Tuesday , 21 October 2014
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OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD Review and 1.4RC FW Comparison – SSD Steroids for Your Vertex 4

HD TUNE PRO

HD Tune Pro 5.00 has a variety of benchmarking tools. While many are useful mostly for mechanical HDDs, it possesses some great benchmarks for SSDs, too. The main benchmark graphs latency (in milliseconds) and throughput (MB/s) over every “physical” area on a drive. If this were a HDD, you’d see the latency and throughput drop as the read or write speed gets tested from the beginning of the drive to the last. The bottom axis is capacity, so for the 128GB Vertex 4 it starts at GB 0 and ends and GB 128.

HDDs rotate, so the outer edges cover more area than the inner edge which leads to performance “stair-stepping” down. With SSDs, no such limitation exists, but there are variations in read and write performance from the first GBs to the last.

HD Tune offers up a wealth of insight into the Vertex4 128GB. HDTune Pro’s write testing is performed on an empty, unpartitioned drive. Read testing can be performed with or without a partition.

Read Tests

1.3FW:

Read testing on the V4 yields interesting results. The 1.3FW acts just like the two larger members of the family. Latency is magnificent at .026ms, but throughput is capped around 200MB/s for some reason.

1.4RC:

  1.4RC fixes that to an extent, but at the cost of a huge latency increase… the same as was witnessed with AS SSD. Average throughput is increased over every bit of the SSD to 431MB/s. Latency is five times higher, though.

Write Tests

1.3FW:

HD Tune’s write testing is a treasure-trove of useful information. The 1.3FW shows 186MB/s averages over ever LBA of the drive and has killer access times to boot.

1.4RC:

1.4RC ups the ante for sure, though. It hits a max 408MB/s over half of the drive, but the second half plummets into a chasm at 85MB/s. This is really odd behavior, and if it weren’t for the fact you can replicate this with actual real-world writes, it could simply be chalked up to a HD Tune idiosyncrasy.

If you write data sequentially to the drive, you can easily see this happen. The end result is an average of 242MB/s over the whole drive, and can be replicated with a variety of methods. HD Tune shows this behavior in an easy to understand, visual manner. The Vertex4 128GB is definitely faster with the new FW, but performance is more inconsistent as a result, something not really seen with other modern SSDs.

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  • Jack

    i wanted to see some updates on 256gb drive lol but this is great. the HD tune showing a weird behavior though, would probably wait for the releases of next firmware, which no one knows when..

    • Jack

      just a thought, how come the 4k write is so high, 150 mb/s.. thats the highest so far lol

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        The article explains the optimizations and board used that helped to attain these results. They are indeed not normal and we thought, as a bit of a change, we might throw such in for interest.

      • tinkererguy

        With 1.4 firmware now released (no longer labeled release candidate), my informal test results of the 256GB are looking quite nice, so far, looking forward to hearing if the same holds true for the 128GB:
        http://tinkertry.com/ocz-vertex-4-firmware-1-4/

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      We intend on posting the 256GB SSD updates soon enough.

  • Redcell

    “once you’ve upgraded to 1.4RC. Flashing to 1.4RC involves a destructive update (all data is wiped in the process), and the drive must not be the primary system drive.”

    im understand why. flashing to 1.4RC involve destructive update,
    but im not understand, why the drive, cant act as the primary system drive?
    pls explained?
    thanks

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      You cannot upgrade while it is a boot drive or it will destroy your system. You can upgrade and then use it as a boot drive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000209182600 Barrett Archer

      I think the author was saying if you’re running this drive right now, and it’s running 1.3, and your operating system is running on the drive running 1.3, you can’t update to 1.4, because flashing it would wipe out everything on the drive running 1.3, including the operating system.

  • Dave

    Many people reporting Vertex 4 is having issues being detected on cold boot which is also causing waking from sleep bsod.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000209182600 Barrett Archer

    Way to be punctual and terse about it! :)

  • jack

    also i still dont get how firmware seems to boost the performance up for everything, its clear in CDM as well as ATTO or ADSSD, but not the vantage.. is it something to do with that issue with HDtune?

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      This has us a bit stumped as well but, in testing as many SSDs as we have over the years, we have seen variances where SSD compatibility was an issue for on reason or another without a clear understanding of why.

      • Jack

        im wondering if its because the latency tripled as shown in the picture AS SSD and that probably cause the poor performance on the overall realworld vantage

  • http://jaredthirsk.myopenid.com/ JaredThirsk

    Is there any difference between 1.4RC and 1.4? (I’m wondering if they fixed the slow write speeds on the 2nd half of the disk.)

  • daCelt

    Are there any considerations to running a pair of these in Raid0? The intent is performance. I saw a comment about 3 months ago that you were better off running the biggest ssd you could afford instead of 2 smaller in Raid0. Any truth to that?
    Thanks!

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      True fact. Most people will not realize any difference in speed unless they have some specific tasks in mind.

  • Teefatt

    Raid 0 Setup with Vertex 4 (Firmware 1.5) 512GB SSD in HP Elitebook 8570W i7- Failed
    To potential OCZ SSD buyers,
    I posted the above matters to OCZ forum and got no solution from them after many email in and out in a week time. They want me to write an email to HP for help. They even deleted my reply and make the post like I did not reply their request or reply their mail. Furthermore, they blocked my post. They wanted me to send them a personal email instead of on the public forum.
    They moved my post to ForumOCZ Support ForumCompliments, Complaints, & SuggestionsVertex 4 512GB BSOD in RAID 0 setup.
    or
    http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?104396-Vertex-4-512GB-BSOD-in-RAID-0-setup
    That’s why I totally agree with the post here on the first page:
    “It’s still a drive from OCZ, a company that has repeatedly and blatantly used its customer base as unpaid beta testers, and lambasted them when they dared to complain about it. No thank you. The fastest drive in the world is of no use to me if it’s causing my computer to BSOD constantly. I’ll be spending my money and that of my many clients on drives with proven track records for reliability and excellent customer service, both sadly lacking in OCZ products.”
    I will walk away from this OCZ unreliable SSD. Luckily I am able to return the drives and asked for refund instead of following their steps to do the beta tester in a week time.
    Think twice before you buy it.
    Thanks you.

  • Teefatt

    The OCZ SSDs got a lot of compatibilities and reliable issue. Just heading to their technical forum and you will know what I mean. The fastest drive in the world is of no use to me if it’s causing my computer to BSOD or other problem.

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