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OCZ Vertex 120GB SATA SSD OCZSSD2-1VTX120G E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 20 February 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Vertex 120GB SATA SSD OCZSSD2-1VTX120G
Features and Specifications
First Look: OCZ Vertex SSD
Vertex SSD Internal Components
SSD Testing Methodology
Random Access Time Benchmark
Basic IOPS Performance
Linear Bandwidth Speed
I/O Response Time
Buffered Transaction Speed
Windows XP Startup Times
The Truth Behind Heat Output
Solid State Drive Final Thoughts
OCZSSD2-1VTX120G Conclusion

Vertex SSD Internal Components

Intermittent and delayed response cycles (stuttering) from Solid State Drive products is not entirely wide-spread among all MLC SSDs, but it has become a big-enough issue among most affordable SSD products that many are well-aware of the phenomenon. Consumers first experienced the bitter taste of stuttering SSD performance with the OCZ Core Series (v1) SSD, although it has also been reported with the G.Skill MLC SSD and Patriot Warp v2. The phenomenon occurs when the drives buffer is filled faster than it can read or write data, and was prevalent among first-generation JMicron JMF602 SSD controllers.

In the last SSD review, we detailed how OCZ's Apex features a JMicron JMB390 RAID controller managing a pair of JMF602(B) SSD controllers into a RAID-0 striped array to overcome the 'stutter' experienced in MLC drives. OCZ has returned to traditional methods of delivering performance with their latest and greatest Solid State Drive: the OCZ Vertex. But how will the Vertex SSD produce read-from and write-to bandwidth on par with the RAID-0 Apex without all the new architecture? The secret lies within a larger buffer, and the retirement of JMicron controllers (at least for this product) in place of the new Indilinx ARM7 micro-controller.

OCZ_Vertex_PCB_Bottom.jpg

To the untrained eye, the OCZ Verted SSD looks like every other Solid State Drive you've probably seen when the internal components have been exposed. There's a collective bank of DRAM, usually with Samsung markings, followed by the SATA controller chip. OCZ had decided to use Indilinx to deliver the SATA controller interface, since their 'Barefoot' chip was production-ready to be paired with a large cache months ago, while JMicron is still a few months away with their successor to the JMF602B chip.

OCZ_Vertex_PCB_Top.jpg

The internal DRAM is comprised of Samsung K9HCG08U1M-PCB00 IC parts, which bare the branding mark K9HCG08U1M PCB0. These lead-free RoHS-compliant 48-pin ICs are multi-layer, with one IC directly atop another. Each IC has an operating voltage of 2.7-3.6V, with a 25ns speed rating. The K9HCG08U1M parts offer 64GB in 8x organization.

SAMSUNG_K9HCG08U1M_DRAM.jpg

Indilinx claims that their IDX110M00-FC 'Barefoot' chip offer a maximum read speed 230 MBps and supports the capacity up to 512GB with multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash. The Indilinx (IDX110) Barefoot SSD controller chip is touted as delivering bandwidth over 200 MBps and random input-output (IO) of 20,000/s into various servers such as on-line transaction processing (OLTP) and streaming server units.

INDILINX_IDX1100M00-FC.jpg

A single Elpida 64MB SDRAM module is marked with S51321CBH-7BTT-F, but the actual Elpida part number is EDS51321CBH, which is a 133MHz (CL3-3-3) mobile RAM component. This 64MB cache buffer helps improve small write-to performance and removes the 'stuttering' effect from the Vertex SSD.

ELPIDA_S51321CBH.jpg

The test sample Benchmark Reviews received for our benchmarks came with version 9 firmware, but we were later halted and asked to use v10 firmware. This revision was a little too much for SATA-II controllers, so back to v9 we went. At the time of publication, the v9 firmware we used in this article is the same as what OCZ will use for retail products.

In the next section, Benchmark Reviews begins performance testing the Vertex Solid State Drive, and we determine just how well the new Indilinx Barefoot-based SSD compares to the previous best-performing competition.



 

Comments 

 
# Heat QuestionsGreg 2010-10-05 09:29
The heat section is unclear, you say SSD at load vs idle temps in one sentence but otherwise it seems you are comparing idle temps. The SSDs seem to cover the high and low end of the temperature spectrum so it is hard to understand where you get the conclusion that they are generally cooler.
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# SSD Heat OutputOlin Coles 2010-10-05 09:32
Hello Greg: I've discontinued the measurement of heat output from SSDs. This is because each series of controller operates at a different temp, and the enclosure makes a difference as to how much heat is dissipated out through the walls. In general, SSDs emit a low level of heat, much less than any hard drive, but they do still produce heat.
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# idle vs. full loadmike 2012-07-07 22:53
Could you please do just 1 more set of testing...

Even just 2 SSD vs 2 HDD's, Do an idle temp comparison vs a heavy usage test

Would be very interesting to see! Great article!
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# Vertex SpeedsJack 2013-04-05 13:39
This is a couple years old but these HDD's were discontinued and OCZ will replace the defective units with Vertex Plus Revision 2. My speeds were hitting about 220MB/sec max and averaging 180MB/sec.
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# RE: OCZ Vertex 120GB SATA SSD OCZSSD2-1VTX120GNikolai 2013-07-08 17:31
but one just like it. New but from e-bay. It died in less then a year.
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