OCZ Vector SSD Review – Indilinx Barefoot 3 Becomes Reality

To say the new OCZ Vector was a long time in the making would be an understatement as discussion over the development of this platform just might be one of the oldest SSD conversations to date.

Today’s Vector release may mark the first major success story of OCZ’ purchase of both Indilinx and PLX, this story born through development of their Barefoot 3 silicon and firmware. Follow along as we take a very close look at the OCZ Vector ‘Indilinx Infused’ SSD.


Quite frankly, if you don’t know the OCZ name, you are new to SSDs and welcome! OCZ first entered the SSD scene in 2008 with their release of the original ‘Indilinx Barefoot controlled’ Vertex and Agility Series SSDs following shortly after.

OCZ then moved away from Indy and shook hands with SandForce in what would become a very key period in their development.

It was this partnership that enabled OCZ to spread their wings with countless SSD releases to include the Vertex 2/3, Agility 2/3, Nocti, Revo 1/2/3×2 and Synapse, as well as enterprise products to include the Deneva, Talos, Velo and Z-Drive, with customized iterations of these as well.

All was not lost with Indilinx, however, and more than a few eyebrows were raised at the OCZ acquisition of both Indy and the engineering team from PLX Technologies along the way. For SSD ‘geeks’ such as myself, this period met with a great deal of speculation as there was rumor of the much fabled next generation Barefoot 3 controller and what might become of it.

Our hopes were up with the release of the Octane, followed by the Vertex 4 and, as much as we were a bit disappointed to discover the Marvel controller within, this may have actually been a very key period in company development where we saw their reliance on a rock solid controller and their new acquisition of Indilinx and PLX in firmware development. After all, the incompressible performance of the Vertex 4 is still amongst the top in the industry.


The OCZ Vector enters the SSD arena as the premier introduction of OCZ’s very own IP (intellectual property).  Other than the sheer performance of this SSD, chances are that we won’t be seeing any surprises or playing guessing games, as we did not so long ago with the Vertex 4.

I sat with OCZ VP and CMO Alex Mei last week and asked why this has been so long in the making. He answered that time could not be a factor in the development of the Vector and led me to believe that the Vector’s validation may be the longest and most intensive we have seen in the industry to date.

Just to demonstrate a bit of what we are in for, OCZ has also provided their ‘Barefoot 3 footprint”:


The OCZ Vector is available in capacities of 128, 256 and 512GB and manufacturers retail suggested pricing is $149.99, $269.99 and $559.99, respectively.  Performance varies slightly for each capacity and is listed at 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write with 100,000 IOPS at 4K random read aligned disk access for the 256GB model we are testing today.  These are impressive numbers considering the Vector doesn’t rely on compression in storage, a factor that also allows for full binary storage capacities.

The Vector is of a 7mm ultra slim design, has TRIM  support and power consumption of this OCZ release has been reduced to 0.9W idle and 2.25W active.  Each SSD is bundled with cloning software and the standard warranty for is five years.