After the Vertex 4 had been launched a few months ago, OCZ now releases their Vector drives. It is their very first consumer grade Solid State Drive which goes to market under the lead of OCZ's new CEO - Ralph Schmidt. Furthermore OCZ say that the Vector is also their first SSD which is based on their own controller, which has been designed inhouse by their Indilinx team. We're really curious if this drive is able to perform within the proclaimed specs. 550 MB/s sequential read, 530 MB/s sequential write and up to 100'000 IOPS, that's quite something.
Specifications / Delivery
||OCZ Vector 256 Gigabyte
||2.5'', 7 mm
||0.9 Watt idle, 2.25 Watt active
550 MB/s reading, up to 530 MB/s writing
up to 100'000 IOPS, random
||< 0.1 ms
There is no other manufacturer that released more Solid State Drive
this year than OCZ. And there were not only products in the comsumer space, OCZ
also launch several new products in the enterprise market.
With all those new products not everything went perfectly fine. In our
opinion for example the Octane and the Vertex 4 were launched too early. We're
sure that scheduling a launch for one month later would have helped to release
the drives with a perfect firmware right from the beginning. It would have been
awesome to see these products perform at their maximum speeds right from the
Since the very moment that OCZ has started to mainly focus on Solid
State Drive, or in other words, when they got rid of the their DRAM business,
they have shown, that they are able to create really, really fast drives. You
might expect this already, there is a "but". Over the past year it seemed that
they were just not patient enough when it came to launching a new product.
Instead of releasing a product that has been driven to perfection there were
quite some products that needed a few more firmware updates until users could
access the real potential of these drives. This year OCZ also went through a lot
of change. There even is their new CEO Ralph Schmidt and today the company is
launching the first SSD under his lead. It really seems that with the Vector
their are changing one very important thing and the company is trying to start a
first sign was that we got the sample quite early. In fact it was about two
weeks before the launch that we received the 256 Gigabyte Vector we're testing
here. Therefore we really had plenty of time to do some thorough testing.
Furthermore there is something no other SSD manufacturer has done in the
consumer space. OCZ is mentioning an interesting number. Taking a closer look at
the specs we discover a value which is related to endurance. OCZ says that the
Vector should be capable of writing 20 Gigabyte per day over five year under
typical client workloads. To be honest it is difficult to put this value into
perspective since other manufacturers haven't yet been mentioning these numbers
at all. But several months ago we have published an article where we discussed
how long it would take until the NAND flash cells of todays SSD start dying. For
a fictious drive which had an awful write amplification and less NAND flash
cells we ended up with a life expectancy of six years. Keeping this in mind OCZ
should be on a safe side with their claim and furthermore we don't expect that
they are going to be overrun with RMA cases concerning the Vector (saying it's a
reliable drive with some sort of understatement).
Ok, but what is so interesting about this drive? Compared to the Vertex 4 the
Vector's controller is not based on a piece of Marvell silicon. OCZ says that
the Vector is using its very own controller which has been designed by Indilinx,
where the name is IDX500M00-BC. Furthermore you'll find two 256 Megabyte DRAM
chips from Micron, whereas has been placed on each side of the PCB. A closer
look a the NAND Flash shows that it's the same they are already using for the
Vertex 4. OCZ puts 25 nanometer Intel chips on the PCB and they have the part
number 29-F16B08CCME3, indicating that they are specified at 5'000 P/E cycles.
Furthermore they are connected to the controller via an ONFi 2.x interface.
Checking out the features, we came across a Data Path Protection which
is capable of correcting 28 random bits per kilobyte. As we already mentioned
OCZ ships this drive with five years of warranty and the drive is able to handle
20 Gigabyte written per day, which should be enough for any enthusiast around.
but not least there is the delivery. First of all the weight of the Vector was
quite surprising. In fact this drive is quite a bit heavier than it's
competition. Weight is always a subjective indicator for quality. In fact OCZ
provided the Vector with a very stable steel chassis, which protects the actual
SSD inside very well. Next to the drive itself - which measures seven
millimeters in heigt - you can find a small manual, a 3.5 inch adaptor, screws
and a sticker. Furthermore OCZ bundles the Vector with a copy of Acronis True
Image. In the box you wont find a CD or a DVD but there is license key. You'll
just have to go to the corresponding website and download your copy. Disk Image
is a really sweet program that helps you migrate data from you're old drive to
the new one.
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