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OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD Review

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In a bit of a change from my last few reviews on motherboards I will be looking at a new SSD! Today we will be reviewing OCZ‘s latest offering, the OCZ Trion 150. If you remember, we reviewed the Trion 100 last year. The drive was budget oriented, focused on reads more so than writes, and performed pretty well around. OCZ has updated the Trion series and while the specifications are remarkably similar, some reworking of the controller and firmware, as well as a switch in NAND, should allow for a bit better performance while still being at a very affordable price point. Have a seat and let’s see how it does!

Specifications and Features

Below are the Specifications from the OCZ website for the Trion 150. As you may be able to tell, not much has changed at all for the high level specifications. The card still uses a Toshiba based controller (TC58), has 1.5 million hours MTBF, with peak specifications of 550MB/s sequential reads, and 530 MB/s sequential writes. As far as IOPS against those numbers, it is spec’d out at 90K IOPS reads, and 54K IOPS writes (random R/W). It has a sustained write capability of 3.2K IOPS. You still receive OCZ’s great ShieldPlus Warranty (3 years).

About the only real difference here is the move to 15nm TLC NAND (Toshiba IC’s of course). See the specifications table below for more details.

OCZ Trion 150 480 GB SSD Specifications
Capacity 480 GB
Interface SATA III 6 GB/s
Controller Toshiba Controller -TC58
Flash Toshiba 15nm Triple-Level Cell (TLC)
Form Factor 2.5 inch, 7mm height (fits ultra-thin notebooks)
Dimensions 100 x 69.85 x 7mm
MTBF 1.5 million hours
Sequential Read/Write Speeds (6 GB/s) 550/530 MB/s
Max random 4K Read/Write/Sustain 90,000/54,000/3,200 IOPS
Endurance 120TB TBW (Total Bytes Written) 110 GB/day (following JEDEC JESD219A client workload)
Service & Support 3-Year ShieldPlus Warranty, Toll-Free Tech Support, 24 Hour Forum Support, Firmware Updates

I also briefly mentioned the Trion 150 is a good budget and performance compromise. The SSD is optimized for lower energy consumption and has built-in power management modes which are good for longer battery life on your laptop. Some of the main features we touched on above from the 15nm TLC NAND, to the Toshiba controller/firmware are also included below.

Couple these features with 100% Toshiba technology and the ShieldPlus Warranty (3 years, cross-ship/advanced replacement) you end up with a pretty solid SSD on paper!

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Next Gen TLC Technology

Built with premium Toshiba TLC NAND flash

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Toshiba Controller & Firmware

Leverages Toshiba SSD controller technology

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Performance Made Affordable

Superior balance of price and performance

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Better Battery Life

Optimized for lower energy consumption for longer battery life with built-in power management modes

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World-class Quality & Reliability

100% Toshiba technology built into every drive, keeping data secure

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ShieldPlus Warranty

Provides an elite, worry-free customer service experience. An industry-leading approach to service that eliminates all the hassle surrounding support and warranty claims consumers may have to deal with. NO Shipping costs and NO hassle with ADVANCED replacement

Packaging/Product Tour

Below we see a brief slideshow of the retail packaging. There are some slight changes on this packaging compared to the last generation Trion. It is still a mix of dark and light blues, etc on an off white background. It shows a picture of the drive along with the Trion 150 name as well as sporting a sticker in the corner showing the capacity of the drive inside. In this case, we are using the 480GB.

On the back of the box, we see a list of some high level features as well as some marketing speak. Inside the box, the SSD is packed snug inside of its form fitting plastic packaging. The accessory stack is pretty thin (read nothing included), but, for Pete’s sake, its an SSD! Everything you need to use this comes with your motherboard (SATA cables) and Power supply (SATA power) anyway so you are set. One thing you do not get with the Trion is the key for the Acronis back up suite. It seems it is reserved for the higher end models, I’d like to see the software included here as well.

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The Drive

The next slideshow shows some pictures of the drive. The Trion 150 measures 100mm x 69.85mm x 7mm so it will fit into an ultrabook laptop being 7mm. There is a slight difference between it and the Trion 100 as far as looks go, but just with color theme. As you read earlier and can see now, it still accepts a standard SATA 6 Gbps connector for data and a SATA power cable to get things running.

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Close up

Taking a closer look at the drive, we popped it apart (no screws!) to display the PCB, NAND, and controller. First thing we can see here are eight out of sixteen of the Toshiba 15nm NAND chips. After flipping over the PCB we see the other eight NAND chips as well as the Toshiba TC58 controller under the thermal pad. One thing to note here is the Trion 100 didn’t have the thermal pad. This should keep things running cooler as it uses the entire case as a heatsink.

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Software

Next up is OCZ’s software for their storage solutions, SSD Guru. The latest version (1.5.2312 – LINK) doesn’t bring too many changes and still has everything you need to manage the drive. The dashboard shows a high level view of the drive health while in details, it will show SMART data. You are also able to over-provision and run a manual TRIM command in the Tuner section. Firmware updates and the option to Secure Erase the drive are available through the Maintenance tab. I didn’t have any issues with the software in my uses.

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Test System and Methods

Test System Components
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Formula
CPU Intel i7 6700K @ Stock (4.2 GHz)
Memory GSkill Trident Z DDR4 3200 MHz CL 15 @ 3000 MHz 15-15-15-35
SSD OCZ Trion 150 480 GB
Power Supply Seasonic 1000P
Video Card AMD R7 260

Each SSD is Secure Erased (SE) using the OCZ SSD Guru utility to make sure we get the best results possible. We do this before each and every test run to give the comparison samples the best environment possible for testing. Below are the tests we run with a brief description.

  • Crystal Disk Mark – Run at Default Settings (5 Pass)
  • AS SSD – Run at Default Settings
  • IoMeter 2010 – Ran Manually with QD32 for the 4K Tests
  • ATTO – Run at Default Setting with QD Set to 10

Performance/Results

CrystalDiskMark

Our first benchmark, CrystalDiskMark, shows some pretty good improvements for the most part. For reads, those were all better than the Trion 100 except for the 4K reads results hitting 33.4 MB/s versus 71.8 MB/s on the Trion 100. Not sure what is going on with that specific test. But after looking around the web a bit, it seems like that number is accurate as others have been in the ballpark. Outside of the 4K result, this is the fastest drive in our round up on the read side for CrystalDiskMark.

When looking at the writes, there were minor improvements in the sequential, and 4K QD32, the 512K results were a massive improvement eclipsing everything in this test by a country mile. Improvements across the board here.

Crystal Disk Mark - Read

Crystal Disk Mark – Read

Crystal Disk Mark - Writes

Crystal Disk Mark – Writes

AS SSD

Jumping on over to AS SSD, on the read side we see a great improvement on the sequential run, a negligible loss with 4K and a huge drop in 4K-64Thrd when comparing it against the Trion 100. Outside of the 4K-64Thrd it was leading or towards the top of these results. Again, I looked in the mirror to see why the huge drop, but, couldn’t find anything. I again looked around the web and found results close to mine (nowhere near the Trion 100) results, so, this is legit.

Writes though were a different story. Results were either similar or better than the Trion 100, generally being in the top half of the comparison drives.

Access times were fine though a bit slower than most in the test.

The overall score is down from its previous generation, scoring 766. Though it went up in writes (309 to 405), the reads really took a hit (428 to 228) almost being cut in half!

AS SSD - Reads

AS SSD – Reads

AS SSD - Writes

AS SSD – Writes

AS SSD - Access Times

AS SSD – Access Times

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AS SSD – Totals

IOMeter

The IOMeter results show improvement on the 2MB side in writes but the same in reads. The 4K side of things actually showed a drop in performance versus the Trion 100. The IOPS looked good on the 2MB side of things for both reads and writes. The 4K results looked good for writes, eclipsing the 54K IOPS it is spec’d out to do, but falling well short in reads. That said, they did not use IOMeter to get their results (CDM) so I wouldn’t hold too much against it here in this test.

IOMeter - 2MB/4K Reads and Writes

IOMeter – 2MB/4K Reads and Writes

IOMeter - 2MB IOPS

IOMeter – 2MB IOPS

IOMeter - 4K IOPS

IOMeter – 4K IOPS

 

ATTO

The ATTO results looked pretty good overall beating the Trion 100 across the board in both reads and writes (outside of the 1K result in reads). We see it beat the specifications peaking at over 563 MB/s on reads and 533 MB/s on writes. This is against a spec’d 550/530 respectively.

ATTO - Reads

ATTO – Reads

ATTO - Writes

ATTO – Writes

Anvil Storage Utility

Last up is our newest storage benchmark in Anvil Storage Utility. This runs a slew of tests from 4K to 128K sizes both sequential and random with different queue depths. The Trion 100 scored 3,511.xx while the Trion 150 smashes that number with 4,419.xx. A great showing here overall with this mixed load test.

Anvil Storage Utilities

Anvil Storage Utilities

Conclusion

The Trion line from OCZ always intended to be more of a budget oriented drive that tendrf to focus on reads more so than writes; this remains true with the Trion 150 as well, but with a few improvements. While there were a few dips in 4K read speed (and a couple of curiously large differences), overall the drive is as fast or faster in most tests we ran against the drive. Real world ‘feel’ was no different than the Trion 100 in the same system with the same OS image on it.

As far as negatives go, there isn’t too much to mention. I would like to see Acronis included with this drive as well instead of being an ‘exclusive’ for their higher end drives.

Pricing on newegg for the 480GB Trion 150 comes in at $129.99… which happens to currently be the same price of the Trion 100 it is replacing and is an incredible 27 cents /GB!!! When we reviewed the previous Trion, it was listed at $179.99 or over 37 cents /GB. Pricing has come down quite a bit in the market/on these drives it seems. If you look at it among some direct competitors, the pricing is pretty attractive. The 850 EVO (which is a faster drive, particularly in writes mind you) is $150, while the Crucial MX200 comes in at $160 (also a faster drive). There is also the latest Crucial BX200 drive that would compare directly with this one, is also at the same price. But in looking at some reviews of its performance, it ends up slower in many tests I could compare directly. The price point seems to hit the mark with its performance and market positioning/intent. Amazing how inexpensive SSD’s have gotten, ehh?

If you are looking for a HDD replacement for either your laptop or desktop and don’t want or need the meager differences the high end performance drives offer, OCZ’s Trion 150 line should be a serious contender for your money and is Overclockers.com approved!

What Does This Mean? Click to Find Out!

What Does This Mean? Click to Find Out!

– Joe Shields (Earthdog)

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