Wednesday , 23 July 2014
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OCZ Vertex 4 SATA 3 SSD Review – Indilinx Infused and Game Changing Performance Results

Our SSD analysis today is going to be on both the 256GB and 512GB versions of the OCZ Vertex 4 SATA 3 SSD and you are going to need to take a seat for this.  We guarantee that there has never been an SSD capable of creating such a stir in the SSD world and will not be at any time in the near future.

In fact, I will guarantee that you will look at solid state drives in an entirely new light by the time you’re finished reading this report. After all, the Vertex 4 is truly the first of its kind.

 INTRODUCTION

Each and every SSD received at this site is an exciting event.  I can guarantee that not ten minutes pass between the arrival of an SSD and it being ripped open and hitting the Test Bench.  For me, it is like Christmas as a child and I just have to get it open, see it first hand and than it has to be photographed and tested right then.  The Vertex 4 was no different.

Imagine waiting so long for an SSD to arrive that might be a game changer, receiving the box from UPS and then opening it to find, not one but two Vertex 4 SSDs, one being an incredible 512GB capacity and the other being 256GB.  Can anything get better than this?

Now imagine doing your first PCMark Vantage run with this baby and receiving the lowest Total Point score you have ever received for a SATA 3 SSD.  Not possible right?

Absolutely true story and that happened with, not one, but both Vertex 4 SSDs and I was stunned.  I thought our test bench was wrong.  In the end, I tested both Vertex 4 SSDs in PCMark Vantage on three test systems for a total of about 15 runs. In the end, I moved on to complete our testing regimen and learned something new about SSDs, something that I think you may just appreciate by the end of our report.  The Vertex 4 is a game changer and I am going to show you why.

SPECIFICATIONS

The Vertex 4 6Gbps SSD is available in sizes of 128, 256 and 512GB capacity which is 7% capacity jump from previous Vertex releases and that is a good thing.  Performance peaks at 535MB/s read and 475MB/s write for the 512GB version with the write performance dropping to 380MB/s for the 256GB model and 200MB/s for the 128GB model.  IOPS are a listed at 95,000 IOPS read and 80,000 IOPS write for the 512GB drive with the other two having 90,000 IOPS read and 80,000 IOPS write.

The Vertex 4 has an industry leading five year warranty, auto encryption and AES 256-Bit support, advanced ECC engine and OCZs own proprietary Ndurance 2.0 Technology which is an advanced NAND flash management suite to increase durability and reliability.  Simply, it reduces write amplification without compression which increases the longevity of your memory.

VERTEX 4 EXTERIOR AND COMPONENTS

The exterior casing of the Vertex 4 is of black moulded plastic with a metal base plate secured by four screws, one covered with a security patch that says, “Warranty Void if Removed’.

The printed circuit board (PCB) of the 512GB version contains the Indilinx IDX400MOO-BC Everest 2 processor, 16 modules of Intel 25nm mlc 32GB synchronous NAND flash memory (29F32B08JCME3), and two modules of Micron DDR3 DRAM cache.  Although total capacity is listed at 512GB, formatting leaves the end user with 477GB of available space.

The PCB of the 256GB version is not shown in favor of getting some nice close ups of the 512GB drive. Both SSDs look exactly the same, given exception to the memory modules which are 16 modules of Intel 25nm mlc 16GB synchronous NAND flash memory (29F16B08CCME3).  The Vertex 4 256GB SSD has a formatted capacity of 238MB

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • dravo1

    Nice numbers but I’ll be waiting until after the first firmware rev comes out before diving in. The 512Gb pricing is very attractive and makes the V3 480 price look pretty ridiculous. I’ll be curious how these bad boys handle RAID 0.

  • Jimmy

    Great numbers, i think imma pick one up

    http://goo.gl/G2vxa

  • Mia

    “OCZ Technology is standing by the Vertex 4 with a five year warranty”
    “…the fact that the Vertex 4 has an industry leading four year warranty.

    So is it four or five?

    • Chris

      It’s five, but either way 5 isn’t industry leading with Intel,Plextor, and OWC beating them to the 5 year warranty by a long time. This was surely a reaction to the upmarket brands offering two more years of coverage than everyone else.

      So it’s good, but it’s not industry-leading… that would be 5 years and 1 day of coverage ;).

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

      Dooooh. My bad and fixed! It was a late night.

  • Zaxx

    Give the fw a few months and throw in some 24nm toggle and watch me pounce. 4 sho

  • Cameron Hamill

    I like the specs on the 512GB version very much. If we can see above 550MB/s read and write on future releases then I will be truly impressed.

  • dravo1

    Les,

    Have you heard of anyone working on a benchmark or test suite for SSDs in virtualized environments? Maybe VMware Workstation for the enthusiasts up to the vSphere 5 for the heavy-hitters. The increased write performance in the V4s should make these very attractive in such environments.

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

      Not yet although I can say we are always working with companies behind the scenes to improve our test environment!

  • http://ssdtoolkit.com/ Anton

    I consider low performance on compressible data a bug and I hope OCZ will fix it with upcoming firmwares. If it’s not, this SSD isn’t so good. I don’t understand how it can perform so bad in PCMark. Compressible and incompressible data are both important for user.

  • KeGr

    Hey Les, LOVE the site. I’m an amateur PC enthusiast (26 years old) and recently landed a killer job and I’m looking to blow my first few paychecks on an ultimate system. What type of SSD would you recommend? I was looking at the 256GB Revodrive 3 X2 (RVD3MIX2-FHPX4-240G, listed as 230,000 IOPS on newegg)… but would a couple of these bad boys raided together be better? I’m planning on building the system in May to coincide with the release of Diablo 3, the GTX 690, and possibly an Ivy bridge CPU.. (However, I like the X79 platform so I might stick with a 3930 for now…)

    Any recommendations? I’d love to hear your thoughts on 2x SSDs in Raid 0 vs a killer PCIE SSD.

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

      The 3×2 definitely gives you the power you are looking for except it adds on about 10-15 seconds at initial boot. Myself, if I were going to RAID two SSDs right now, I might also consider the new Vertex 4, however, many would shy away simply because it is the new kid on the block.

      Gimme a price point that you want to stay within for this part of the build.

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

      The 3×2 will definitely giev you the power you are looking for but it also adds a bit of time at boot for its bios. If I were to look at two ssds in a RAID config, I would seriously look at the new Vertex 4 but many might shy away because it is the new kid on the block…

      Tell you what…what is the abs max you want to spend on this part of your system?

      Oh and thank you for the compliment! Nice to hear I am not the only reading my words eheh.

      • KeGr

        I’d like to keep the total system below $3.5k… The 3×2 on newegg.ca was $829 and I guess I’d be okay with that if the performance advantage was justified. I’m only going to go with 1x GTX 690, and a 3930 instead of a 3960, so my budget isn’t exactly limitless, but I’m trying to gain enough knowledge in the meantime so that come May (when I buy/build my PC) I’ll get pretty much the best of everything without spending much more than $800 on a SDD.

        It seems like any way you slice it, a PCIE SSD (at least in the $800 range) is going to be faster/better and also cheaper than 2x raid SSD. I’ve heard about the boot time, I’m not really concerned with that. I’m also hoping that the super talents will be awesome and under $1k as well.

        I know for my needs, I’m just mostly going to be gaming/playing Diablo 3, I won’t need anywhere near a GTX690 or a 3×2 SDD lol :P But its still awesome, and I’m kindof leaning towards a pci-e just because of the awesome/cool factor. Sortof the same reason why I’m leaning towards the X79 as opposed to the new Ivy Bridge… quad channel memory + pcie 3.0 vs a “tick” in intel’s cycle… just feels like they’re going backwards. But I’ll make that decision in May….

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

        E-mail sent.

  • Rob Collins

    Are these good enough for SMB/SMEs, not just home enthusiasts? There is a mantra that anyone using non-Enterprise class SSDs in a 24/7 environment should be shot. But now I’m not so sure! I’m seriously considering populating a QNAP TS-879U-RP iSCSI SAN with 8 x Vertex 4s (6 in RAID10 and 2 as hot spares). This will be for a vSphere 5 VDI environment – very intense random workloads and roughly 60/40 reads to writes. I expect these drives to easily last 3-5 years, so even if I void the warranty by using them in an enterprise scenario, who cares? At this prices I can buy 3 for the price of a decent “enterprise-class” SSD. I really hope someone does some enterprise-class benchmarking (24/7 over maybe a week) soon.

    • Paulalcorn

      Usually for deploying consumer SSDs into these environments adopters wait a period of time to ensure that there is a high level of reliability. The performance isn’t as important as the reliability. Since this SSD uses a proven Marvell controller, it should be fine, but should is a big word. Personally I would wait until the next firmware comes out to smooth out a few release errata before making a large investment. There will be the need for Overprovisioning to help keep performance steady. With a 20% OP these drives will probably remain very solid for a good period of time.
      Utilizing RAID 10 you are wisely mitigating any risk, so I feel that you would be taking a safely calculated risk.

  • Rob Collins

    Hey guys. Check out my OCZ Vertex 4 speed test on YouTube. It shows my home PC’s boot up time, then I load a VDI environment running on Citrix XenApp and VMware Workstation.

    http://youtu.be/YrnIcudM7zo

    I’d welcome any comments, feedback or questions.

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