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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 08 July 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Vertex-2 Extended Solid State Drive
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: OCZ Vertex 2 Extended
SandForce SF-1200 SSD Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
HDD vs Hybrid Drive vs SSD
OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Conclusion

OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Conclusion

Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating for the sample received which may differ from retail versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

Our performance rating considers how effective the 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 'Extended' SSD performs in operations against direct competitor SATA storage solutions. For reference, SandForce specifies the SF-1200 at 260 MB/s read and write, while OCZ increases performance expectations to 285 MB/s read and 275 write. In our benchmark tests, the Vertex 2 SSD performed at or above this rating. The OCZ Vertex 2 Extended SSD delivered 284/277 MBps peak read and writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark SSD speed tests with Everest Disk Benchmark produced 264/259 MB/s, making this one of the fastest SATA-3GBps MLC SSD's Benchmark Reviews has ever tested. The retail OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G kit that OCZ sent for testing uses a custom 1.10 firmware release, and IOPS performance was higher than most other SF-1222 based SSDs. Operational performance was outstanding when tested with Iometer, compared to other SSDs, and proved that OCZ's investment into SandForce's custom firmware has paid off. Enthusiasts can expect high operational speeds and functionality for demanding applications.

OCZ-Vertex-2-SSD-Front-Tilt.jpg

Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, Solid State Drives are meant to place function before fashion. Anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is already more than what's expected in terms of the appearance. OCZ has created an back-to-basics look with the black and silver label on their Vertex 2 SSD series, while the black metal chassis matches the others in their product line. As solid state controllers become faster and more advanced, heat dissipation through the enclosure walls may demand that chassis designs become more beneficial than they previously needed to be.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to any solid state product line, and the OCZ Vertex 2 series is no exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses because of their architecture and technology, but the hard metal shell adds a superfluous level of protection. If an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD Series product does happen to fail during the 3-year warranty period, end-users may contact OCZ via the company website, or extensive support forums. Fortunately, there's also a toll-free telephone number (800-459-1816) for free technical support and customer service questions.

Benchmark Reviews has tested the OCZ Vertex 2 Extended SSD against many of its closest competitors, and the performance results were impressive by their own merits. In fact, the OCZ Vertex 2 Extended SSD outperformed all other SandForce-based SSDs in nearly every single bandwidth speed and operational performance test performed. High-performance computer enthusiasts will enjoy the a noteworthy 0.16 ms response time, which assures a nearly-instant reactions when called upon. Based on the SATA-3.0 SandForce SF-1222TA3-SBH processor, the OCZ Vertex 2-series delivers native TRIM garbage collection (in Windows 7) and SMART support with impressive transfer speeds. More importantly, SandForce DuraClass technology adds their proprietary RAISE and DuraWrite features not available to other SSDs, and the end result is a product that could last up to five times longer with less wear on NAND flash modules due to 7% over-provisioning.

SandForce SSDs are taking the storage market by storm, has helped the OCZ Vertex 2 dominate the high-performance PC hardware segment. Not only are SandForce-based Solid State Drives extremely fast, but more importantly they're capable of SLC-level operational performance I/O and NAND durability. The OCZ Vertex 2 series builds from the powerful SandForce SF-1222 solid state processor, which brings innovation to the SSD industry by prolonging MLC NAND flash module lifetime and delivering RAID-like data redundancy. When one SandForce product is physically identical to another, the overall value depends on price, warranty, and customer support. If you're price shopping, a quick stroll through our other recent SandForce SF-1200 product reviews will reveal other SSD options.

As of mid September 2010, OCZ's Vertex 2 series dominates every capacity with a very competitive price point at NewEgg. There are several capacities available, depending on whether you prefer standard (28% over-provision) or extended (7% over-provision) Vertex 2 models:

OCZ Vertex 2

OCZ Vertex 2 Extended

$150 - 50GB - OCZSSD2-2VTX50G
$240 - 100GB - OCZSSD2-2VTX100G
$599 - 200GB - OCZSSD2-2VTX200G
$155 - 60GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G
$220 - 90GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE90G
$240 - 120GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G
$424 - 180GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE180G
$565 - 240GB - OCZSSD2-2VTXE240G

Prices between standard and extended Vertex 2 SSDs are intended to be comparable, with frequent promotions and rebates further reducing costs. Consumers must decide which is most important: less capacity with more over-provisioned NAND intended for a longer Enterprise-class lifetime, or more capacity with less over-provisioning more befitting of end-users. Since both versions offer extremely durable data storage lifetimes, and replacement/refreshment cycles generally run 3-5 years, my recommendation goes for choosing the Vertex 2 'Extended' series.

OCZ's Vertex 2 SSD series has pushed performance results to their highest points in the entire test history of Benchmark Reviews. Extremely high operational IOPS performance was the V2's most coveted attribute, and yet the Vertex 2 still surpassed practically every other SSD storage product we've ever tested in each benchmark. In summary, OCZ's Vertex 2 series outperforms the competition and delivers the best SSD performance available with a better value over other SandForce storage products. The OCZ Vertex 2 easily outmatches all other previous Multi-Layer Cell (MLC) SSDs, and competes head-on with Enterprise-level MLC storage solutions. OCZ offers the Vertex-2 in 50/100/200/400GB capacities, while the Vertex-2 Extended SSD arrives in 60/120/240/480GB capacities. All Vertex 2 kits come with a 2.5" into 3.5" converter tray, which desktop computer enthusiasts should welcome. In a storage market filled with clones, OCZ's Vertex 2 offers the most attractive pricing and a three-year product warranty with high-performance custom firmware. For high-performance enthusiasts and hardcore gamers, the OCZ Vertex 2 offers blazing fast transfer speed and outstanding operational performance.

Pros:Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Delivers highest IOMeter IOPS performance ever recorded!
+ Outstanding 284/277 MBps read/write speed with ATTO
+ SandForce SF-1200 processor supports TRIM, SMART, and RAISE
+ DuraWrite technology extends NAND lifetime
+ Top-level enthusiast operational I/O performance
+ 3-Year OCZ Vertex 2 product warranty
+ 60/120/240/480GB 'Extended' high-speed SSD storage capacity
+ AES-128 Automatic encryption and password data protection
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life

Cons:

- Not 3rd-Generation SATA-6.0 compliant
- Lacks integrated USB Mini-B data connection
- Some manufacturers offer five-year warranty

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.75
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 7.50

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Nomination: 2010 Benchmark Reviews Editor's Choice Award

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# RE: OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Solid State DriveRobert17 2010-07-14 02:45
Recently I had checked back on a year-old SSD review, the Kingston Now V series, then a another older SSD review on a Patriot. And I note a lead article regarding suggested benchmarking specs via SNIA. Only a couple of years into SSDs and the offerings are remarkably better. And of course Intel is going to sharpen the point of the stick by year-end with 25nm flash memory for their newest products. This is without doubt the most rapidly advancing technology for PCs that I can recall. The next five years should be interesting. Looking back from that perspective should be even more eye-popping.
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# RE: OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Solid State DriveJeff C 2010-07-14 11:01
On the chart showing the Intel controller, I think the garbage collection exists for it. I have the M25-V, and it has both a GC tool and has TRIM support.
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# Only the latest SSDsOlin Coles 2010-07-14 11:36
Only second-generation Intel SSDs with the latest firmware revision support TRIM and garbage collection (X25-M G2). The other 90% of the SSDs they've sold do not. I will update that chart so future articles will specify support on G2.
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# C300 results wrong!?Thomas Bruckschlegel 2010-07-15 11:42
I cannot repro your results, I get ~ 10000 IOPS with your settings: 100% random, 50% write, 50% read, 4KB, 32 outstanding I/O's per target - using the SATA2 interface on my P55 based board.

BTW. iometer is highly affected by compression - I have no troubles reaching ~45000 IOPS with my older Indilinx based SSD on a compressed NTFS partition.

Thomas
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# RE: C300 results wrong!?Olin Coles 2010-07-15 11:52
Hello Mr. Bruckschlegel:

I will email you my Iometer configuration file, so that you may reproduce our test exactly as we conduct it. Please be informed that all SSDs are wiped clean using DISKPART "clean all" prior to testing. Also note that this is the total IOPS reported by the test, and not an individual read or write.
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# RE: C300 results wrong!?Olin Coles 2010-07-15 16:40
There's a major difference between the Marvell SATA-6G controller and the Intel ICH10 on your P55 motherboard. While the Intel ICH10 will likely provide better IOPS results, it won't offer 6.00 GB/s connectivity or speeds. Crucial sent a Marvell controller with the SSD, so our tests have all used their 'recommended' setup.
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# RE: RE: C300 results wrong!?Thomas Bruckschlegel 2010-07-15 19:17
I tried your file, I had an error in mine "Align I/Os on" was set to "sector boundaries" instead of "4KB" - now I get 20220 total I/Os per second.

Do you think this is totally controller related?
BTW, sanity erase or a format of the whole drive (not a quick format) under win7 with a TRIM enabled AHCI driver+controller will restore the factory performance, not sure if a "diskpart clean all" will do the same.

Thomas
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# RE: OCZ Vertex-2 Extended Solid State DriveJayson 2010-10-02 10:29
On the ICH10R tests are you using the Intel driver or Microsoft driver? Should probably clarrify as you can be using the Intel controller with either driver set.
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# RE: RE: OCZ Vertex-2 Extended Solid State DriveOlin Coles 2010-10-02 10:32
The article already specifies that the Intel RST driver is used, and the tests show the iaStor driver.
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# MTTF and MTBF are not the same thingTypoknig 2011-01-03 15:56
Hi Olin, I noticed on your specs page that you listed the this SSDs MTTF as 200,000,000 hours, but everywhere I look OCZ has only published the MTBF numbers. Maybe a typo on your end? This number jumped right out at me because I was surprised to see that this drives MTBF numbers have increased from the 1,500,000 hours MTBF spec of the original 120GB Vertex drives. If you have any inside contacts with OCZ I would very much like to know how they are calculating this number. Of the three original 120GB Vertex drives I purchased in June of 2009 all have failed (at different times), were replaced via RMA, and then proceeded to fail again. In total I have had 7 of the original 120GB Vertex drives in my position, and one just failed again two days ago. Seems to me that OCZ's MTBF numbers are off (and all the failures mentioned by people in various forums seems to support that notion). I should point out though that OCZ has always processed my RMA hassle free, and they are now working with me to take my original drives that I have had so much trouble with and upgrade me to something a bit more stable. I really appreciate them standing by their product, and I hope they can work out the kinks in their line of SSD products soon.
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# RE: MTTF and MTBF are not the same thingOlin Coles 2011-01-03 15:59
Hello:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. These specification are pulled directly from the manufacturer-supplied data sheet, and are often subject to change without notice. I would consider the specifications listed on the website to be the most current and accurate.
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