Toshiba OCZ RC100 takes another step toward making NVMe affordable

NVMe storage devices represent the future of high-performance non-volatile storage, but the price tags on those devices have limited their appeal primarily to the enthusiast PC builder. Toshiba wants to help change that this morning with its OCZ RC100 SSD. By taking advantage of the Host Memory Buffer technology in recent versions of the NVMe protocol, the RC100 can go without a costly DRAM cache while potentially maintaining most of the performance of a drive with a DRAM package on board.

Aside from its lack of DRAM, Toshiba says the single-package design of the OCZ RC100 and its high-density 64-layer NAND also help keep prices in the realm of the mainstream builder's budget. The compact M.2 2242 package probably helps reduce the drive's bill of materials cost, as well. Toshiba claims the RC100 consumes less power than the average enthusiast NVMe SSD, too, potentially making it of interest for users looking to upgrade notebooks that come with nothing more than a hard drive.

Toshiba OCZ RC100
Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) Max random (IOPS)
Read Write Read Write
120 GB 1350 700 80K 95K
240 GB 1600 1050 130K 110K
480 GB 1600 1100 150K 110K

The RC100's specs are decidedly better than what many SATA drives claim, but they're in line with what we might expect for entry-level NVMe storage. Toshiba claims sequential reads of up to 1600 MB/s, sequential writes of up to 1100 MB/s, up to 150K random read IOPS, and up to 110K random write IOPS. We'll need to see QD1 performance numbers to really understand how the RC100 stacks up.

Those cost-saving measures do seem to be borne out in the RC100's pricing structure. The 128-GB RC100 will list for $59.99. 240 GB of RC100 will go for $79.99, while the largest-capacity 480-GB model will list for $154.99. Those price tags might not be on par with SATA storage, but they're getting darn close, and sales could lessen the gap.

We have an RC100 in the labs for testing, but our test rig couldn't take advantage of the drive's Host Memory Buffer magic. We'll be outfitting Tony with a new storage rig soon so we can see whether the RC100 has the performance to match its appealing price tag.

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