Toshiba THNSNH 256 GB SSD Review 3

Toshiba THNSNH 256 GB SSD Review

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Introduction

Toshiba Logo


Toshiba is a world-renowned company. Active in many fields, it also produces flash memory, so Toshiba does, just like Micron and Samsung, use their own NAND flash inside their SSDs.

Today, we have on our test bench the Toshiba THNSNH256GCST 256 GB. I find it a bit surprising that Toshiba doesn't use an easier naming scheme, but this is a telltale sign that the company is more focused on OEM customers, like Lenovo and system integrators, rather than the end-user. You can also bet that Toshiba uses these SSDs in their own extensive notebook lineup.

Dissecting the part number, we start with "THNSNH", which is the drive "model", followed by the capacity and "GCST", which indicates that this is a 2.5 inch, 7 mm thick drive (compatible with Intel Ultrabooks). Other suffixes are "GBST" for 9 mm thickness and "GMCT" for mSATA form-factor. Earlier Toshiba models used the THNSNF and THNSNC prefixes--note the difference in the last letter. Some EU shops also list these drives as of the Toshiba "HG5d" Series, which is pretty confusing if you ask me.

Toshiba THNSNHxxxGCST SSDs are some of the first drives to use 19 nanometer MLC NAND flash technology to provide better energy efficiency than older chips. Originally based on Marvel silicon controller, the Toshiba TC58NC5HA9GST is used with this SSD. Unlike traditional Marvell controllers, it does not require external DRAM cache, which helps with cost optimization.

Specifications: Toshiba THNSNH256-GCST 256 GB
Brand:Toshiba
Model:HG5d THNSNH 256 GB
Controller:Toshiba TC58NC5HA9GST
Flash Type:Toshiba TH58TEG8CDJBA8C, 19 nm, MLC
Form FactorSATA 2.5"
Thickness:7 mm (Ultrabook compatible)
Capacity256 GB (238.5 GB usable)
No overprovisioning
Interface:SATA 6 Gbps
Firmware:HTGAN101
TRIM supported:Yes
NCQ supported:Yes
Warranty:3 Years (UK)

Packaging

We received the drive in a plain cardboard packaging without any accessories. This could be another indication of the drive targeting OEM/System Integrators.

The Drive

SSD Front
SSD Back

The drive conforms to the dimensions set forth by the 2.5" form factor. It is made of metal, which improves its durability. Its height is only 7 mm, which makes it compatible with Intel's Ultrabook specification. Compared to other SSDs with stylish case designs and flashy artwork, this SSD looks rather plain.

SSD Interface Connector

Like most recent SSDs, the THNSNH256GCST uses the SATA 6 Gbps interface. It is compatible with any older SATA standard, but will, in such a case, work at reduced performance.

SSD Teardown PCB Front
SSD Teardown PCB Back

You will find the SSD controller and eight flash chips on the PCB. The empty spot on the PCB is for a DRAM cache chip, which is not used on this product.

SSD Controller

Toshiba uses an eight-channel Toshiba TC58NC5HA9GST controller based on Marvell technology.

SSD Flash Chips

The eight flash chips are produced by Toshiba on a 19 nanometer process.
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