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Appeared on: Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD

1. Features

Toshiba's first M.2 PCIe SSD into the consumer market is the RD400. Available under the enthusiast-oriented OCZ consumer brand, the D400 comes with a native PCIe SSD controller and the first PCIe 3 SSD from OCZ.

The RD400 uses Toshiba 15nm MLC and a "secret" Toshiba-branded controller, which Toshiba has said nothing about it. Guessing is not always easy. Toshiba uses its own controller in the Trion/TR drives, most probably based on the Phison S10. So the RD400 may be using a controller that is also based on a third-party design, most likely the Marvell 88SS1093. We hope that Toshiba will be kind enough to correct us.

The RD400 comes with a custom NVMe driver for Windows that Toshiba says offers better performance than Microsoft's driver. The drive is also supported by OCZ's SSD management utilities, and is optionally sold with a PCIe x4 to M.2 adapter that includes a thermal pad under the SSD controller.

The M.2 SSD module is coming with the drive pre-installed in the adapter. The PCIe x4 to M.2 adapter is a welcome option for some desktop users. It draws power from the PCIe slot's 12V supply and converts it to the 3.3V required by the M.2 drive.

Toshiba has changed the OCZ SSD Guru software into the OCZ SSD Utility and the ShieldPlus Warranty into the Advanced Warranty Program, but the relevant details are the same. Toshiba has also added a new software tool: CLOUT, the Command Line Online Update Tool. This one offers all the management capabilities of the graphical SSD Utility but from a scriptable command line interface.

The RD400 is also backed by OCZ’s awesome 5-year Advanced Warranty Program where you get advanced RMA on serial and free return shipping.

The competition for the RD400 consists primarily of the Samsung 950 Pro and the Intel SSD 750.

The OCZ RD400 is a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD that comes in a M.2 2280 form factor as well as an optional HHHL AIC form factor via an adapter. It is currently available in four capacities: 128GB ($109.99), 256GB ($169.99), 512GB ($309.99) and 1TB ($739.99). The HHHL AIC sku’s are an additional $20 each.

Sequential speeds are rated for up to 2600MB/s read and 1600MB/s write. Random read and write speeds are listed for up to 210K/140K IOPS. Endurance figures are also impressive with the 1TB model having a listed spec that is more than four times greater than that of the Intel 750. Active power consumption is rated for 6-6.4W typical while low power state consumption is rated for 6.0mW typical.

In terms of features, the RD400 supports TRIM and SMART monitoring.


Sequential Read Up to 2,200 MB/s Up to 2,600 MB/s Up to 2,600 MB/s Up to 2,600 MB/s
Sequential Write Up to 620 MB/s Up to 1,150 MB/s Up to 1,600 MB/s Up to 1,550 MB/s
Random Read (4KiB) Up to 170,000 IOPS Up to 210,000 IOPS Up to 190,000 IOPS Up to 210,000 IOPS
Random Write (4KiB) Up to 110,000 IOPS Up to 140,000 IOPS Up to 120,000 IOPS Up to 130,000 IOPS
TBW (Total Bytes Written) 74 TB 148 TB 296 TB 592 TB
Daily Usage Guidelines 40 GB/day 81 GB/day 162 GB/day 324 GB/day


Capacities 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1024GB
Form Factor M.2 2280, M.2 2280+AIC
Interface   PCI Express Base Specification Revision 3.1 (PCIe)
Maximum Speed 32 GT/s (PCIe Gen3x4L )
Command NVM Express Revision 1.1b (NVMe)
NAND Flash Memory Type MLC
Dimension (L x W x H) 128GB, 256GB, 512GB: 80 x 22 x 2.23 mm
1024GB: 80 x 22 x 3.58 mm
AIC: 157.64 x 105.51 x 17.2 mm
Drive Weight 128GB: 6.8 g (typ.)
256GB, 512GB: 7.2 g (typ.)
1024GB: 8.6 g (typ.)
AIC: 63 g (typ.)


Supply Voltage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1024GB: 3.3V ±5 %
AIC: 12V ±5 %
Power Consumption (Active) 128GB, 256GB, 512GB: 6.0 W (typ.)
1024GB and AIC: 6.4 W (typ.)
Power Consumption (Power State 5) 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1024GB and AIC: 6.0 mW (typ.)


Operating Temperature (Tc) 0°C to 70°C
Storage Temperature -40°C to 85°C
Shock Resistance 9.8 km/s {1000 G} (0.5 ms)
Vibration Operational 21 m/s2 {2.17 Grms} (Peak, 7 to 800 Hz)
Non-operational 30 m/s {3.13 Grms} (Peak, 5 to 800 Hz)
Certifications UL/cUL, FCC, CE, RCM, KC, BSMI, VCCI, and ISED


MTTF> 1.5 Mhours
Product Health Monitoring Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) Support


PCI Express Compatible with PCI ExpressBase Specification Revision 3.1
Operating System Windows 10, Windows8.1, Windows7
LinuxFedora 21, Mint 17.1, ElementaryOS Freya, OpenSUSE 13.2, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 14.10
Connector Type M.2: M.2 M key socket
AIC: PCIe slot
Targeted Applications Client workstations and laptops


Performance Optimization TRIM, Idle Time Garbage Collection
Service & Support 5-Year Advanced Warranty Program, Toll-Free Tech Support
Software SSD management software: SSD Utility and Command Line Online Update Tool (CLOUT)


128GB RVD400-M22280-128G 842024037347
256GB RVD400-M22280-256G 842024037354
512GB RVD400-M22280-512G 842024037361
1024GB RVD400-M22280-1T 842024037378
RD400A (with AIC)
128GB RVD400-M22280-128G-A 842024037538
256GB RVD400-M22280-256G-A 842024037552
512GB RVD400-M22280-512G-A 842024037569
1024GB RVD400-M22280-1T-A 842024037545


2. A closer look, software

The RD400 packaging ahs the familiar OCZ color and theme, but Toshiba has added its name on it. Our 512GB sample shipped with the add-in card. The card comes with a full-height adapter bracket installed.

Toshiba listed several product features and details about the RD400 on the package, and also notes that Toshiba does not support the Intel RST driver. Without RST support, users cannot assemble a RAID 0, 1 or 5 array on the Intel PCH with Z70 (and future) motherboards.


The OCZ RD400 ships ships with or without an add-in card (AIC) adapter, but in our case the 512GB model incudes a card. The RD400 models that include an OCZ-branded M.2 to PCIe 3.0 x4 adapter increase the cost of each drive by $20. You can find M.2 to PCIe adapters at online retailers close to this price point, but to increase compatibility with other systems we recommend purchasing the drive with the adapter card.

The add-in card is a basic design, but it includes a thermal pad under the flash processor. The pad distributes heat to the copper card and reduces the amount of heat passing to the flash.

The RD400 512GB uses a single-sided design with just two NAND flash packages.


PCIe-NVMe. The first uses the SATA bus that some M.2 sockets implement, and is no faster than 2.5-inch SATA SSDs. The advantages are small size and convenience. The other two types use M.2’s PCIe channels (not all M.2 slots have them) and vary only in the transport protocol: the older AHCI, or the newer NVMe. The RD400, as mentioned earlier, uses NVMe. In most designs to date, AHCI can hang with NVMe when writing, at around 1.2GBps, but NVMe is far faster at reading. You’ll usually get 2GBps or more with NVMe compared to AHCI’s range of 1.1GBps to 1.4GBps.

Note that even if your M.2 slot supports PCIe, your motherboard’s BIOS must support NVMe to boot from an M.2 PCIe-NVMe drive. Most performance motherboards have been upgraded for this, but many mainstream models have not. Older PCIe-AHCI M.2 drives are far more likely to be hassle-free boot drives.

The OCZ RD400 is is compatible with the latest OCZ SSD Utility. With it you can monitor your drive, manually TRIM and secure erase, you can even update your firmware and send support requests to OCZ too. Feel free to click on each of the following screenshots of the OCZ SSD Utility, and see all th detials. Not much have changced from OCZ's SSD Toolbox:


We tested the RD400 512GB SSD in a X99-based MSI motherboard, as you can see below:


3. ATTO Disk Benchmark

We start with the ATTO Disk Benchmark. The tool measures storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. The benchmark performs file transfers ranging from 0.5 KB to 8192 KB. ATTO can be adjusted to do overlapped I/O, in a variety of queue depths. The test was run with the default runs of 0.5KB through 8MB transfer sizes with the total length being 256MB and QD4. ATTO probably gives the most accurate results for compressible read and write data:

The RD400 smashed any competition in the ATTO benchmark, The SSD's write speed topped at about 1633 MB/s with 2MB files and at 2710MB/s for write. The performance was also very high with small 4KB files.

Compared with the Samsung 950 Pro SSD, the Toshiba RD400 was faster in both the read and write tasks, no matter the size of the files used. Obviously the RD400 has been optimized to perform very fast in the specific benchmark




4. CrystalDiskMark

The next benchmark is the CrystalDiskMark. The software provides throughput data based on sequential reads and writes, and random (512K/4K/4KQD32) reads and writes of various sizes.

We start with the older version of the CrystalDiskMark, in order to compare the DC400's performance with other SSDs we have tested so far. Kingston's drive reached the 542 MB/s read and 493MB/s write in the standard sequential write test. The Random 4K performance on the drive was 33 MB/s read and 103MB/s write.

The results were not exactly the same when we ran the test again set to 0Fill mode. There was a big boost in the 4K read (127.4 MB/s) and 4K QD32 (399 MB/s) speeds:

The latest version of the CrystalDiskMark utility returned performance figures close to those quoted by Kingston. Sequential Q32T1 read/ write speeds were 561 MB/s and 522 MB/s , respectively. The drive handles reasonable deep queues of 4K data pretty well, mainly in the write part. It performs well with 4K writes and the Phison controller seems to prefer reading of compresses data, especially when dealing with 4K transactions:

The charts you see below are based on the data coming from CrystalDiskMark v3.0.4. The DC400 960GB ranks pretty well in the first chart (sequential read speed) as well as in the 4K random read chart, in both QD1 and QD32 tests:


In the sequential and 4K/4KQD32 write speeds of the DC400 were also fast:

5. AS SSD benchmark

We move on with the AS SSD benchmark, which contains five synthetic as well as three practical tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and the random read / write performance of an SSD. These tests are carried out without using the operating system's cache. The Seq-test measures how long it takes to read and write an 1GB file. Most importantly, this sequential benchmark uses incompressible data for all of its transfers.

The OCZ RD400 SSD 960GB SSD reached a very high score of of 2415. That's a bit short of the 2848 score of the Samsung 950 Pro SSD, which had an overall lead in the read tasks.

Sequential speeds for Toshiba's drive hit the 2100MB/s for reads and 1074MB/s write while 4K speeds reached 38.93MB/s for read and 155MB/s for write.

The RD400 goes head to head with the 950Pro in the sequential read test:

Toshiba's drive lost some ground in the 4K random read tests, especially in the multithreaded test, finishing second in the following charts:


The performance for the RD400 SSD in the sequential write test was high, although not higher than the 950 Pro's.

Once again, both the RD400 and the 950 Pro drives had the same performance in the 4K random write test, but Samsung;s drive showed its muscles in the 4K/64 thread write benchmark:


Next up we ran the Compression Benchmark built-into AS SSD. This test uses a mix of compressible and incompressible data and outputs both Read and Write throughput of the drive.

The Toshiba RD400 SSD showed an unstable behavior across the board, with significant dips of many MB/s in the read test, mainly after the 60% compressibility mark on the chart below. Writing was also faster after the same 60% mark and onwards:

6. IOMeter

The IOMeter benchmark is run by using workstation and database patterns for queue depths (outstanding I/Os) representing very light and moderate loads. Iometer is both a workload generator (that is, it performs I/O operations in order to stress the system) and a measurement tool (that is, it examines and records the performance of its I/O operations and their impact on the system). The app's ability to bombard drives with an escalating number of concurrent IO requests also does a nice job of simulating the sort of demanding multi-user environments that are common in enterprise applications.

Overall, the IOPS delivered by the Toshiba RD400 were the highest we have seen from an SSD in the specific benchmark, in both read and write tasks:


7. Anvil Pro

The next benchmark is the Anvil Pro, an ‘all inclusive’ storage utility. The software is tests transfer speeds as well as IOPS The IOPS tests can be configurable with preset testing scenarios for read (Seq 4MB, 4K, 4K QD4, 4K QD16, 32K and 128K), write (Seq 4MB, 4K, 4K QD4, 4K QD16) and mixed IO.

We used the software with the Crucial MX300 SSD and tested the drive with 0-fill compression (RAW), 8% compression, 25% compression, 45% compression, 67% compression and finally 100 % (incompressible data).

Generally, the results we got from the Anvil Pro benchmark unveiled a consistent performance for the Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB GB across different compressions.

The RD400 ranked second in the sequential read test:

Toshiba's drive was a bit slower than the Samsung 950 Pro in the 4K read tests:

The RD400 gave 1040,65 MB/s in the sequential write benchmark, following the leading 950 Pro. However, Toshiba's drive took the first place in the 4K write (QD4, QD16) tests:




8. PCMark 7, PCMark 8

PCMark 7's Secondary Storage benchmark module offers a real-world application measurement approach to testing. The benchmark offers a trace-based measurement of system response times under various scripted workloads of traditional client / desktop system operation. From simple application start-up performance, to data streaming from a drive in a game engine, and video editing, these tests illustrate the performance profile of SSDs in a consumer PC usage model.

Below you see the secondary storage scores of some of the SSDs we have tested so far. The OCZ RDC400 SSD ranked second in the test, following the Samsung 950 Pro:

We continue with the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark, which uses traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

We ran the storage benchmark test suite:

The overall score for the RD400 SSD was just 5074 points, which is high but again not enough to move the 950 Pro away from the top position:


9. Summary

With the OCZ RD400 512GB SSD, Toshiba has created a very fast SSD for enthusiasts, capable of providing average read speeds of more than 2.1GBps and average write speeds of 1.2GBps. These figures are even higher, depending on the benchmark you may use in order to test the device.

Compared to its basic rival, the Samsung 950 Pro 512GB, the RD400 is overall a bit slower. It read at about the same speeds in sequential tests and fell a bit behind in sequential writes. But at those speeds, the difference is subjectively unnoticeable.

In the 4K threaded tests, the RD400’s results were very high. OCZ’s new drive was significantly faster than the 950 Pro’s writing, but fell well short of its rival’s read speed.

The same good performance for Toshiba's drive continued in 4K write (QD4 and QD16) tests, although Samsung's drive took the lead in the corresponding read tests.

Obviously, if your need is to write small files, then the RD400 might be the better choice. For applications that read from multiple files simultaneously, then the 950 Pro will be what you want.

On the other hand, the RD 400 gave lower scores in the PCMark 7 and PCMark 8 Storage benchmarks.

Congratulations, Toshiba. With the OCZ RD400, you have delivered a solution that easily earns its place as a high-end SSD, with no major weaknesses and a solid competitor to the Samsung 950 Pro.

The 512GB version of the RD400 costs $330 (PCIe adapter included). That's almost the same you'll have to spend for the Samsung 950 Pro 521GB SSD. Don't forget that the Samsung 950 Pro is based on 3D flash, while Toshiba has chosen to respond with a fast, well-optimized SSD based on MLC NAND.

Toshiba could make up the difference with the 950 Pro through a more aggressive pricing policy, but it did not accomplish that with the RD400.

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