|OCZ Vertex EX SLC SSD OCZSSD2-1VTXEX120G|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 06 May 2009|
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OCZ Vertex-EX SSD Review
There are very few products that grab enthusiast attention like SSDs have. OCZ has created a well-deserved buzz around the industry since they launched their Core II, Apex, and Vertex multi-layer cell SSD products for retail consumers. Now they've gone one step further, and designed a SLC SSD for the demanding enterprise server segment. Benchmark Reviews welcomes the OCZ Vertex EX SSD OCZSSD2-1VTXEX120G into the ranks, and our bandwidth performance tests compare the Vertex EX to several other SSDs occupying the high-end market.
Performance enthusiasts have been keeping notes on Solid State Drive technology for a while now. SSD products are not mainstream, not yet, but that day isn't very far off anymore. Lower power consumption and heat output are benefits of the technology, but they are also the least impressive benefits any Solid State Drive can provide. The real payoff is a nearly-instant response time and incredible high-performance throughput speeds.
OCZ may not have created the Solid State Drive, but they've done more to bring SSD technology mainstream than any other company in the entire industry. Once SSDs could finally outperform their HDD counterpart, the discussion became all about price and capacity. The OCZ Core Series helped to offer affordable Solid State Drive technology to the masses, but capacity and stuttering became new issues. Adding up to 64MB of Elpida DRAM to the buffer has permanently solved stuttering problems, making raw performance the last bottleneck. An Indilinx 'Barefoot' internal controller commands the bank of Samsung K9HCG08U1M DRAM modules, allowing the OCZ Vertex Series SSD to offer an impressive capacity with unmatched performance. Benchmark Reviews tests the reaction time and bandwidth performance for the Vertex EX SLC SSD against over two dozen other products in this article.
Since first making a commercial public debut at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, Solid State Drives (SSD's) have been a topic of hot discussion among performance enthusiasts. These nonvolatile flash memory-based drives feature virtually no access time delay and promise a more reliable storage medium with greater performance while operating at a fraction of the power level. Moving into 2008, SSDs became a consumer reality for many performance-minded power users. Now that 2009 has revealed promising industry support for Solid State Drive technology, we should hope that mainstream acceptance moves faster than DDR3 SDRAM has.
Back in November 2007, after experiencing the SuperComputing Conference SC07, finding Solid State Drives on sale anywhere was a real challenge. One year later, and online stores are offering dozens of SSD models at reasonable prices. Solid State Drives are rapidly changing the computing landscape, and many enthusiasts are using SSD technology in their primary systems to help boost performance. Benchmark Reviews has tested nearly all of the products available to the retail market in this sector, and several do well while others fall flat. It used to be that performance was the largest hurdle for mass storage NAND Solid State Drives, followed by stability, and later price.
Solid State Drive products are no longer restricted to bleeding edge hardware enthusiasts or wealthy elitists. Heading into 2009, SSD storage devices were available online for nearly $2 per gigabyte of storage capacity while the most popular performance desktop hard drive hovered just above $1/GB. While most consumers are waiting for that day when SSD costs the same as HDD, they seem to be forgetting how Solid State Drives have already surpassed Hard Disk performance in every other regard. Our collection of SSD reviews is a good starting point for comparing the competition.
According to a Q1 2008 report by the semiconductor market research firm iSuppli, the SSD market will grow at an annualized average of 124 percent during the four-year period from 2008 until 2012. iSuppli now projects SSD sales to increase by an additional 35 percent in 2009 over what it projected last year, 51 percent more in 2010, and 89 percent more in 2011, and continue to show dramatic increases in subsequent years.
Disclaimer: SSD Benchmarks
Benchmark Reviews recently published an article which details Solid State Drive (SSD) Benchmark Performance Testing. The research and discussion that went into producing that article changed the way we now test SSD products. Our previous perceptions of this technology were lost on one particular difference: the wear leveling algorithm that makes data a moving target. Without conclusive linear bandwidth testing or some other method of total-capacity testing, our previous performance results were rough estimates at best.
It's critically important to understand that no software for the Microsoft Windows platform can accurately measure SSD performance in a comparable fashion. Synthetic benchmark tools such as HD Tach and ATTO Disk Benchmark are helpful indicators, but should not be considered the ultimate determining factor. That factor should be measured in actual user experience of real-world applications. Benchmark Reviews includes both bandwidth benchmarks and application speed tests to present a conclusive measurement of product performance.
About the company: OCZ Technology
Entering the memory market in August 2000, OCZ Technology was built around the determination to manufacture the best high speed DDR and RDRAM. OCZ was founded by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, and their commitment to the end-user has not digressed. OCZ Technology has been an innovator in many areas.
We were the first manufacturer to make Dual Channel optimized memory available to the public, which originally took advantage of nVidia's Twinbank or Dual DDR architecture, found in their nForce chipset. We have now taken that technology and tailored it for the Canterwood, and Granite Bay chipset's. OCZ developed and was the first to implement ULN technology, which has been a critical element in the manufacturing process for some time.
We at OCZ diligently work to improve communication with CPU and motherboard chipset manufacturers prior to the release of their products. Only in this manner can we fine-tune the memory's SPD settings, ensuring a synergistic relationship between the memory module, memory controller, and microprocessor. In today's rapidly evolving semiconductor industry, such communication is not simply research, but a necessary component of the manufacturing process.