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Just like with most computer hardware components compared to just 2 years ago continuous price drops have finally rendered SATA SSDs (Solid State Drives) almost as mainstream as HDDs allowing more and more system manufacturers to integrate them into their systems regardless of target audience. Certainly SSDs are still at a huge disadvantage in terms of price/capacity compared to regular mechanical HDDs but on one hand most consumers don't really have very large capacity needs while on the other you can always use the SSD just for OS (Operating System) needs and have everything else on a second or even on a third drive. However things are not the same for professionals and especially enterprise clients since both performance and storage capacity are crucial with cost following far behind. Thus far we've only focused in testing SAS HDD models manufactured by the leading companies in the field but since SSD prices have dropped quite a bit (both consumer and enterprise models) we decided to also start on SAS SSD reviews and what better way to do that than with the latest release by Toshiba, the PX02SMF020 200GB SAS 6Gb/s SSD.
Toshiba Europe Storage Products Division (SPD) has remained at the forefront of the storage industry for over 40 years and is the world's only storage supplier that owns design, development, manufacturing, sales and other infrastructure functions spanning the enterprise, mobile and retail environments for both HDD and SSD products. Customers are original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators and distributors within the EMEA region. As a leading provider of integrated storage solutions and as the principal inventor of NAND flash storage, Toshiba sets many of today’s industry standards for storage technology. Throughout its history, Toshiba SPD has revolutionized the design and development of storage devices and its drives can be found inside the world's leading GPS navigation systems, consumer electronics, computers and enterprise solutions. In addition, Toshiba Storage Products Division offers an extensive range of advanced technology drives such as high durability 24/7, extended temperature and SSDs for the consumer, industrial, enterprise and automotive sector.
Although Toshiba hasn't released any NAND Flash controllers of their own (until now that is) still they are considered the father of flash storage so it shouldn't really come as a surprise to hear that most SSDs in the market use Toshiba NAND Flash Modules. The PX02SMF020 specifically uses 24nm eMLC NAND Flash Modules by Toshiba paired with the TC58NC9036GTC SAS 12Gb/s compatible controller manufactured by Marvell (using proprietary firmware by Toshiba). Worth mentioning is that the PX02SM020 (and it's brothers) is the first dual port 12Gb/s SSD model to roll out from the production line and although this technology is still quite new it doesn't change the fact that Toshiba was the first to do so. However although we've had an 12Gb/s compatible SATA/SAS card by LSI here for quite a while now which we will use to test the PX02SMF020 model (actually we will use the drive to test the card but the result will be the same) this will have to wait for a while until we can gather more 12Gb/s compatible drives for a more thorough "presentation". For now let’s move forward with our review of the latest PX02SMF020 200GB SAS 6Gb/s SSD model by Toshiba.