Perhaps one of the best mindsets I have seen in my six years in the SSD industry is the ambition to not only improve SSD technology, but to also take them to the next level. Selling a consumer SSD as an enterprise one will always be a shot in the dark, but the appetite of SSD manufacturers to push their consumer SSDs into that very realm can only be seen as a huge plus to the consumer. The inevitable effect today has top manufacturers watching one another very closely, only to run back to the boardroom with their teams in hopes of creating a better product, all the while understanding that SSD pricing continues to decline.
OCZ has traditionally done just this and today is no different as we provide analysis on their newest enthusiast level SSD, the OCZ Vector 150. Considering that, not so long ago many wrote about OCZ vacating the consumer SSD market for enterprise, this release is a bit unexpected. Add to this the news that OCZ is also working on the new RevoDrive 400 to replace their longstanding ‘King of the Hill’ Revo 3 Series PCIe solutions, and we can see that OCZ still has their feet firmly planted in the consumer SSD world.
OCZ’s marketing of the Vector 150 SSD represents more than release of a product that simply displays their Indilinx ‘Barefoot 3’ controller along with the expected move up to 19nm memory; they have fine tuned it to provide for prolonged use in steady state and mixed load situations as well. In fact, their documentation provides that the Vector 150 can more than double sustained random write performance of other leading competitors, adding to this with superior performance in mixed load applications.
The OCZ Vector 150 is available in capacities 120, 240 and 480GB and builds on the success of the vector series by now having 256-bit AES compliant hardware encryption, along with what has become the standard OCZ five-year warranty. OCZ has based this warranty on their confidence that the Vector 150 can sustain 50GB per day host writes for five years ‘under typical client workloads’. Remember what we said about enterprise features but still being a client SSD? Check out the Vector 150 120GB SSD Review here.
Performance is rated at 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write for the 240/480GB capacities, while the 120GB drops its write throughput a bit to 450MB/s. IOPS is a strong point with the vector 150 with the 480GB rated at 100K read and 95K write, with the other capacities dropping slightly.
Power consumption merits mentioning as it is rated at 0.55W idle and 2.50W active; this being a non-competitive factor with other SSDs with lower power consumption. MSRP for the Vector 150 SSD is $130 (120GB), $240 (240GB) and $500 (480GB) and a quick check of Amazon might be in order.
VECTOR 150 SSD COMPONENTS
Perhaps the smartest move OCZ has made in recent years was its purchase of Indilinx, which made the Barefoot 3 controller proprietary; it is a workhorse and has proven it over and over. The Barefoot 3 (Barefoot 3 M00) controller is SATA 3, able to address eight channels and contains an ARM Cortex processor with OCZ’s Aragon co-processor.
The PCB also contains 16 modules of Toshiba’s own 19nm MLC Toggle Mode NAND flash memory (eight on each side), along with Micron DRAM cache modules on each side of the PCB.
The OCZ Vector has a total RAW capacity of 256GB (16x16GB) and is advertised as a 240GB SSD as it contains 7% over provisioning to sustain performance and life of the drive. Once formatted, the storage capacity available to the user is 224GB.
We have actually tested memory similar to this in our recent analysis of the Silicon Motion SSD prototype which contained their newest SM2246EN controller, and as well, it is also being used in the ASUS RAIDR PCIe SSD.