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Review Toshiba HG5d 256 GB SSD (THNSNH256GCST)

Tobias Winkler (translated by Martina Osztovits), 07/06/2013

Solid basis. Toshiba's HG5d series is especially designed for the OEM market and could be used as mass storage devices in notebooks in the future. Transfer rates of about 500 MB/s, 256 GB capacity and a low weight are a sound basis. We checked whether the solid state drive is totally convincing.

For the original German review, see here.

More and more conventional hard drives are being replaced by faster mass storage devices in notebooks. The advantages are apparent: high transfer rates, short access times, low susceptibility, and a nearly silent system noise. Only the price per GB prevents rotating platters from being completely replaced.

Toshiba's HG5d series is first and foremost designed for OEMs and will be mainly built into notebooks and PCs. Nevertheless, end users are also offered OEM versions. 60 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB models are available and all models are offered with 7 mm or 9.5 mm height. Apart from the drive with the biggest capacity, the models are also available in mSATA format. We reviewed the 7 mm 256 GB model. Currently, street prices start from 180 Euros (~$235) without P&P. Toshiba does not offer any coverage in addition to the statutory warranty. The manufacturer specifies a mean time between failure (MTBF) of 1.5 million hours of operation.

Performance

We tested the device in the second drive slot of an Asus N76VZ, which features a SATA 6G port (max. 6 Gbit/s). In addition, we ran some benchmarks for comparison and power consumption measurements on a desktop system (also via SATA 6G). The performance differences were within measurement inaccuracy.

The reviewed Toshiba HG5d solid state drive features a Marvell N6H89400.6JW controller and 19 nm MLC NAND flash memory from its own production line. The SATA 6G is standard and the specified maximum read performance of 534 MB/s and the maximum write performance of 482 MB/s are typical for this price range.

Sequential data transfer rates

We basically compared the results to the very popular Samsung SSD 840 Pro's. The two devices are very similar in terms of price and performance. The Toshiba HG5d is with 14 vs. 25 MB/s in sequential reading and 24 vs. 35 MB/s in sequential writing slower than the Samsung 840 Pro. However, the difference is small and hardly noticeable in practice.

AS SSD
Seq Read (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
499 MB/s ∼37%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼38%
Seq Write (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
474 MB/s ∼47%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
498 MB/s ∼49%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read Seq (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
506 MB/s ∼34%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
531 MB/s ∼36%
Write Seq (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
478 MB/s ∼43%
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼46%

Legend

 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,
 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000

Data Transfer

The transfer rates differ more significantly. The rather high difference of 140 MB/s in HD Tune might become particularly apparent when moving files between two drives. In this aspect the OCZs Vertex 4 with Indilix Everest 2 controller is about on par.

The device performs significantly better in the ATTO Disk benchmark. Toshiba's HG5d SSD reaches its maximum transfer rate here. With 552 MB/s, it is only marginally slower than the competing model from Samsung, but in writing it is significantly faster with 521 MB/s vs. 468 MB/s.

HD Tune Transfer Rate Average - --- (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
414 MB/s ∼41%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
267.4 MB/s ∼27%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
271 MB/s ∼27%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G
ATTO Disk Benchmark
8192KB read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
560538 KB/s ∼100%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
552841 KB/s ∼99%
8192KB write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
468882 KB/s ∼88%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
521233 KB/s ∼97%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,

4k Performance

Toshiba's HG5d cannot win any scenario in random access of 4 KB files. Samsung's SSD 840 Pro is significantly faster in writing. The difference becomes most apparent with 32 or 64 parallel accesses. However, these worst case scenarios are only of minor relevance in practice.

AS SSD
4K Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
32.3 MB/s ∼41%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
16.32 MB/s ∼21%
4K Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
73.5 MB/s ∼56%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
46.15 MB/s ∼35%
4K-64 Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
381 MB/s ∼57%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
365 MB/s ∼55%
4K-64 Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
329 MB/s ∼61%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
197 MB/s ∼37%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read 4k QD32 (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
402 MB/s ∼72%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
385 MB/s ∼69%
Write 4k QD32 (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
370 MB/s ∼68%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
224 MB/s ∼41%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,

Copy Performance

In the copy benchmark of AS SSD, the Toshiba drive performs better than Samsung's 840 Pro in two scenarios. As the results of the copy benchmarks can vary heavily from run to run, they should be taken with a pinch of salt. As in previous tests, we also recorded the Toshiba HG5d's best results.

AS SSD
Copy ISO MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
429 MB/s ∼46%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
368 MB/s ∼39%
Copy Program MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
222 MB/s ∼51%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
233 MB/s ∼54%
Copy Game MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
269 MB/s ∼33%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
297 MB/s ∼37%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,

Access Time

According to our measurements, the HG5d performs slightly worse than the competition in terms of access time, but this will be hardly noticeably in practice. Compared to conventional hard drives, which usually take 15 to 19 ms, 0.1 ms is excellent. You'll notice this advantage in every day tasks. In, particular files and programs will open faster.

HD Tune Access Time - --- (sort by value)
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
0.1 ms * ∼0%
AS SSD
Access Time Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
0.056 ms * ∼0%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
0.12 ms * ∼0%
Access Time Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
0.046 ms * ∼0%
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD
0.079 ms * ∼0%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GCST 256 GB SSD Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M,

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption

The power consumption is particularly crucial for components in notebooks.  Compared to conventional hard drives, solid state drives first and foremost profit from their low energy demand under load. With the HG5d, Toshiba offers a very frugal drive. During sequential reading and writing, we measured maximums of only 1.48 watt and 1.7 watt. So, the power consumption is significantly lower than that of conventional hard drives and also considerably lower than competing SSDs' including the Samsung 840 Pro. As mass storage devices often wait idle, the minimum power consumption also plays an important role. While the Toshiba HG5d is very frugal with 0.65 watt, the Samsung 840 Pro performs even better with 0.3 watt. In addition, the minimum power consumption can be even lower in notebooks. Contrary to most desktop systems, notebooks can also use an existing power-saving mode and decrease power consumption even more.

Power consumption in comparison
Power consumption in comparison

Verdict

Toshiba HG5d series 256 GB SSD
Toshiba HG5d series 256 GB SSD

On the whole, Toshiba's HG5d delivers a decent performance. The test results are quite balanced and only significantly worse than those of established competitors in few aspects. In practice, you will hardly notice the difference in many scenarios.

Because of its low weight, low height of 7 mm and overall low power consumption the Toshiba HG5d is especially recommendable for light subnotebooks. While the price of currently 180 Euros (~$235) still appears appropriate, the end user will not like that the OEM product lacks a manufacturer's warranty.

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In Review: Toshiba HG5d 256 GB SSD, test sample by courtesy of: Toshiba Germany
In Review: Toshiba HG5d 256 GB SSD, test sample by courtesy of: Toshiba Germany

Specs

Toshiba HG5d-Series 256 GB (HG5d THNSNH256GCST)

  • Toshiba Marvell controller N6H89400.6JW
  • 19 nm MLC NAND flash memory
  • SATA III
  • 256 GB (gross)
  • 7 mm
  • 51 g
  • 7 x 70 x 100 mm
  • Trim, Quadruple Swing-By Code, data protection
  • from 180 Euros, ~$235 (256 GB)

Manufacturer's information

Solid state drives are available with various designs and performance levels.
Solid state drives are available with various designs and performance levels.
Toshiba's HG5d series is a competitor of the popular 840 series from Samsung.
Toshiba's HG5d series is a competitor of the popular 840 series from Samsung.
The OEM drive comes in a simple anti-static bag.
The OEM drive comes in a simple anti-static bag.
The 51 g case is 7 mm high.
The 51 g case is  7 mm high.
The SATA-6G interface is often a limiting factor for current SSDs.
The SATA-6G interface is often a limiting factor for current SSDs.
An adapter frame to 9.5 is not included.
An adapter frame to 9.5 is not included.
The housing is sealed with 4 Phillips screws.
The housing is sealed with 4 Phillips screws.
Inside there is a board with a controller from Marvel...
Inside there is a board with a controller from Marvel...
...and 19 nm MLC NAND memory chips.
...and 19 nm MLC NAND memory chips.
All chips feature cooling pads, which...
All chips feature cooling pads, which...
... distribute the heat to the thin aluminum case.
... distribute the heat to the thin aluminum case.

Shortcut

What we like

Light, low power consumption, decent performance.

What we would like to see

Warranty coverage comparable to the competition.

What surprises us

Even the Q series designed for the consumer market does not have coverage in addition to the statutory warranty.

The competition

Samsung's 840 and 840 Pro belong to the first listed by price search engines. In regard to price SanDisk's Ultra Plus Notebook (SDSSDHP-256G-G25) could also be an interesting alternative.

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Toshiba HG5d 256 GB SSD (THNSNH256GCST)
Author: Tobias Winkler, 2013-07- 6 (Update: 2013-07-12)