Toshiba Q300 SSD 120GB review

Reviews, Storage

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The Q300 is a popular SSD on Amazon, thanks to its high maximum read and write speeds that essentially max out the SATA III connector. Today, we’re going to test this drive to see how it performs in a variety of benchmarks.

 

Specs & Features

  • 960GB 480GB 240GB 120GB
  • Max Read : 550 MB/s
  • Max Write : 530 MB/s
  • Interface: SATA 3.0
  • 2.5″ Toshiba Solid State Drive
  • 15 nm 3-bit-per-cell NAND flash, 7mm slim
  • 5 Year Warranty
 

Design

The Toshiba Q300 looks much like other solid state drives, with a shiny metal enclosure and a matching sticker front and centre.

Inside, you’ll find a TC58NC1000 controller and 15nm TLC NAND flash. TLC or Triple Level Cell flash offers a lower price-per-gigabyte compared to other designs, like SLC (Single Level Cell) and MLC (Multi Level Cell). That’s done by simply increasing the number of bits stored per cell; SLC is one, MLC is two, and TLC is three. You can see how this works in the diagram (made by Anandtech) below.

Image credit: Anandtech

The Q300 is available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, 480GB or 960GB. We’ve opted for the entry-level 120GB model to test. Note that we’re testing the most recent (ca. 2016) model, rather than the pre-2016 model which reportedly had some issues handling extremely large (>20GB) file transfers.

 

Testing

In order to test the speed of the drive, we ran four synthetic benchmarks with varying payloads: CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD, ATTO and HD Tune Pro. Combined, these should give us a good idea of the drive’s performance compared to others at a similar price.

The Toshiba A100 we reviewed earlier is the most interesting comparison, but we’ve included other drives we’ve tested in the past as well in case they could be useful.

To see our test rig’s specifications, check out our component breakdown here!

 

 

 

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark has been one of my favourite benchmarks for evaluating storage speeds for a while now, thanks to its varied incompressible workload and extremely readable results. Here’s the 3.0.3 x64 version of the benchmark; all results are in MB/s.

CDM 3 ReadSeq512K4K4K QD32
Toshiba Q300 SSD52238430344
Toshiba A100 SSD49032833350
Drevo X1 Pro SSD34222935278
Toshiba P300 HDD150480.61.6
Toshiba H200 Hybrid115380.62.5
Toshiba Canvio Premium118430.50.6
Samsung T33863513335
Sandisk Z41050835713146
Samsung 850 Evo M.250244745368
Samsung 850 Evo51347238408
Samsung 840 Evo51547335397
Corsair Neutron GTX45037627328

 

CDM 3 WriteSeq512K4K4K QD32
Toshiba Q300 SSD47024199203
Toshiba A100 SSD43840684315
Drevo X1 Pro SSD26927288269
Toshiba P300 HDD155690.61.0
Toshiba H200 Hybrid114522224
Toshiba Canvio Premium117501.31.3
Samsung T33573526977
Sandisk Z41040735597250
Samsung 850 Evo M.2474394113316
Samsung 850 Evo50447968352
Samsung 840 Evo50039086313
Corsair Neutron GTX48046869158

The Q300 shows good performance out of the gate, hitting the highest figures we’ve seen from a SATA-connected drive in sequential read speeds and going near the top of the back in sequential write speeds as well — impressive for a 120GB drive, where write speeds are normally reduced compared to identical drives in higher capacities. 512KB, 4K and 4K queue depth 32 results are also competitive.

 

AS SSD

AS SSD is another benchmarking tool quite similar to CrystalDiskMark, which uses predominantly incompressible data across a range of workloads including sequential tests, random performance and access times. First three numbers are MB/s and access time is in ms.

AS SSD ReadSeq4K4K QD64Acc. TimeScore
Toshiba Q300 SSD52239315N/A406
Toshiba A100 SSD48937319N/A405
Drevo X1 Pro SSD32527249N/A308
Toshiba P300 HDD1550.51.6N/A18
Toshiba H200 Hybrid731.81526.315
Toshiba Canvio Premium1130.50.623.02112
Samsung T334524320.10091
Sandisk Z410501111450.045206
Samsung 850 Evo M.2493403280.093417
Samsung 850 Evo516343820.059467
Samsung 840 Evo513323300.059413
Corsair Neutron GTX507253340.068N/A

 

AS SSD WriteSeq4K4K QD64Acc. TimeScore
Toshiba Q300 SSD42480960.053219
Toshiba A100 SSD430742880.209405
Drevo X1 Pro SSD258762470.046349
Toshiba P300 HDD1140.50.616.713
Toshiba H200 Hybrid4619518.239
Toshiba Canvio Premium1110.50.517.612
Samsung T336756710.055163
Sandisk Z410407782150.237333
Samsung 850 Evo M.2475952510.075393
Samsung 850 Evo497662990.051415
Samsung 840 Evo497692070.054326
Corsair Neutron GTX473622950.062N/A

The Q300 does well here too, with near-identical speeds to what we saw in the CrystalDiskMark test. The access time reading, which isn’t shown in CDM, is also impressive, although the 4K and 4K queue depth 64 results for writing are a little below what we’d hoped for. Again, this is likely a result of the relatively small 120GB capacity, although even the 64GB Drevo X1 Pro did better here.

Note that there is a ‘read access times’ bug in AS SSD under the current version of Windows 10; there is always an error message for that portion of the test and no result is rendered.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

Atto Read1KB4KB64KB256KB1MB8MB
Toshiba Q300 SSD74294548551552553
Toshiba A100 SSD76286552548561561
Drevo X1 Pro SSD71232348347348348
Toshiba P300 HDD2785129123135190
Toshiba H200 Hybrid92026262626
Toshiba Canvio Premium933117117117118
Samsung T31867329371377404
Sandisk Z41078247518531536533
Samsung 850 Evo M.283286537553552553
Samsung 850 Evo80269538551558558
Samsung 840 Evo94280535551555555
Corsair Neutron GTX1561336452530540

 

Atto Write1KB4KB64KB256KB1MB8MB
Toshiba Q300 SSD54231487488490485
Toshiba A100 SSD53231524533534543
Drevo X1 Pro SSD68201270270267271
Toshiba P300 HDD1674120113123128
Toshiba H200 Hybrid32537555353
Toshiba Canvio Premium1041115115116116
Samsung T32071315365366388
Sandisk Z41069184419423426428
Samsung 850 Evo M.279251510526525525
Samsung 850 Evo83255519529534534
Samsung 840 Evo81260515527533534
Corsair Neutron GTX15142474470493498

Atto is always an interesting test because it shows the relationship between data set size and read and write speeds in considerable detail.

The Q300 reaches full speed quite quickly, just after the 32KB data size mark. The drive doesn’t quite reach its quoted 530 MB/s writes, but it does reach (and even exceed) its 550 MB/s read speed from 128KB blocks onwards.

 

HD Tune Pro

We conclude with HD Tune Pro, a benchmark which produces three scores for average read speed, read access time, and burst read rate.

 

HD Tune Pro 5.50 ReadAverageAccess TimeBurst Rate
Toshiba Q300 SSD425 MB/s0.0ms69 MB/s
Toshiba A100 SSD330 MB/s0.042 ms99 MB/s
Drevo X1 Pro SSD356 MB/s0.042 ms248 MB/s
Toshiba P300 HDD126 MB/s14.6 ms294 MB/s
Toshiba H200 Hybrid90 MB/s16.9 ms87 MB/s
Toshiba Canvio Premium114 MB/s17.9 ms140 MB/s
Samsung T3269 MB/s0.090 ms171 MB/s
Sandisk Z410358 MB/s0.035 ms140 MB/s
Samsung 850 Evo M.2321 MB/s0.087 ms221 MB/s
Samsung 850 Evo370 MB/s0.044 ms250 MB/s
Samsung 840 Evo358 MB/s0.041 ms231 MB/s
Corsair Neutron GTX340 MB/s0.059 ms231 MB/s

The Q300 shows good consistency here, with a minimum of 392 MB/s and a maximum of 443 MB/s. That’s good for an average of 425 MB/s, the best result we’ve seen in this test (apart from our resident NVMe 1TB drive). The access time of 0.0 is a little interesting, but thankfully we’ve already got a figure for this — 0.053ms — that is more than acceptable.

 

Wrapping up

The Q300 lives up to its promises, delivering excellent read performance and strong write performance that come right up to the limit of the SATA III connector. If you’re not able or willing to move to a faster but more expensive PCI-e connected drive, the Q300 is a wise choice despite its slightly elevated price.

See the Toshiba Q300 on Amazon

Buy from Amazon
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Last modified: February 22, 2018

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