Toshiba Q Series 256GB and 512GB, Toshiba Q Series Pro 256GB

3/21/2014 1:45:34 AM

Toshiba’s trio of contenders feature homemade hardware

Toshiba’s previous drives had incomprehensible names, but that’s changed with the new Q and Q Pro drives. The former range is designed for mainstream use, and it’s here in its 256GB and 521GB guises. The latter is an enthusiast product, and we’ve reviewed the 256GB version. One factor that hasn’t changed, though, is the firm’s reticence when it comes to providing details about the insides. Both ranges include Toshiba-made controllers, and the Pro drive’s chip is labelled TC358790XBG, but that’s all we know about it.

Toshiba Q series 256GB $239.44 inc VAT


Both ranges also employ 19nm MLC Toggle Mode NAND, which is made by Toshiba. Neither drive is especially goodlooking, though, with plain metal enclosures and dull stickers. The standard Q Series drives also use the portly 9.5mm form factor, while the Pro drives are 7mm tall and include a 9.5mm spacer in the box.


Both of Toshiba’s 256GB drives return 238.47GB of formatted capacity and, strangely, the Pro model is the cheaper of the pair – it costs $216.16 compared to the standard drive’s price of $237.78. Meanwhile, the 512GB Q Series drive weighs in at $512.14. Warranties differ between the two drive brands, however: standard Q Series drives have three-year deals, and while the Pro drives are only shipped with two years’ worth of support.

Toshiba Q series 512GB $512.14 inc VAT


There’s little difference between the makeup of the Q and Q Pro series drives, which explains why the three were often grouped together in our benchmark tables.

The standard Q Series 256GB was the best of the three Toshiba drives in four of the six AS SSD benchmarks, but all three Toshiba were inconsistent in these tests. The drives sat in mid-table for sequential reads and writes, with scores north of 500MB/sec not far behind the victorious Samsungs. They were also among the best performers in the random 64-queue-depth tests, but fell behind in the rest of AS SSD’s small file benchmarks – in the 4KB random read test, the three Toshibas managed around 20MB/ sec, which can’t compete with the 40MB/sec of the table-topping Samsung silicon.


We spotted the same trends in CrystalDiskMark, with the standard 256GB Q Series drive leading the way, and inconsistent performance throughout. Sequential reads and writes were reasonable, but small file performance was uncompetitive – these drives were bottom in the 4KB random read results, and occupied three out of the bottom five positions when writing 4KB random files. Throughout all our testing, the Q Series Pro was fastest when dealing with 32- and 64-queue-depth tasks.

Toshiba Q series Pro 256GB $216.16 inc VAT

The three Toshiba drives stabilised in real world tests, all returning good scores in PCMark 7 – only Samsung drives could beat them in these tests, and it was Toshiba’s Q Pro SSD that was the best performer out of these three, albeit by only a handful of points. The Q Pro was also the best drive on test when it came to boot times, with a rapid result of 11.49 seconds, and it was the fastest Toshiba drive in Iometer with its 44,009 IOPS result too.


All three Toshiba drives had mixed starts, with good sequential performance tempered by poor small file pace, but real-world use proved that these SSDs still have enough pace to rival most of the drives on test. They all offer reasonable value for money too, with prices between 54p and 65p per gigabyte. The best deal is the Q Pro 256GB, though, which just creeps ahead in performance and has a good price too.



All three drives impress in real-world tests, but it’s the Q Pro 256GB that takes home an award.

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