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Tom’s Hardware Reviews Toshiba's OEM XG3 MLC M.2 NVMe SSD

Tom’s Hardware Reviews Toshiba's OEM XG3 MLC M.2 NVMe SSD
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Synopsis: Eager to get his hands on this “OEM secret”, Chris Ramseyer reviews the Toshiba XG3 M.2 NVMe SSD for a glimpse at what the OCZ RevoDrive 400 may have to offer.

After an extended wait from its first official announcement at the 2015 Flash Memory Summit, Chris Ramseyer of Tom’s Hardware finally gets ahold of an OEM 128GB Toshiba XG3 MLC 80mm (2280) M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe SSD and puts it through a variety of tests to evaluate both its standard performance and performance with real-world software.

Was it worth his wait? Ramseyer seems to think so claiming, “Toshiba's XG3 is a good OEM storage product that should deliver years of high performance. If you spend the extra money now to get one of these in your notebook, you shouldn't feel compelled to upgrade anytime soon.”

As testing proved that the XG3 can deliver over 10,000 random read IOPS at a queue depth of one, Chris came away impressed saying, “This is the yardstick we use to separate good SSDs from great ones. It's not unheard of to see so much speed from an OEM drive, but there is only one other client-oriented OEM product in the same league. “

The XG3 also offered a similar sequential mixed workload performance to Samsung’s SM941 AHCI SSD. Chris explains the NVMe advantage, “At a queue depth of two, Toshiba is even a bit faster. The XG3 easily outmaneuvers both of Samsung's AHCI-attached drives through a queue depth of 128.” He summarizes, “for an OEM drive, the Toshiba XG3 is really good. If my next notebook ships with one, I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade on performance alone.”

Ramseyer went on to say, “Vendors that rely on the upgrade market to sell SSDs should be concerned about Toshiba's XG3.” Elaborating more, he writes, “Its performance is close to the best drives available today, and most of the systems we've seen with the XG3 are high-end "gaming" notebooks.” While Ramseyer was unable to find a Toshiba-specific NVMe driver at the time of his XG3 review, Ramseyer points out that Microsoft enables basic support in Windows 8.x and 10.

Chris also makes sure to mention that the 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacity XG3 SSDs feature a single-sided configuration that minimizes potential “fit” issues when upgrading as devices continue to get slimmer and more compact. He notes, “Ultrabooks leave very little room between the motherboard and chassis. And while we've yet to run into an issue, we expect to at some point.”

Additionally, Ramseyer reminds power users of the benefits in pairing two XG3 SSDs together in a RAID setting by saying, “I really like MSI's implementation, with two 128GB XG3 drives in RAID 0. It doubles capacity and gives a nice performance increase.”

Concluding his review, Ramseyer notes, “If OEM system builders adapt NVMe technology for mid-level products, then the SSD aftermarket sellers are in trouble. The XG3 is a fast SSD that anyone would love to own.” OCZ plans to bring the OEM XG3 to market as the RevoDrive 400, the brand’s first client-focused NVMe product to compete with Samsung and Intel.


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