Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Toshiba's 'value-optimized' NVMe SSDs are now available

There are cheaper options, though.

We've seen a bunch of nice deals on 2.5-inch SATA solid state drives in recent weeks, though for the most part, faster NVMe SSDs still carry a premium. That hasn't changed today. However, Toshiba says its new "value-optimized" RC100 series SSDs are now available at affordable price points.
"With the RC100 Series, we set out to address a major complaint that users have with NVMe drives—their expense," said Alex Mei, vice president marketing, consumer SSDs and storage outbound marketing at TMA. "Not only are our new SSDs more affordable than the enthusiast NVMe drives on the market, they are more compact and power efficient as well. With the RC100 Series, we’re opening the door for mainstream adoption of the M.2 NVMe standard—and all of the benefits it brings."
Toshiba is right about its RC100 SSDs being more compact than most—they utilize the M.2 2242 (22 x 42 mm) form factor and can squeeze into mini PCs like Intel's NUC. They should also install in longer M.2 2280 slots found on most modern motherboards.
With regards to pricing, however, Toshiba's RC100 series SSDs are cheaper than some of the alternatives, but not the least expensive around. Here's how street pricing breaks down:
If you're not concerned about the compact form factor, we found cheaper options at all three capacities. For example, this Kingston A100 480GB SSD is on sale at Newegg for $144.97, and Corsair's Force MP300 480GB sells for $172.26 (not a sale price).
Pricing aside, the RC100 series SSDs use 64-layer, 3-bit triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash memory chips that Toshiba pairs with an in-house controller. Performance specs vary by capacity.  The fastest of the three is the 480GBm model, which is rated to deliver up to 1,600MB/s of sequential read performance and up to 1,100MBps of sequential writes. 4K random read and write metrics check in at up to 150,000 IOPS and 110,000 IOPS, respectively.
These drives are potentially much faster than even the speediest SATA-based SSDs, though it depends on what you're going. For gaming, there's not much benefit to be had. Where NVMe SSDs shine is when doing a lot of file transfers.
For those who are interested, Toshiba's new drives are available now. Also be sure to check out or picks for the best SSDs for gaming.
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