Looking for a hard drive to store your legal downloads? This 3 TB drive from Toshiba is the top result on Amazon right now, making it a promising candidate for anyone looking to solve their disk space woes once and for all — at least for a couple of years, anyway! Let’s see if it’s earned that top Amazon place — here’s our review of the Toshiba P300 3TB hard drive!
Specifications & Design
- Format: 3.5-inch SATA drive
- Capacities: 0.5 TB / 1TB / 2TB / 3TB
- Rotational Speed: 7200 RPM
- Buffer: 64MB
- Dimensions: 147 x 101.6 x 26.1 mm
- Weight: 680 grams
- Warranty: 2 years
Features: Shock sensor, Native Command Queuing (NCQ), Halogen Free, Tunnel Magneto-resistive Recording (TMR) Head Technology, Ramp Load, Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), Advanced Format technology, Dual Stage Actuator (DSA), Data Protection Technology
We’ll be comparing the P300 against our previous contenders, including internal and external drives, to see how it stacks up against the competition.
We’ll be testing the drive in our XSR test rig, which has a Core i5 6600K processor, 16GB of Crucial DDR4 RAM and runs Windows 10.
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 Read||Seq||512K||4K||4K QD32|
|Toshiba P300 HDD||150||48||0.6||1.6|
|Toshiba H200 Hybrid||115||38||0.6||2.5|
|Toshiba Canvio Premium||118||43||0.5||0.6|
|Samsung 850 Evo M.2||502||447||45||368|
|Samsung 850 Evo||513||472||38||408|
|Samsung 840 Evo||515||473||35||397|
|Corsair Neutron GTX||450||376||27||328|
|CDM 3 Write||Seq||512K||4K||4K QD32|
|Toshiba P300 HDD||155||69||0.6||1.0|
|Toshiba H200 Hybrid||114||52||22||24|
|Toshiba Canvio Premium||117||50||1.3||1.3|
|Samsung 850 Evo M.2||474||394||113||316|
|Samsung 850 Evo||504||479||68||352|
|Samsung 840 Evo||500||390||86||313|
|Corsair Neutron GTX||480||468||69||158|
The P300 performs as expected in the test, providing reasonably fast read and write speeds for sequential data (e.g. large files) of about 150 MB/s. That’s about three times slower than most of the SSDs we’ve tested, which is not bad at all for a mechanical disk. In fact, it’s the fastest mechanical drive we’ve tested recently.
AS SSD Benchmark
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 Read||Seq||4K||4K QD64||Acc. Time||Score|
|Toshiba P300 HDD||155||0.5||1.6||N/A||18|
|Toshiba H200 Hybrid||73||1.8||15||26.3||15|
|Toshiba Canvio Premium||113||0.5||0.6||23.021||12|
|Samsung 850 Evo M.2||493||40||328||0.093||417|
|Samsung 850 Evo||516||34||382||0.059||467|
|Samsung 840 Evo||513||32||330||0.059||413|
|Corsair Neutron GTX||507||25||334||0.068||N/A|
|AS SSD Write||Seq||4K||4K QD64||Acc. Time||Score|
|Toshiba P300 HDD||114||0.5||0.6||16.7||13|
|Toshiba H200 Hybrid||46||19||5||18.2||39|
|Toshiba Canvio Premium||111||0.5||0.5||17.6||12|
|Samsung 850 Evo M.2||475||95||251||0.075||393|
|Samsung 850 Evo||497||66||299||0.051||415|
|Samsung 840 Evo||497||69||207||0.054||326|
|Corsair Neutron GTX||473||62||295||0.062||N/A|
We got a repeated error message when trying to measure the read access time, so that measurement has been omitted. In any case, the sequential read and write speeds are impressive, and are in keeping with our other results.
ATTO Disk Benchmark
ATTO produces rather less comprehensible results than CrystalDiskMark, but still provides a good test of compressible data transfer. It also provides a lot of data points; I’ve selected six from across the range. Settings were the default: 256MB total length and queue depth of 4, testing from 1KB to 8MB. All results are in MB/s.
|Toshiba P300 HDD||27||85||129||123||135||190|
|Toshiba H200 Hybrid||9||20||26||26||26||26|
|Toshiba Canvio Premium||9||33||117||117||117||118|
|Samsung 850 Evo M.2||83||286||537||553||552||553|
|Samsung 850 Evo||80||269||538||551||558||558|
|Samsung 840 Evo||94||280||535||551||555||555|
|Corsair Neutron GTX||15||61||336||452||530||540|
|Toshiba P300 HDD||16||74||120||113||123||128|
|Toshiba H200 Hybrid||3||25||37||55||53||53|
|Toshiba Canvio Premium||10||41||115||115||116||116|
|Samsung 850 Evo M.2||79||251||510||526||525||525|
|Samsung 850 Evo||83||255||519||529||534||534|
|Samsung 840 Evo||81||260||515||527||533||534|
|Corsair Neutron GTX||15||142||474||470||493||498|
The Atto test gives a better idea of how performance changes across a range of data sizes. Read and writes speeds were largely between three and four times as slow as our test SSDs at larger sizes (e.g. 1MB and above), but results at 32KB were also pretty reasonable — 118 MB/s writing and 134 MB/s reading. Curiously, performance dipped after 32KB, and didn’t reach these levels again until the 512KB size test — weird. Still, it’s an encouraging result for a 7200 RPM drive, and perhaps speaks to the laundry list of features Toshiba included.
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 Read||Average||Access Time||Burst Rate|
|Toshiba P300 HDD||126 MB/s||14.6 ms||294 MB/s|
|Toshiba H200 Hybrid||90 MB/s||16.9 ms||87 MB/s|
|Toshiba Canvio Premium||114 MB/s||17.9 ms||140 MB/s|
|Samsung T3||269 MB/s||0.090 ms||171 MB/s|
|Sandisk Z410||358 MB/s||0.035 ms||140 MB/s|
|Samsung 850 Evo M.2||321 MB/s||0.087 ms||221 MB/s|
|Samsung 850 Evo||370 MB/s||0.044 ms||250 MB/s|
|Samsung 840 Evo||358 MB/s||0.041 ms||231 MB/s|
|Corsair Neutron GTX||340 MB/s||0.059 ms||231 MB/s|
The P300 displays a lot of variance in its transfer rates, as you can see by the zig-zagging line above. Even compared to past HDDs, it’s quite different. However, the 294 MB/s burst rate and 126 MB/s average transfer rate is commendable, on the upper end of what we’d expect from a modern HDD. Access times are also slightly lower than expected, coming in just under 15 ms.
The Toshiba P300 is an excellent modern hard drive that boasts strong performance at a very reasonable price. With recent price drops pushing the P300’s price south of $80 (£65), the drive has become even better value.