|OCZ Vertex 3 SandForce SF-2281 SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 04 April 2011|
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OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Conclusion
IMPORTANT: 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 specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
NOTE: Solid state drive owners experiencing stability issues with their product are encouraged to use the latest OCZ SSD firmware available.
SandForce SSDs have taken the market by storm, which has helped companies like OCZ to expand their reach deep into the high-performance storage hardware segment. Not only are these SandForce-driven solid state drives extremely fast, but more importantly they're capable of SLC-level operational performance I/O and NAND durability. The OCZ Vertex 3 SSD builds from the powerful SandForce SF-2281 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 Storage Section reviews will reveal how other SSD options compare.
Our performance rating considers how effective the OCZ Vertex 3 solid state drive performs in operations against direct competitor storage solutions. For reference, SandForce specifies the SF-2281 with 500 MB/s read and write, which OCZ increases to 550 MB/s read and 520 write maximum speeds. In our SSD benchmark tests, the OCZ Vertex 3 performed at or above this speed, and surpassed every other SATA-based SSD we tested. Our test results proved the OCZ Vertex 3 was good for delivering 555/532 MBps peak read and writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark SSD speed tests. Everest Disk Benchmark produced 469/465 MB/s, confirming the Vertex 3 as the fastest MLC SSD Benchmark Reviews has tested to date.
The 240GB retail VTX3-25SAT3-240G kit that OCZ sent us for testing uses firmware capable of 60,000 maximum combined IOPS, and in our own Iometer operational performance tests using a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O's per target the IOPS performance measured 57,553. In this particular test, the formatted OCZ Vertex 3 SSD leads all other SATA-based storage devices, and trails a short distance behind the SandForce-driven PCI-Express options. In the 4K 32QD tests with AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark, the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD topped our charts and became the new leader for high-performance consumer storage devices. With the results we've received in our tests, hardware enthusiasts can expect extremely high operational performance and storage functionality for demanding applications and extreme I/O environments.
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 a back-to-basics look with the black textured finish and white branding on their Vertex-series SSDs. As solid state storage 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. This isn't the case yet, and a metal chassis suits SandForce SSDs nicely.
SSDs are not prone to mechanical failure, but if any Vertex 3-series solid state storage product does happen to fail during the 3-year warranty period end-users may contact OCZ Technology via their 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. OCZ has been proven to be one of the best companies in the business when it comes to customer service, and replacement parts are often sent with priority delivery.
In terms of overall value, OCZ has priced their premium Vertex 3 SSDs to be relatively comparable with older-generation SandForce-driven products of the same capacity. OCZ offers the Vertex 3 SSD series in three different capacities: 120GB (VTX3-25SAT3-120G), 240GB (VTX3-25SAT3-240G), and 480GB (VTX3-25SAT3-480G). As of April 2011 the 120GB model sells for $300 and the 240GB model costs $528 at Amazon. At the time of this writing, Newegg lists the 120GB version on backorder.
There aren't too many SATA 6Gb/s storage solutions on the market that can nearly saturate the bandwidth this interface offers, but only one year into the new storage standard OCZ has proven themselves as market leaders with their Vertex 3 SSD. Demonstrating the absolute best IOPS performance we've seen from any SATA-based storage device, the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD redefines what consumers should expect from high-performance storage solutions. Computer hardware enthusiasts will enjoy the ultra-fast response time, which assures that applications are opened with near-instant reaction when called upon. Based on the SandForce SF-2281VA1-SDC-ES processor, the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD deliver native TRIM garbage collection and basic SMART support with impressive 555 MB/s 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.
It's still too early to tell, but OCZ may have the storage market cornered by the end of 2011. The Vertex 3 already uses one of SandForce's fastest consumer SSD processors, but there's still plenty of time for OCZ to release another product based the ultra-premium SF-2282 processor of possibly something from their recent purchase of Indilinx technology. Considering the performance results we've seen in this review I can comfortably recommend the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD to high-performance computer hardware enthusiasts and hardcore power-users, and because of blazing fast transfer speeds and outstanding operational performance at a fair price the Vertex 3 SSD earns our Golden Tachometer Award.
+ Delivers nearly 60K IOMeter IOPS performance
- Some manufacturers offer five-year warranty
Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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