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OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD review



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OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD
  • OCZSSD2-1VTX120G Solid State Drive 120 GB - Serial ATA/300 - Serial ATA - Internal (120 GB - Serial ATA/300 - Serial ATA - Internal)


Our Score:


The last year or so has seen the initial trickle of SSDs turn into a full blown torrent as new devices are announced on an almost weekly basis by a whole host of manufacturers. Unfortunately, while availability has soared prices have failed to fall. As such the £340 demanded by the drive I'm looking at today still only gets you 120GB of storage. Nevertheless, if you want the ultimate in system performance then nothing but a fast SSD will do, so the OCZ Vertex series could be right up your street.

As with the OCZ Apex we looked at a few months ago, the Vertex arrives in an underwhelming slim, padded cardboard box that has nothing but the drive inside. This isn't uncommon and some of you may not require any accessories but alternatives like Kingston's SSDNow V Series come with extras like 2.5-to-3.5in drive mounts, mounting screws and cables.

The drive itself is a typical 2.5in SATA device so will fit in most 12in or bigger laptops and, with the help of a 2.5-to-3.5in adapter, most full size PCs as well. On the inside (something you won't be seeing unless you want to void your warranty) are the usual banks of NAND flash memory chips and in between them and the SATA interface pins is what will make or break the Vertex series; it's Indilinx controller chip and 64MB SDRAM cache memory chip.

You see, up until recently, most SSDs (with the notable exception of Intel) used a slow JMicron controller chip to manage the distribution of information between the chips and the SATA interface. This meant that despite relatively speedy NAND chips to store all your information, drives exhibited slow performance due to bandwidth issues with the controller. Several solutions to this bandwidth issue have been tried including using RAID-0 controllers within the drive itself, adding cache memory, and in some cases switching to better controller chips. It's the latter two courses that OCZ has taken with its Vertex range. So, hopefully this means the drive will give much more consistent performance than the JMicron controlled Apex series.

The drive is rated at up to 230MB/s read speed and up to 135MB/s write speed with a sustained write speed of 80MB/s and seek time of less than 1ms. These are impressive figures and compare very favourably with Intel's X25-M 80GB drive, which currently holds our performance crown.

As well as improved performance, this new Indilinx controller is supposed to provide more reliable wear-levelling. This should mean the drive stands a good chance of keeping to its reported 1.5million hours MTBF.

Right! Time to put the theory to one side and take a look at how this drive performs under test conditions.

Simon J

June 12, 2009, 12:16 pm

Interesting review. It seems OCZ have finally got a drive that puts the frighteners on Intel's excellent Intel's X25-M, especially when you consider the 160GB is about £200 more. Can you confirm if you were running the latest firmware for the OCZ drive? I think this was released a couple of months ago and is available on their website?

Also how long will it be before you are able to test the new OCZ Summit drive, which is built using the new Samsung controller and has 128mb cache on board?


June 12, 2009, 2:08 pm

This comment in the review is somewhat bizzare:

"However, its speed and price is overkill if you're thinking of getting an SSD for a simple, low-cost media center or laptop where your primary concerns are to save on heat, noise and power consumption. "

The SSD is silent and produces little heat. It is precisely what all the folks on SilentPCreview for example have spent years looking for. It is decently priced for the problems it does solve.

Why on earth then, would it be "overkill" for a media center? I would think SSD is actually a primary choice for a media center, particularly if you have a NAS elswehere with the bulk of your files as it true for most media center owners.

As for the laptop, again why woudnt a laptop owner want a silent ad cooler drive. I for one had spent years on a constant chace for a more silent, even fanless laptop that is still powerful. Again this isnt overkill, it's a Godsend!


June 12, 2009, 2:18 pm

Let's hope then that the new Agility series will get a recommendation from this site, they should be the 'price-breaker series'. Have a look here, http://www.ocztechnology.com/p.... I want one in my next laptop with Windows 7. Let's hope prices go down in 2009 / 2010.

Jay Werfalli

June 12, 2009, 4:01 pm

@Kanu - what Ed is saying is that this SDD's price and speed is overkill when you can get an SSD for less which still does the same job of reducing heat, noise and power consumption, albeit not as quickly (i.e for systems where top-notch speed isn't necessarily a priority). I've tweaked it to make it clearer, though.

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