OCZ Trion 100 series solid-state drive review: A great SSD for the budget-minded

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MSRP: $369.99

The Good The OCZ Trion 100 series solid-state drive is much faster than any regular hard drive and is affordable. The SSD also has high endurance, allowing you to write a lot of data to it before it becomes unreliable.

The Bad Compared with other solid-state drives (not traditional hard drives) on the market the new Trion is among the slowest. The drive also comes with a short three-year warranty and doesn't support encryption.

The Bottom Line For what it costs, the OCZ Trion 100 series solid-state drive and ideal replacement drive for an older computer that still runs on a regular hard drive.

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7.0 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Support 7

Review Sections

The new OCZ Trion 100 is one of the slowest solid-state drive (SSDs) on the market but it's likely the most affordable. Most importantly, the SSD is still considerably faster than any regular hard drives (HDDs).

Available in capacities from 120GB to 980GB, the Trion has suggested retail prices from just $57 to $370, respectively. (Pricing and availability for the UK and Australia will be announced at a later date.) Like the case of other OCZ SSDs, such as the ARC 100, the actual street price of the Trion is expected to be noticeably lower. Chances are the Trion 100 is or will be the most affordable drive on the market.

As a bonus, the Trion has a high endurance rating, especially the higher capacities, meaning you can use it for a long time before having to worry about replacing it. If you have an aging HDD-based computer, this SSD is an excellent upgrade that will make your old system perform much faster than even when it was brand-new.

On the other hand, if you don't mind spending a bit more for faster SSDs, check out this list of the top SSDs on the market.

The Trion 100 SSD is housed in an aluminum sturdy casing. Josh Miller/CNET

Standard design

The Trion 100 is the previously released OCZ ARC 100 with a twist. Both drives are value SSDs aiming to offer SSD performance at low cost. However, while the ARC uses an OCZ controller, the Trion is made entirely of Toshiba components, from the controller to the flash memory. In a way the drive is the first complete result of Toshiba's acquisition of OCZ, which took place more than a year ago.

The Trion is also the first OCZ SSD that uses triple-layer-cell (TLC) flash memory. Typically, this means the drive has higher density -- you can put more memory cells in the same area of the silicon wafer -- but slower performance. This proved to be the case for the Trion in the performance section below.

Other than that, this is a standard internal drive, taking the 2.5-inch design (laptop). The drive supports the latest SATA3 (6Gbps) but will work with all existing SATA revisions. It will fit in all applications where a single standard hard drive is being used, however it's best used as the main drive of a computer that hosts the operating system and applications.

With the 7mm profile (thinner than 9.5mm of a standard laptop hard drive) the Trion will also work in some ultrabooks, in additions to laptops and desktops.

Note that the drive doesn't support encryption, so it's not suitable for corporate or business environment where you need to protect data in case of thief or loss.

The OCZ Guru is a handy application for you to manage the SSD. Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

Like the ARC 100, the new Trion drive comes in a spartan package that includes just the drive itself. There's no other accessories included, such as a drive-bay bracket (which makes it easier to install a 2.5-inch drive into the drive bay of a desktop computer.) This is not a big deal, however; since an SSD has no moving parts, you can actually leave it hanging loose inside a desktop.

The Trion include the downloadable OCZ Guru software that comes in handy in case you want to check on the drive's status, update its firmware and so on.

High endurance

Depending on the capacity, the Trion's endurance can be quite impressive.

Endurance is the number of program-erase cycles an SSD can perform before you can't write to it anymore. (Read more about SSD endurance here.) In other words, with an SSD there's a finite amount of data you can write to it before the drive becomes unreliable. The higher this amount the longer you can use the drive.

OCZ says that the four capacities of the Trion, 120GB, 240GB, 48GB and 980GB, have an endurance rating of 30TB, 60TB, 120TB and 240TB, respectively. More specifically, take the lowest 120GB capacity, for example; if you write 27GB per day every day to the drive, it will take more than three years for the drive's endurance to run out. Higher-capacity drives will take accordingly longer. 27GB is a lot of data and on an average use case, we write just about 5GB to the computer's drive a day, and most days we don't write to the drive at all.

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