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Review: Toshiba Q Series Pro 256GB SSD (HDTS325XZSTA)

Review: Toshiba Q Series Pro 256GB SSD (HDTS325XZSTA)

Sam ChenDecember 30, 2015

Toshiba Q Series Pro – A Hidden Gem?

toshiba-q-series-pro-256gb-ssd-custom-pc-review-16Generally when most of us think about SSDs, we think about a number of very common names such as OCZ, Kingston, ADATA and Corsair, but when it comes to the bulk of SSDs sold on the market, the major players are actually guys like SanDisk, Samsung, Crucial, and Toshiba, which we’ll refer to as Tier 1 manufacturers. These guys are high volume SSD manufacturers who not only produce actual SSDs themselves, but also own the fab that produces the NAND memory powering the SSD, which in turn gives them access to a stable supply of high quality NAND, control over NAND design, as well as control over NAND pricing. As you may expect, this a huge advantage in the market especially with so few Tier 1 SSD manufacturers in existence.

Now up until now many of these Tier 1 manufacturers have been operating a very quiet consumer business, instead focusing on the OEM and SI business rather than deal in the consumer space. However, with the popularity of SSDs on the rise, many of these Tier 1 manufacturers are jumping in for their own share of the market. A couple years ago, Samsung quietly launched the Samsung 470 which ended up becoming one of the top SSDs on the market. Since then, Samsung has really captured a huge chunk of the consumer SSD market with their newer Samsung 830 and 840 series SSDs, thanks to their strong marketing push along with simply having an excellent product at a reasonable price. SanDisk has also jumped into the market by quietly launching the SanDisk Extreme last year and recently launching the Extreme II that we recently reviewed. Of course with all these Tier 1 manufacturers jumping into the consumer market, it is no surprise that Toshiba is interested in taking of piece of the SSD market.

Toshiba Q Series Pro Specifications

ModelQ Series ProQ Series ProQ Series Pro
Form Factor7mm, 2.5″ SATA7mm, 2.5″ SATA7mm, 2.5″ SATA
Capacity128 GB256 GB512 GB
ControllerToshiba TC358790XBGToshiba TC358790XBGToshiba TC358790XBG
NAND19nm Toshiba MLC Toggle NAND19nm Toshiba MLC Toggle NAND19nm Toshiba MLC Toggle NAND
Sequential Reads554 MB/s554 MB/s554 MB/s
Sequential Writes512 MB/s512 MB/s512 MB/s
InterfaceSATA 3 6GB/sSATA 3 6GB/sSATA 3 6GB/s
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years

Toshiba’s competing product comes in the form of the Toshiba Q Series Pro, which we’ll be reviewing today. Toshiba appears to have modeled their SSD lineup off of Samsung’s highly successful 840 Series with Toshiba releasing their latest Q Series and the Q Series Pro SSDs. The Toshiba Q Series Pro offers greater performance in comparison to its vanilla sibling. The Q Series Pro is expected to arrive in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. But to our surprise (according to Toshiba’s website), all capacities have the same exact performance specifications . Under the hood, the Q Series Pro is powered by Marvell hardware and utilizing Toshiba’s finest 19nm Toggle Mode 2.0 MLC NAND. Spec-wise, the Q Series Pro is one lightning-fast SSD with sequential read/write speeds of 554 MB/s / 512MB/s respectively.

So far so good, let’s take a closer look!

About The Author
Sam Chen
Hardware and Technology Enthusiast. SSD Evangelist. Editor-in-Chief. You can find Sam's full biography here
  • domi

    Finally a great review of the q series !
    I have a couple of questions…
    How does the “pro” compare with the “non pro” version ?
    What about power-loss reliability ?
    I’m trying to decide between a q series (128gb) vs 840evo (120gb).

    • Hey Domi, glad you enjoyed the review!

      Not 100% sure on pro vs non-pro since I never got a non-pro to checkout, but from what I’ve seen, the pro edition is a bit faster than the non-pro. The non-pro is based on Marvell controller tech, but we’re not sure about the pro just yet. Unfortunately, I haven’t been given a clear cut answer from Toshiba regarding that. I was originally led to believe it may have been a Marvell part, but at CES speaking with some guys from Toshiba there, it may not actually be the case. If you’re deciding between the pro and non-pro though, get the pro. Doesn’t seem like the price difference is all that much at least in the USA.

      There’s no power loss reliability on the Q Series Pro however, there’s no DRAM cache so at any given time I don’t think all that much data is actually floating in volatile storage.

      Between the Q Series Pro and the 840 EVO, I’d say go with whatever costs less. They’re both fantastic drives that will work very well for consumer use. The MLC NAND on the Q Series Pro is better than the TLC on the 840 EVO, but because Samsung has the whole TurboWrite cache going on and it’s optimized for reads to begin with, both will yield similar performance.

      If power loss protection is specifically a feature you’re looking for, I’d check out the Crucial M500. Also a great drive and way overspec’d for its pricepoint, but does lack the performance of the Q Series Pro and 840 EVO because of its denser NAND. If security is what you’re looking for (TCG Opal + eDrive support) you’ll want to go with the 840 EVO or M500.

  • Bri

    Thanks for the great review! Does anyone know what Toshiba changed in their update? HDTS325XZSTA vs HDTS225XZSTA?

    • Norbs

      325 is the pro vs the 225 is the non-pro.

      • Bri

        Toshiba simply slapped a “pro” marketing label on the 325, it means nothing. It also states on the 325 page the following: “Note: This product is a replacement for HDTS225XZSTA”. I’m more wondering if they used the same NAND chips and/or they replaced the controller?