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Toshiba OCZ TL100 128GB & 256GB SSD Review

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Conclusion

It is very easy to get a true entry-level SSD series wrong. We’ve seen it plenty of times in the past: manufacturers are more than willing to cut corners and sacrifice in some key areas in order to achieve a low price point. With the TL100 series OCZ has proven budget-focused buyers of lower capacity SSDs don’t have to settle for mediocrity.

Neither the 120GB or 240GB capacity can hold a candle to their VX500 brethren, nor is either is in the same league as higher end drives. However, things do get much more interesting when comparing this new series to Crucial’s MX300 series and even OCZ’s own TR150’s. All three of these models (the VX, TR and MX300) come with three year warranties, have similar performance (when comparing apples to apples) and all three are pretty much at the same price point. The MX300 costs the most and offers ‘the most’ performance, but it is not night and day better than OCZ’s TL100 series. We doubt the average first time buyer, or anyone of that matter, would be able tell the difference between them.

The same holds true of the Total Bytes Written specifications these three series have. On the surface the more expensive drives are in a different league, but remember the average consumer is only going to do at most 5GB to 10GB a day in writes, especially on such capacity-constrained drives. Since the TL100 120GB can handle 2.7 to 5.4 times this and the 240GB can do 5.4 to 10.8 times this amount, it really is a moot point. However the specification does point towards OCZ focusing on durability as a top concern, even on their lowest-end offerings. That’s an extremely important point for anyone that wants to keep an SSD for the long term.

Even the pseudo-SLC caching technology used on the TL100 reacts similarly to the one being used on drives like the MX300 and even AData’s SU800 and has the same limitations. I simply can’t see most users running out of SLC mode cache and hammering the TL100 any worse than a similarly sized MX300 series.

These are the reasons why this series actually impressed so much; not once did we have to lower our expectations for a fair comparison between all the similarly priced series we have reviewed. The TL100 simply is such a great value that it doesn’t need us making any excuses for it.

In the end we can wholeheartedly recommend the Toshiba OCZ TL100 series to anyone looking for a bargain-basement drive that doesn’t behave like some castoff from last year’s liquidation section. Its performance does, for the most part, belie an anemically low asking price and for the market the TL100 plays in, that’s a huge step forward.

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