Final Words

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. In the end, TLC is both a NAND and a controller game because you need to do tricks on both sides to design a drive that can provide close to MLC-like performance, while still keeping the cost benefits of TLC. 

To date, nobody has been able to cross the bar Samsung set and neither does the Trion 100. In fact, the Trion is the slowest modern TLC drive we've tested and in some cases it is so by a quite hefty margin. Typical to TLC drives, the Trion falls short under anything IO intensive. It does perform okay (although it's still the slowest) in our Light trace, but as soon as the IO workload is increased the Trion begins to hiccup. Since the Trion is an entry-level drive, that's not a matter of life and death because in most cases it will only be subjected to basic client workloads, which are far from being IO intensive, perhaps negating the issue and moving the contest more to price. 

The specific areas that need improvement are low queue depth read performance and write performance in general. Random read performance especially at queue depth of 1 is lacking and up to 50% lower compared to competing drives, and for some reason the sequential read performance has queue depth scaling issues at 480GB and 960GB where the drive needs a very high queue depth to reach its maximum throughput. Despite using a pseudo-SLC cache for writes, the write performance in every scenario is underwhelming and one of the key issues is the fact that there is absolutely no performance scaling with queue depth regardless of the capacity. 

The poor performance also translates to power inefficiency. Because the drive spends more time processing each IO, it will end up idling less than a faster drive would and as we saw in the trace-based tests that results in higher total power consumed than any other drive we have tested. For desktop users this is hardly an issue, but I would suggest mobile users to look elsewhere, namely BX100 and 850 EVO.

Amazon Price Comparison (7/9/2015)
  120/128GB 240/250/256GB 480/500/512GB 960GB/1TB
OCZ Trion 100 $60 $90 $180 $360
Crucial BX100 $65 $90 $180 $380
OCZ ARC 100 $54 $89 $170 -
Samsung 850 EVO $68 $98 $162 $378
SanDisk Ultra II $63 $90 $173 $330
Transcend SSD370 $58 $90 $176 $359

The downside of being the slowest modern drive we have tested is that OCZ can only compete in price, but unfortunately the pricing isn't aggressive enough for the Trion to be competitive at all. Currently the ARC 100 is even cheaper than the Trion 100, which just doesn't make any sense because even OCZ is positioning the ARC 100 higher on paper and it's undoubtedly a better drive all way around. There is usually some level of decline from the initial street price soon after the launch, but in all honesty OCZ needs to cut the prices by 15-20% for the Trion to have a place on the market. OCZ told us that it will be running promotions with discounts, but it remains to be seen if those can bring the prices down to a level where performance and price meet. It has the lowest performance, thus it needs to be priced lower than the competition to provide the value to the user because right now I wouldn't have to think twice about buying the BX100 or 850 EVO over the Trion 100.

All in all, getting TLC done right is far from an easy job as we have witnessed with here. I believe that with the first big wave of TLC SSDs coming this year we are going to see sub-par performance compared to MLC drives. Fundamentally I have no problem with that because even a "slow" modern TLC SSD is a significant upgrade from a hard drive, but it is time for the manufacturers to realize that the price should reflect performance. It's just silly to take up to 50% hit in performance and only offer a few dollar savings because any educated buyer will gladly pay the extra few dollars for a substantially better drive. Once other NAND vendors start to ship 3D NAND in volume next year, we will likely see the majority of client SSDs move to TLC because as Samsung showed with the 850 EVO, 3D TLC NAND can enable planar MLC-like performance, but in the meantime it seems like MLC SSDs will still provide better overall value.

Idle Power Consumption & TRIM Validation


View All Comments

  • JellyRoll - Thursday, July 9, 2015 - link

    Wow, it looks terrible to be honest. I agree with the analysis. WAY overpriced, especially considering the Samsung alternative. A swing and a miss from OCZ/Toshiba. Reply
  • ocz_tuff_bunny - Thursday, July 9, 2015 - link

    Hi JellyRoll,
    Thank you for your comment, since this is my first post in regards to this article please allow me to identify myself as a member of the OCZ Storage Solutions. Usually by the time a product launches the MSRP already changed. We’re monitoring pricing very closely and will adjust to where the market goes. We believe with this drive's endurance and reliability it's a good option for users looking to upgrade from a HDD. Thank you again for your input.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, July 9, 2015 - link

    This drive makes the ARC100 look even more like "the most underrated value drive". The Trion would need to undercut it significantly (and the BX100 and 850EVO). Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, July 10, 2015 - link

    To be fair, everyone here would expect a certain degree of performance at each price point... This drive drops the ball on performance, so it needs to pick up the slack when it comes to price.

    Also... To put this in perspective, this drive is probably as fast/maybe even slower than my OCZ Vertex 2 that I am still using today, which I bought 5-6 years ago...
  • LtGoonRush - Friday, July 10, 2015 - link

    Here is direct advice for OCZ: this is a very bad SSD, and there's no way to position bad SSDs profitably because the bottom of the market is already crowded with bad SSDs that have to be sold below cost.

    Instead, you should make SSDs that are not bad and are positioned appropriately in the marketplace. It's probably possible to make an SSD with a lower cost-to-manufacture that is not garbage and thus people might actually make a willing, informed choice to buy. I know it's not easy to differentiate your drives in a crowded market, but just making awful drives and hoping people buy them without knowing what they are getting is not a good strategy.
  • NvidiaWins - Friday, July 10, 2015 - link

    Samsung is one of those bottom feeding SSD vendors......
    Read this-
  • Questor - Sunday, July 12, 2015 - link

    This article barely mentions Samsung and not in a negative manner. How is it that you feel your comment and the link are relevant to this discussion? Reply
  • ocz_tuff_bunny - Friday, July 10, 2015 - link

    Hi LtGoonRush,
    Thank you for your input. We are a new organization under Toshiba and have made significant changes to everything from the design processes to production and validation. Trion 100 is optimized for value users, the market price will fluctuate and we will adjust. We appreciate your feedback.
  • hojnikb - Saturday, July 11, 2015 - link

    It's not a bad SSDs. Its slow, i give you that, but not so slow, that typical user will notice. Still orders of magnitude faster than typical HDDs.

    Its just need to be priced lower and it will make sense. And maybe a few firmware tweaks to boost speed a little, where it makes most sense. I'm sure there is something to be done.
  • sonny73n - Friday, July 10, 2015 - link

    Hi ocz_tuff_bunny,

    Speaking from my perspective, you can't just create a mediocre product and expect to survive in this day and age, unless it has outstanding value for the money. As for storage solutions, SSD price per GB is still high compared to HDD. Most of us are still not be able to afford SSD for the whole system, boot and storage. Furthermore, it's possible for SSD to lose its integrity if it's not being used for long period of time which defeats the whole purpose of data storing.
    For now I can only hope OCZ and the rest of the underdogs can improve and compete. We, consumers wouldn't want one company completely dominates the market. So, good luck OCZ.

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