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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 04 April 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
OCZ Vertex 3 SandForce SF-2281 SSD
Closer Look: OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
SandForce SF-2281 SSD Controller
Features and Specifications
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
HDD vs Hybrid Drive vs SSD
OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Conclusion

Closer Look: OCZ Vertex 3 SSD

SSDs are quickly gaining popularity because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple Mac computers. Likewise, they install into both desktop and notebook platforms without modification. For this article Benchmark Reviews is testing the 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD, which is expected to reach speeds of 550 MB/s for sequential reads and 520 MB/s sequential writes. The VTX3-25SAT3-240G model we've received for testing is built using the SandForce SF-2281 SSD controller.

OCZ offers three difference capacities for their Vertex 3 series solid state drives, and they will all use identical enclosures. All of the Vertex 3 models share the same part numbers, with a capacity designator trailing the end: VTX3-25SAT3-120G, VTX3-25SAT3-240G, VTX3-25SAT3-480G. Like past SSD products, expect for the lower-capacity devices to reach the retail market first, such as 120/240GB varieties. Once supplies have been stocked, the 480GB version will be soon to follow. With respect to OCZ's Vertex 3 series, the 240GB version is expected to be the most popular of the three capacities because of performance specifications specific to this model.

OCZ-Vertex-3-VTX3-25SAT3-Package.jpg

The OCZ Vertex 3 SSD is best suited for performance-orientated personal computers, but also works extremely well for SOHO computer systems. If required, the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD could also be utilized for mission-critical backups or high-abuse data server systems. SandForce SF-2200 series SSDs have been designed with a focus on high-performance operational and data transfer speeds, and includes 256-bit encrypted data protection and improved NAND wear-leveling through their proprietary DuraWrite technology. Although OCZ Vertex 3 SSDs do not offer an integrated USB Mini-B port, which appeared on some early-generation SSDs, the retail market offers several different 2.5" SATA enclosures that utilize the SuperSpeed USB-3.0 standard for high-performance portable file transfers.

OCZ-Vertex-3-VTX3-25SAT3-Tilt.jpg

OCZ understands that once installed, the SSD will be hidden away from view inside a notebook computer or desktop workstation, so they've remained conservative towards the design of their solid state drive appearance. Both halves of the enclosure are given a black textured finish, which does not show fingerprints or smudges like a gloss surface would. A glossy label is attached to the top of the enclosure, denoting model and capacity.

OCZ-Vertex-3-VTX3-25SAT3-Angle.jpg

Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded into the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD chassis, which allows for quick upgrade or addition into any existing notebook and other compact computer system. Fortunately, OCZ also includes a 3.5" to 2.5" tray adapter with this kit, so the Vertex 3 will easily install into desktop computers. The mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes I was booting from a restored Windows 7 System Image without a hitch.

OCZ-Vertex-2-SSD-Adapter-Tray.jpg

Unlike most Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are nearly impervious to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures OCZ utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for their Vertex 3 series SSDs, which reveals the internal components after removing four small counter-sunk screws located along the sides of this solid state drive. The seam along the side is covered with a 'Warranty Void' label, which OCZ attaches to warn consumers against taking apart their product. By removing the SSD cover it will also remove your consumer protection with it, but Benchmark Reviews takes the risk for you and reveals the internal components in our next section.

OCZ-Vertex-3-VTX3-25SAT3-Upright.jpg

If you're familiar with previous-generation OCZ storage products, you'll notice that the Vertex 3 hasn't changed beyond the product decal. While its outward appearance is similar to many other solid state drives, the functionality and value packaged inside are considerably unique. Now that you're acquainted with the basic exterior features of this SSD, it's time to peek inside the metal enclosure and inspect the SandForce SF-2281 internal components...



 

Comments 

 
# Nice reviewcube 2011-04-05 08:52
"confirming the Vertex 3 as the fastest MLC SSD Benchmark Reviews has tested to date"
Pretty good statement. If i was in their ads department i would take this line and add it somewhere in the product page.
As always Olin, excellent review. with each review you provide all the important information needed to understand how these drives work.

I think is probably time to treat myself with an SSD.

Ive been waiting for these prices to come down a bit. But dam, they are persistent. gonna have to call the EU Trade commission to look up into the scheme.

I think there has to be some type of SSD price fixing going on with these companies just like we saw with the LCDs.

"LG Display, Sharp, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges for participating in a liquid crystal display price-fixing conspiracy and pay $585 million in fines, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Read more: #news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10095219-92.html#ixzz1IfIgIv49
"
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# analogyAnthony 2011-04-05 22:25
Nice review, but you've got bandwidth\IOPS analogy reversed. Consider this: if we have to move a few big things we can use high capacity(eg IOPS in your analogy) ship that is not so fast(eg bandwidth) and it would be ok, but if we need move a lot of small things one by one then we'd better get smaller ship with that is fast. SSD's are like smaller ship(actually nowadays they are more like bigger ships with high speed) - they have great IOPS performace, so it can move smaller things faster.
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# RE: OCZ Vertex 3 SandForce SF-2281 SSDAnthony 2011-04-05 22:26
But other than that it's really great review :)
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# RE: OCZ Vertex 3 SandForce SF-2281 SSDBenoit 2011-04-06 01:14
What about scores when it's connected in SATA2 ?
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# RE: RE: OCZ Vertex 3 SandForce SF-2281 SSDOlin Coles 2011-04-06 08:31
This is a SATA 6Gb/s SSD that reaches 555 MB/s, so it wouldn't be helpful to show SATA 3Gb/s scores because they would consume all available bandwidth on the interface.
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# Prove itPhace 2011-04-06 11:39
Many people looking to upgrade an existing SSD still only have SATA II. It would also be helpful to see add-in SATA III cards reviewed with a drive like this.
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# RE: Prove itOlin Coles 2011-04-06 12:10
The results published with this review have already proved the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD reaches 555 MB/s, which is more than the 300 MB/s SATA-II interface can support. There's nothing more to prove.
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# need sata 3GB scoresGeo 2011-04-06 19:45
They really should include SATA 3Gb/s numbers.There are several reasons why its important to people. The vast majority of users dont have 6GBs boards so is it worthwhile to pay the extra for a sata 6GBs drive or just go with cheaper sata 3Gbs SSD.?

Anyway something people need to be aware of is the bigger drives 240GB+ perform very different to 120GB and smaller vertex 3's.

Dont expect to get this performance with a 120GB vertex 3 or 60GB vertex 3. They get much slower with smaller capacity.
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# RE: need sata 3GB scoresOlin Coles 2011-04-06 20:44
Why would anyone buy a SATA 6Gb/s SSD without having support for this interface on their motherboard? That's like buying 2500 MHz DDR3 just to run it at 1333. There are literally a hundred SandForce-driven SSDs better suited to SATA 3Gb/s.
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# Not always saturating the connectionPhace 2011-04-06 21:45
Most normal usage is not full out saturation- it's random reads and random writes. The way the drive functions with both interfaces is notable for it's ability to handle real world usage. One could get the drive and place it in a SATA II setup now and later upgrade the connection for a reasonably decent performance improvement later. In this case, we're measuring how real world usage is found.

That's fine. I found just this sort of benchmark on another site and the results are encouraging. The site shows a number of SATA drives benchmarked both on III and on II.
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# RE: OCZ Vertex 3 SandForce SF-2281 SSDmanup85 2011-07-18 09:55
SUGGESTION.. im confuse now about what i can buy now.. Vertex 3 or Corsair Forces GT series? is already good ssd? and with the same price there is something better?
thanks
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