlds faster than the fastest hard drive. That said the OCZ Trion 150 has more than medieval mechanical drives to worry about. Already in the TLC space we have the tried and true Samsung SSD 850 Evo as well as Crucial’s own BX200 series.
Looking at prices they are all quite evenly matched. The Trion 150 480GB model that we reviewed here currently costs $140, so at just 29 cents per gigabyte, this makes it around $10 cheaper than the previous model, which is great.
This also makes the Trion 150 480GB around 8% cheaper than the 850 Evo 500, though keep in mind Samsung’s slightly larger capacity means it works out to be roughly the same price at 30 cents per gigabyte. This makes the Trion 150 a tough sell indeed as its clearly inferior to the 850 Evo in terms of performance and endurance. The 850 Evo has also been selling for over a year now and user reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
The Crucial BX200 is another option at a cost of just 27 cents per Gigabyte for the 480GB model. When compared to Samsung, Crucial sacrificed performance for price with their BX200 series and frankly I don’t think the performance hit is worth the few cents you save per Gigabyte.
Overall the Trion 150 is another disappointing offering to come out of the OCZ and Toshiba collaboration. Given the horrible reliability track record of the Trion 100 we wouldn’t be confident investing in the Trion 150 – this new series certainly has a lot to prove in the next 6 to 12 months.
Let me know what you think about OCZ’s new Trion 150 SSD …. Do you think I am being too harsh or do you agree with my comments? Also if you have been using the Trion 100 please share your experiences with us!