Legit Reviews has done dozens of solid-state drive (SSD) reviews over the past year, but they have all been on retail drives. When Toshiba contacted LR and asked us if we would be willing to do a review on their 43m HG2 series 2.5″ MLC NAND-based SSD for them we were a little thrown off at first, but we figured we’d give it our best. Our thoughts on this are that Toshiba is one of the major players in the SSD industry and they have had a number of key design wins in the market place when it comes to SSDs. We’ve opened up SSDs in recent months that were branded with other companies’ names only to find them being re-branded Toshiba drives. This is a chance to look at the original drive, so why not go for it?
Toshiba’s HG2 SSDs have been, up to this point, available to OEMs only and are available in capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB, in 1.8-inch or 2.5-inch drive enclosures. The Toshiba HG2 43nm series of SSDs are targeted for use in notebook computers and gaming or home entertainment systems. In another word, this is a mainstream SSD that is aimed at the consumer market and not the enterprise space.
Toshiba’s own 43nm multi-channel MLC controller is used in conjunction with Toshiba MLC NAND for a maximum sequential read speed of 230MBps and maximum sequential write speed of 180MBps. A proprietary wear leveling algorithm optimizes the performance, reliability and lifetime of the drive.
The HG2 drive series also supports the TRIM command, which is one of the most desired features to have on an SSD now that Windows 7 has been released. The TRIM Command allows an operating system, such as Windows 7, to send information to a solid state drive controller to tell it which data blocks are no longer in use and can be deleted. An OS operation such as delete in the past or with operating systems that don’t support the TRIM command means the data blocks involved are flagged as not in use but not actually deleted. TRIM allows the OS to pass this information on down to the SSD controller, so the data is removed before the next time the drive may need to write to those blocks. The purpose of the instruction is to maintain the speed of the SSD throughout its lifespan, avoiding the slowdown that early models encountered once all of the cells had been written to once.
Flipping the Toshiba HG2 SSD over we find the full part number for our 256GB SSD that we will be benchmarking today. That part number would be THN2256GG8BBAA, which tells you that this is a HG2 43nm 2.5″ OEM SSD. The drive has the usual threaded mounting holes on both the bottom and sides to fit in various cases and laptops.
Toshiba HG2 SSD Product Specifications:
Here is a better look at the Serial ATA (SATA) II header, SATA power connector and the jumper that is needed for firmware flashing. The SATA II 3Gbps storage interface is backwards-compatible with SATA I and also works on SATA III 6Gbps headers as well.
Let’s take a look inside the drive and see what makes it tick.