Solid State Drives (SSD’s) have become quite the item to have in the last few years, giving older technologies like traditional hard drives a run for their money. Of course, their biggest feature is speed and reliability. They don’t have moving parts and can reach information at speeds very much quicker than their mechanical brethren. And while the latter may have 3TB models yet, companies are working on capacity expansion. OCZ has released a line of Vertex 4 SSD drives that range from 64GB to 512GB and rumor has it that a 1TB might be on the horizon. But for the computer power user, the speed is definitely worth the upgrade.
But not all SSD drives are alike. The OCZ Vertex 4 uses synchronous NAND flash components versus toggle and asynchronous NAND. That may sound like a mouthful, but what that means is that the drive is capable of holding its performance spec over a much longer period of time. One of the downfalls of SSD drives in the past has been that when they are filled up more or they get older, they start to lose their edge. The technology used in the Vertex 4 avoids that by using the newest technology.
So what speeds can you look forward to? Well, in our tests, we found the OCZ Vertex 4 to be a cut above the rest on both lab and real world scenarios. The read operation rate was very good at 550MB/s and the write at 420MB/s. Now for those of you who may have read some earlier reviews, OCZ did have an issue with a firmware release that kept the write down to 200MB/s, but that has been corrected in 1.4R6, which brought the device from meh to wow. The IOPS numbers are equally impressive with 90,000 for random read (4K), 85,000 for random writes (4K) with a maximum of 120,000 (random 512 bytes). It doesn’t hurt also that the drives come with a ton of cache, in the 128 version 256MB. And the SATA III interface assures that that speed will reach the computer without a lag (although the drives do also work well on the SATA I & II controller, for those who haven’t upgraded yet, but you may not reach the best speeds).
Reliability is always a factor in drives and actually the spec for the life of the drive is 222 years (2 million hours) in theory anyway, though OCZ only guarantees the drive from failure for 5 years, which is still a pretty good run actually. And they have plenty of avenues of support to get help online and by phone. This is useful, especially when doing the firmware upgrades.
All in all, we really liked the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD drive and if you haven’t made the plunge and want to see your desktop reboot in 20 seconds instead of grinding on forever, we suggest you go for it. Especially since the price has come way down to a reasonable $119. I know that might still seem a bit high versus a traditional drive, but trust me, the tradeoff is definitely worth it (especially as a system (c: drive)).
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