Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB NVMe SSD Review
Bohs Hansen / 10 months ago
Today’s review is one that I have been looking forward to in quite some time and now that time is finally here. The drive in my testing area today is the brand new Toshiba OCZ RD400, previously known as the RevoDrive400, with a capacity of 512GB. The RD400 isn’t just a small and compact M.2 drive that also comes with an optional PCIe adapter, it is also an NVMe based drive that will give us a performance and a capacity choice that we haven’t seen other places so far.
Making the move from SATA/AHCI to NVMe has a lot of advantages where the most noticeable one is the performance. We get a drive that can deliver 4.5 times the read performance and 3 times the write performance of Toshiba OCZ’s SATA3 consumer flagship drive, the VT180. To put that in actual numbers, we are talking about 2600MB/s sequential read performance and 1600MB/s write performance. The exact speed depends a little on what capacity model, but they are all impressive. The random read and write performance isn’t without either and RD400 comes with up to 210K IOPS read performance and 140K IOPS write performance.
As mentioned above, the RD400 comes in various sizes and its the first NVMe drive to come in all capacity option between 128Gb and all the way up to 1TB. That is a lot of very fast storage in a very small form factor. Speaking of form factor, the drive in itself is an M.2 2280 drive which means that the gumstick-sized module is 22mm wide and 80mm long. It doesn’t require any extra power connectors or data cables either as it connects directly through the motherboard or PCI-Express add-in card.
NVMe, or NVM Express, is the next generation storage interface – and it is what you’ll want in the future. SATA has done a great job as a replacement for the IDE standard, but it has reached the point where it just isn’t viable anymore. One of the main reasons that it isn’t is the amount of CPU overhead that it requires. Where SATA was built for spinning drives, NVMe is built for flash-based storage, and as such, it’s the perfect choice for SSDs. NVMe reduces the latency in your system’s Input-Output path between the drive and your CPU which is why we get the highly improved performance.
Since it’s far from every user that has a motherboard with full support for PCIe Gen.3 x4 M.2 modules with 32Gbps throughput, the RD400 also comes in a version with a PCIe add-in card. This makes it compatible with almost any system. The RD400 in itself is fully NVMe 1.1b compliant.
Feature wise, the RD400 packs what you would expect, such as S.M.A.R.T., TRIM, and Idle-time garbage collection. Now, this is where one could have stopped and just released the drive, but OCZ put more effort into it and also brings their own driver along with the drive. The custom RD400 driver will give a better performance than the default Microsoft driver will.
When you invest in a premium drive like the RD400, then you’ll also want to know that you have a drive that will last you a long time. The RD400 has no trouble in this area with an endurance rating of 74TBW per 128GB capacity over a 5-year period. That means that the top model with 1TB capacity comes with an impressive 592TBW endurance rating. The drive is also backed by a 5-year warranty, and that isn’t just any warranty. The RD400 is included in the Advanced Warranty Program, previously known as OCZ ShieldPlus, which guarantees a hassle-free exchange should the worst case happen and the drive breaks down. Not only is it included in this awesome warranty program, you get 5-years of it on any RD400 drive.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Software Toolbox, previously known as SSDGuru, also supports the RD400. That makes health monitoring, firmware updates, and secure erase as easy as it could be. It also includes a command line update function for those who prefer that.
- NVMe 1.1b compliant
- PCI-Express Gen. 3 x4
- PCI-Express L1.2 low power state support
- Compact M.2 2280 form factor
- RD400 driver delivers higher performance than standard Microsoft driver
- 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1024GB capacities
- Up to 2,600 MB/s sequential read and 1,600 MB/s sequential write
- Up to 210,000 IOPS 4KiB random read and 140,000 IOPS 4KiB random write
Packaging and Accessories
The OCZ RD400 comes in a box very similar to those we get our 2.5-inch drives in, only a little bigger. That is because this version comes with an included PCIe adapter, making it compatible with almost any system.
The top features an image of the drive and adapter as well as the company logos and that it is an NVMe drive.
On the rear of the package, we find all the detailed version such as compatibility and features.
Inside is a package with that contains everything ready to be plugged into your system. There’s also a top on it the plastic, but I’ve removed that for the purpose of the photo here.
Inside is the PCIe adapter with the RD400 already mounted. There is also a half-height slim profile expansion bracket included, should you use an SFF chassis.
Besides the drive, there is a small instructions manual and a support and RMA guide, should the worst case happen.