Toshiba MQ01ABD100H – 2.5 1TB Hybrid SSHD Review
Hard disks are old, clunky and noisy devices and they’re bulky too, but at least from a storage point of view they’re cheap. On the other hand SSDs are fast, quiet and discrete by comparison, but of course they’re expensive. Maybe something that sits between the two would be the answer!? Something that was faster than an HDD but cheaper than and SSD, a Hybrid maybe!? Enter the Toshiba MQ01ABD100H – 2.5 1TB Hybrid SSHD, a 2.5″ 1TB HDD with an 8GB NAND Cache.
This HDD Hybrid or SSHD drives utilizes an intelligent cache algorithm that learns what data should be stored in the NAND memory cache. Of course this only works for reading, as the controller is not yet clever enough to work out what data is about to be written! 😉
The net result is enhanced Read performance, perfect for Gamers maybe…
To all intents and purposes the Toshiba MQ01ABD100H 1TB Hybrid SSHD looks like any other 2.5″ HDD. This particular example was sent to us direct from Toshiba as an OEM example.
At the time of writing the Toshiba MQ01ABD100H – 2.5 1TB Hybrid SSHD is retailing for around £71 on dabs and comes with a 3 year warranty.
courtesy of Toshiba
|Formatted capacity||750 GByte||1000 GByte|
|Form factor||2.5 inch|
|Supported interface standards||
|Number of platters||2|
|Average seek time||12 ms|
|SATA (Host)||max. 6.0 Gbit/s|
|Rotational speed||5,400 rpm|
|Buffer memory/NAND Flash|
|Buffer size||32 MiB|
|NAND Flash size||8 GByte|
|Supply voltage||+5 V (+/- 5 %)|
|Drive width||69.85 mm|
|Drive height||9.5 mm|
|Drive depth||100 mm|
|Drive weight||0.117 kg|
|Operating (Maximum)||400 G, with 2 ms half sine wave|
|Non-operating (Maximum)||900 G, with 1 ms half sine wave|
|Idle mode (Disk spinning)||Max. 23 dB|
|Random seek||Max. 24 dB|
The test bed for this review (shown below) was treated to a fresh install of Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium (service pack 1) with all associated Drivers installed. I also ensured that AHCI was set in the UEFI (although this is now the default settings for most modern MBs). The drive was connected to the Intel SATA 3 (6GBs) port (2) of the MSI Z87 G45 GAMING motherboard. No special or other BIOS/UEFI options are required…
|Case||Cooler Master HAF XB||Power Supply||Corsair AX760i|
|Motherboard||MSI Z87 G45 GAMING||CPU||Intel Core i5-4670K|
|CPU Cooler||Raijintek Themis||RAM||Kingston HyperX Beast 8GB 2400MHz|
|Graphics Card||MSI R9 290 GAMING OC Edition||SSD||Toshiba MQ01ABD100H|
We use PCMark 8 to help ascertain Gaming performance. The test used measures the performance of the drive while loading real game data for both World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3. In addition to this we will also use ATTO Disk Benchmark to confirm the drives claimed performance levels.
- ATTO Disk Benchmark
Taking a look at the throughput test using ATTO, we can clearly see that the Toshiba SSHD drive has some advantages over a regular HDD. The regular 1TB Western Digital HDD scores 93 in the write, matched (ish) by the Toshiba scoring around 90. Of course as a Gamer it’s all about the Read speed. Here you can see that the Toshiba has some real advantages outperforming the Western Digital HDD by an additional 80%, impressive! But this is only a pure throughput test lets see how it fares with our real world Game loading testing with PCMark 8.
- PCMark 8 Storage Test
|Drive||World of Warcraft (Load Time)||Battlefield 3 (Load Time)|
|Toshiba HG6 512GB (SSD)||57.8 s||132.9 s|
|Kingston M.2 120GB||58.5 s||134.0 s|
|Kingston Now 60GB (mSATA)||58.9 s||136.2 s|
|HyperX Fury 120GB (SSD)||58.8 s||136.4 s|
|ADATA mSATA SX300 64GB (SSD)||59.0 s||136.7 s|
|Kingston HyperX Na’Vi Limited Edition 240GB (SSD)||59.2 s||137.6 s||Kingston 200V+ 60GB (SSD)||59.8 s||138.2 s|
|Toshiba MQ01ABD100H||91.6 s||285.0 s|
|Western Digital Black 1TB (HDD)||123.6 s||303.9 s|
In the PCMARK 8 test that uses real world data to test Battlefield 3 and World of Warcraft loading times the Toshiba SSHD performs well, but not quite as well as I was hoping for. This is likley down to the learning nature of the algorithm used for caching the data. A score of 91.6 and 285.0 secs for Battlefield and WoW (respectively) is good but it’s clearly no SSD. But then of course it isn’t an SSD to be fair and it’s not as expensive.
What’s maybe worth paying closer attention to is the comparison against the Western Digital 1TB HDD, in this comparison the Toshiba beats the competition hands down by being around 25% faster!
What’s important here is not the packaging the design or the quality, this drive really is all about one thing and that’s performance and capacity. As there’s very little else to compare it against it’s difficult to place. It’s not even a regular size as it’s a 2.5″ drive, suggesting that it’s likely to be a good upgrade for a Gaming laptop.
There’s no denying that 1TB of storage for most Steam collections is enough, so the capacity is right. We have also ascertained that the drive’s Read performance is far better than an equivalent HDD.
The question is; if you had your Steam collection on a 1TB drive, which drive would you rather have it on? Well the answer to this is simple, the Toshiba Hybrid SSDD, due to the significant performance advantage it has.
But the final question (and only you can answer this one!) is how much are you willing to pay for this performance boost. As, at the time of review a good 1TB 3.5″ HDD was around £40 and a good 1TB 2.5″ HDD was around £50. The Toshiba MQ01ABD100H – 2.5 1TB Hybrid SSHD cost around £70. But then a 1TB SSD costs well over £300! You do the math! 😉
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Toshiba 1TB SSHD SATA 6Gb/s 5400RPM 8GB NAND Hard Drive
Many thanks to Toshiba for providing this sample for review