In the last few months or so SSD’s started dropping in price really fast, so fast that you can get a 1 TB drive for around 100$ and 2 TB ones for 200$, so basically around 10 cents per gigabyte of storage, which is now getting really compelling in terms of getting that large size storage options in combination with what SSD’s bring in performance wise. Yes, at this point they’re still around 2 to 4 times more expensive per gigabyte than a normal mechanical drive, but I gotta admit that it’s getting harder to resist buying a large capacity solid state storage and not just as the main system drive. What are your thoughts about this, do you have any large capacity SSD for your extra storage needs, leave a comment down below!

external ssd drive

One example of those large capacity models is this Toshiba’s TR200 model which found its way to me. It’s not a brand new model to say at least, it’s been on the market for a while now, around the start of the last year. This, in particular, is the 960 GB model, which is actually the largest available capacity for this lineup, while below that you can get your regular sized ones, the 240 and 480 GB sizes. Besides your regular benchmarking, I’ve also decided to make an external SSD drive out of this model, see how it copes with transferring larger data and mimicking your regular example of an external mass storage drive.

Toshiba TR200 tackles performance without DRAM

As for the technical side of things, it carries Toshiba’s NAND flash memory, this one, in particular, being the 64-layer BiCS3 3D TLC one, while for the controller we have the Phison S11, compared to its predecessor substantially smaller and cheaper 40 nm controller, which, unfortunately, because of its dual channel layout, can’t be configured in capacities larger than this 960 GB one. Most importunately, the TR200 doesn’t carry any DRAM, which makes it a rare find as there aren’t many DRAMless SSD’s, and in theory, cheaper to produce, but lack of it also reflects onto its performance.

In particular, although the sequential read speed performance is more than OK, hanging above the 500 MB/s figure, the write speed performance is way down, especially with incompressible data. The lack of DRAM buffer also doesn’t help in the area of random write performance and anything latency related, while IOPS numbers are a bit lower compared to its main rivals out there, but nothing that will impact its everyday performance. When it comes to real life testing, the loading times in each case weren’t any different compared to its faster brother, Toshiba RC100 NVMe SSD, everything was as expected when it comes to SSD based user experience.

As for using it as an portable SSD drive, the TR200 is a great candidate since it doesn’t utilize the DRAM buffer, so it’s less prone to brick, while that also goes great with the fact that in one of the latest Windows 10 updates there was a change in default settings of the removal policy, where you can now, due to Windows not using the drives caching function by default, safely eject the drive without actually using that safely remove hardware option in Windows tray, but rather you can just freely yank out the drive out of its USB port.

Taking a role of an external SSD

As for the performance in this particular purpose, that this being external solid state drive, a  moving a large 20 GB file onto it resulted in a stable speed of around 350 MB/s as shown here, that was with a compressible type of file, while with handling an in-compressible file type that speed promptly tapered off below 100 MB/s after just a few moments, which is far from impressive, but somewhat expected.

portable ssd drive

Putting performance on the side, the main problem with the TR200 model, in my opinion, lays in its currently a bit weird pricing situation. On the US market, you can basically find this model just below the original MSRP figure, that’s back when it was launched, around 280- dollars, which is way off for this type of drive, performance and capacity wise, by any stretch of the imagination, and which is pushing away its potential buyers for sure. But, thing is that this actually an anomaly, because on the European market we have a totally different story, here you can buy this drive for about 130€, which is around 145 $. This is probably due to the fact that Toshiba Memory America closed down their retail SSD branch in the US, so as a consequence we’re seeing some inflated pricing due to stock shortage.

But, even if the price was the same across all markets, the TR200 is still a bit more expensive than its similarly sized rivals. I’m saying this with a reason, because the thing is that, when it comes to SSD drive storage, we’ve all come to a stage, or let’s say a realization, where we, users, sort of applied a very similar buying practice which is used when choosing your RAM – get as much as you can for the lowest price possible. Rarely anybody goes that extra mile to cash out for a faster RAM kit, cause bottom line there’s almost no difference at all in terms of your regular end-user experience, it’s RAM, after all, total capacity pretty much always more important and more beneficial than the speed itself, for example, you’ll rather buy a 64 GB 3200 MHz RAM kit, then a 16 GB 4500 MHz RAM kit, and actually those two right now have a very similar. Even if you have that money in your budget to go for a faster RAM kit with also getting the larger capacity, it makes more sense to go for a slower RAM kit and divert that price difference into a better graphics card or CPU, which will in the end bump up your configuration’s overall performance by a decent margin.

Good choice for an external solid state storage?

Basically the same buying philosophy caught onto the SSD segment, and now that their main job was fulfilled, that being the multiple increases of random performance and IOPS figures compared to the regular hard drive, which translated in much, much better user experience, everything else fall into the second plan, even the high sequential read and write speeds don’t matter that much to users themselves nor the actual user experience, as I’ve proved in the SATA SSD versus NVMe SSD video which you can find in the right top corner. The main reason why mechanical hard drives were slow to being with in terms of booting up Windows, loading games and applications, is not because of their low read and write rates, but rather because of the inability to handle multiple data at once.

toshiba tr200 review
Check Price

Of course, there are some particular scenarios where this drive would be useful, no doubt about that, but the problem is, that even if you could use Toshiba TR200 in that case, if you would really need that kind of performance and to a certain point money was no object to you, there are a quite of few other models of SSD’s on the market which outperform it. Bottom line, Toshiba, in my opinion, has one way to go from here. In order to get user intention when it comes to buying it, and not leaving it up to chance or set of certain circumstances, they need to lower down the price closer to that 10 cents per gigabyte figure. This especially important for users who just want to make a decently fast external SSD storage solution by just putting it in an enclosure like this one, as they’re aiming to get as much as storage space for as little as possible.

That’s it for this time, I hope my this closer look at external SSD drive storage solutions helped you in your decision-making process, if you have any question feel free to hit me in the comments section of my YouTube video listed above, you can contact me via my social media channels!

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