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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

SandForce SF-2200 Features

OCZ Vertex 3 Solid State Drives unleash the performance potential of the SATA 6Gbps interface, leading the speed revolution in this next-generation solution. As the first SSD to feature the latest Sandforce controller design, OCZ designed the Vertex 3 to push the limits in both sequential and random read/write rates to blaze past the competition when every MB/s matters. With incredible 4k file writes up to 60,000 IOPS, these latest drives take productivity, gaming, and multimedia applications to the next level to work in perfect symmetry with the latest enthusiast platforms.

Built with the quality, reliability, and durability that lives up to the OCZ name, the Vertex 3 Series easily integrates into today's mobile and desktop platforms and features TRIM support to optimize performance over the drive's lifespan as the ultimate Windows 7 companion. Vertex 3 SSDs are available in 120GB and 240GB capacities and come backed by a 3-Year Warranty.

Endurance and Longevity
As each generation of flash memory evolves and the silicon geometries shrink - performance, reliability, endurance, and data retention are negatively impacted. DuraWrite technology extends the life of the SSD over conventional controllers, by optimizing writes to the flash memory and delivering a write amplification below 1, without complex DRAM caching requirements.

Performance and Power Optimization
SSDs are capable of significantly outperforming traditional HDDs, but typical controllers haven't delivered the compelling value necessary for mainstream adoption. SandForce DuraClass technology enables the SSD to maximize both the endurance and performance for the life of the drive fulfilling the promise of high speed flash memory in client computing applications and improving system performance by up to 50% as measured by the SYSmark Benchmark.

Mobile Computing Security
The SF-2200 series has built in AES-256 bit double encryption controllable by a configurable user password. This feature prevents would-be thieves from extracting data directly from the flash memory should they ever have access to the drive.

Data Protection and Reliability
SF-2200 SSD Processors provide up to 100x greater data protection than today's SSDs, and leading enterprise HDDs. This is a result of superior ECC protection and unique RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology. RAISE provides the protection and reliability of RAID on a single drive without the significant write overhead.

Vertex 3 Specifications

DuraClass Technology:

  • DuraWrite extends the endurance of SSDs
  • Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling
  • Intelligent Read Disturb Management
  • Intelligent "Recycling" for advanced free space management
  • RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
  • Intelligent Data Retention optimization
  • Best-in-Class ECC protection for longest data retention and drive life
  • Power/Performance Balancing

Host Interface:

  • SATA 3.0 Compliant, 6.0 Gb/s support
  • Native Command Queuing (up to 32 commands)
  • SMART Command Transport (basic)

Capacity Supported:

  • $300 120GB: VTX3-25SAT3-120G
  • $528 240GB: VTX3-25SAT3-240G

Performance (sustained):

  • Sequential Read Transfer: Up to 550 MB/s (240GB model)
  • Sequential Write Transfer: Up to 520 MB/s (240GB model)
  • Random Read IOPS: 30,000 (4K aligned)
  • Random Write IOPS: 30,000 (4K aligned)

Flash Memory Support:

  • 30/20 nm SLC, MLC
  • Asynch/Toggle/ONFi2 interfaces
  • Up to 166MT
  • Binary user capacity points (RAISE off mode)

Power Consumption:

  • Typical: 2W Operational
  • Sleep/Slumber: 50mW

Security:

  • Data Encryption: TCG OPAL with AES-256/128 and double encryption
  • Optional disk password

Protection:

  • Enhanced ECC with BCH and 55 bits/512 byte sector
  • Unrecoverable Read Errors: Less than 1 sector per 1016 bits read

Reliability:

  • MTTF: 2,000,000 operating hours
  • Supports 5-year consumer life cycle

Operating Temperature:

0°C to 55°C ambient

Package:

256-pin BGA in 14x14mm @ 0.80mm pitch

Compliance:

RoHS, Halogen-Free, Green

Source: OCZ and SandForce



 

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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