Review: OCZ Vector 256 Gigabyte


Published by Marc Büchel on 27.11.12
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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.




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Specifications / Delivery


Model OCZ Vector 256 Gigabyte
Capacity 256 Gigabyte
Form Factor 2.5'', 7 mm
Power Consumption 0.9 Watt idle, 2.25 Watt active
Memory Synchronous NAND
Technology Intel 29-F16B08CCME3
Throughput up to 550 MB/s reading, up to 530 MB/s writing up to 100'000 IOPS, random 4k
Accesstime (read) < 0.1 ms
MTBF 1'300'000 hours
Acoustics no noise
Warranty 5 Years


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 very start.

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 new chapter.

The 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).

Controller

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.

Last 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.




Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 7 - Random read KByte/s
Page 2 - Impressions Page 8 - Sequential write ops
Page 3 - How do we test? Page 9 - Sequential read ops
Page 4 - Sequential write KByte/s Page 10 - Random write ops
Page 5 - Sequential read KByte/s Page 11 - Random read ops
Page 6 - Random write KByte/s Page 12 - Conclusion



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