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OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD Review

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OCZ Trion 150 SSD Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions.

See that caveat in the previous paragraph about market conditions changing? That has never been more true! Even in the fast changing consumer electronics market, the drop in SSD prices and increase in performance over the last year has been astonishing. The advent of competitive TLC NAND drives, which has been pretty much the exclusive province of the Samsung 850 EVO series since late 2014, is especially good for the consumer.

While it’s less expensive than MLC NAND, TLC NAND has slower writes, lower iOPS, and less endurance– that is, a TLC NAND drive will wear out before an MLC drive. But new controllers and drive architectures are addressing these problems. The OCZ Trion 150 drive that’s the subject of this review has 16 NAND chips, twice as many as I’d normally expect in a 512GB-class drive. I suspect that’s so the controller can write to more chips at once, which would explain the boost in sustained write speeds. Other tricks like on-board cache RAM, or Samsung’s “RAPID” driver that allocates part of your system RAM as cache, can help to.

All these technical details aside, the points to take away are that TLC drives are less expensive than MLC drives, and the performance gap is narrowing dramatically, and the remaining performance deficits relative to MLC drives in general won’t be noticeable in consumer use. If 46K random iOPS is only about half what the best MLC SATA SSDs are capable of, well, I can pretty much guarantee that your gaming box isn’t ever going to get close to even that number, so who cares?

ocz_triton_150_box_ssd

The lower endurance of TLC NAND– how many times it can be erased and re-written– is reflected in the drive’s 3-year warranty, which is on the low side compared to its MLC competition; but 120TB of writes is, as previously mentioned, rather a lot of data. By the time this drive dies you’ll be able to pick up a better replacement for a fraction of the cost. Realistically this drive will last many years in most consumer systems.

So this drive offers a low price and excellent performance– aside from an oddly low score in the AS-SSD benchmark. But the problem is the Samsung 850 EVO, whose price has dropped dramatically in the last few months. In this case, the $140 price for this drive (Amazon) is going up against the $159.99 price of a 500GB Samsung 850 EVO (Newegg). And that extra $20 gets you 20 more gigabytes of capacity, a 5 year warranty as compared to a 3 year warranty, and utility software to migrate your existing Windows installation to the new drive. Unless you’re really pinching pennies, the Samsung is a compelling option, especially if you don’t mind devoting a few gigabytes of system RAM for a cache.

Remember, though, that volatile SSD pricing. Between the time I started this review and the time I’m typing this, the price of the 480GB Trion 150 dropped about $15 (while the price of the 960GB jumped up about $40), so ratings for drives based on price/performance are in a constant state of flux. Use our test results to inform your decision, then check current prices to help you home in on the best drive for you.

The OCZ Trion 150 SSD is available in several capacities: 120GB $45.99 (Amazon) 240GB $69.99 (Amazon), 480GB $139.99 (Amazon), 960GB: $269.99 (Amazon. But while the price and performance of this drive are good, the competition is pressing hard, and buyers should check current prices and features before making a decision.

Pros:

Benchmark Reviews Recommended Product Award Logo (Small)

+ Low, albeit not the lowest, cost for high capacity SSDs
+ Supports TRIM, NCQ, and RAID
+ New Toshiba controller and NAND provide exceptional performance in most applications

Cons:

– Performance still not as good as MLC drives, especially in iOPS
– No included utility or migration software
– Only a 3-year warranty

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.75
  • Appearance: 8.00
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 8.00
  • Value: 8.50

Final Score: 8.45 out of 10.

Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.

COMMENT QUESTION: Which brand of SSD do you trust most?

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