Final thoughts and the conclusion
A modern operating system such as Windows 10 rarely does one
thing at time; it processes hundreds of threads at once. Just take a look at
the processes and services that are running in task manager for an idea of how
much is going on, even with the PC idling at the desktop. When you start
running applications on top of this, the workload increases in line with the number
and type of applications you are running. It’s also fair to say that many of
these processes are already loaded into system RAM, but many are also loaded into
and unloaded from RAM to the system drive as and when they are required.
If we look at the 4 basic requirements for a really fast
SSD, they are as follows.
- Small file threaded performance needs to be high.
- Small random file performance needs to be high.
- Sequential read and write speeds need to be high.
- Fast access times.
The Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD has all of these attributes
in abundance, and feels extremely snappy in use as a system drive.
I have only had the Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD for
a few weeks, so it’s not possible to comment on the drive’s long term reliability.
However, during the testing period, this SSD has been 100% stable and has
caused no issues whatsoever.
The Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe SSDs are as “plug n play” as
it gets, providing you are running Windows 8.1 or later, and you have a
motherboard which supports ‘boot from NVMe’. If you don’t have a motherboard
which supports ‘boot from NVMe’ then you may need to find a workaround to allow
you to boot the operating system from the Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe SSD. If
you can’t find a workaround to boot the drive, then you can still use the Toshiba
OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe SSD as perhaps a scratch disk for something like Photoshop.
To get the best performance from the Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2
NVMe SSD, you will require either the Intel SkyLake Z170 platform, or an Intel
X99 chipset motherboard. In each case, the motherboard will need to be equipped
with a Hyper M.2 socket PCIe3 x4 (32Gbps).
Let us summarise the most important positive and negative
- Silky smooth operation as a system drive.
- Outstanding sequential reading and writing performance,
even at very low queue depths.
- Outstanding 4K random writing performance.
- Outstanding 4k random reading performance at very low and
very high queue depths.
- TRIM support under Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.
- Completely silent operation.
- Fast operating system start-up and shutdown times.
- Extremely fast in ‘real world scenarios’.
- Very low power consumption considering the amount of grunt
this drive has.
- Power consumption when idle could be better.
To sum up, this is what I
As an operating system drive, the Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe
SSD is pretty hard to fault. Performance is outstanding and this SSD proved to
be very stable during the testing period. Make no mistake though; the Toshiba
OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe SSD has a performance profile ideally suited to professional
Whilst I haven’t tested a large amount of NVMe SSDs, if we exclude
enterprise class drives, it has become apparent to me that there are two
distinct market segments that the so called ‘pro-sumer’ class NVMe SSDs are
aimed at. The Samsung 950 Pro, despite its ‘Pro’ tag is squarely aimed at the
consumer end of the market. At the other end of the scale is the Intel 750,
which is aimed squarely at the professional market.
The Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe SSD sits right in the middle.
It may not have the ultimate grunt of the Intel 750, but it does come close,
and with a professional workload, it is certainly faster than the Samsung 950
Pro. As a true consumer SSD, it isn’t quite as fast as the Samsung 950 Pro with
the very low queue depths that are found with true consumer workloads. But once
again, the Toshiba OCZ RD400 isn’t far behind.
It might be fair to say that the Toshiba OCZ RD400 is a true
pro-sumer SSD, as you get the best of both worlds. It’s blistering fast with both
consumer and professional workloads. It’s very energy efficient when working.
It also initializes the fastest of any of the NVMe SSDs that I have tested, and
is the fastest to the Windows 10 desktop, if this is important to you. All in
all, the Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe SSD is outstanding, so much so, that I have
chosen to use the RD400 as my system drive.
Price and availability
I found the Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD available
UK for £278.03 including VAT.
The parting sentence is:
“If you really must have one of the fastest professional consumer
grade SSDs currently available, at an affordable price, then the Toshiba OCZ
RD400 M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD is the one to have”.
The editor rating is based on the following key factors.
- Stability (is the device stable?)
- Supplied accessories (what is included in the package)
EFD Software for
Quarch Technology for
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