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OCZ Vertex 4 SATA 3 SSD Review – Indilinx Infused and Game Changing Performance Results

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

It wasn’t so long ago that asynchronous NAND flash memory was introduced to the consumer strictly from a value standpoint and SSD enthusiasts stood their ground; they felt it was a step in the wrong direction.  In fact, the industry has definitely moved away from the value of performance to that of value in an effort to introduce the consumer to solid state drives.

There just had to be a way to make SSDs mainstream as that would be a definite benefit to all.  It seems that we have lost touch with the ideal that there is a definite need for a ‘work horse’ SSD capable of a heavy workload, the type of workload we see in the manipulation and movement of  files that consist of highly incompressible data, these being movies, music and photographs.  And then came the Vertex 4, an ‘Indilinx Infused’ SSD pushing forward the Indilinx Everest 2 platform.

Our testing of two separate capacities of the Vertex 4 showed that, with this new SSD entry, there may be some fine tuning of the SSDs ability to move highly compressible data necessary or, there just may be incompatibility with PCMark Vantage and HDTune Pro.  As much as we haven’t experienced similar with any other SSD prior, other programs such as ATTO Disk BenchMark, Anvil Storage Utilities and Crystal DiskMark seem to negate the low results of both of these programs.  In fact, the HDTune Pro Benchmark results contradicted the results of HDTune File Benchmark which was very odd.

Regardless, we saw something in the Vertex 4 that we haven’t seen from any other SSD to date and that is the performance of a true workhorse.  The AS SSD Total Point scoring of both Vertex 4 capacities is the highest we have seen and the AS SSD Benchmark result of the 512GB Vertex 4 was the best we have seen.  High sequential read and write transfer speeds of over 450MB/s, a low 4k random result of 115MB/s, incredible disk access speeds of 0.05ms read and 0.02ms write along with equally high IOPS result for both read and write access are not going to be surpassed anytime soon.

As further support, OCZ Technology is standing by the Vertex 4 with a five year warranty and manufacturerss suggested retail pricing is listed at $179 for the 128GB, $349 for the 256GB and $699 for the 512GB capacity.  These are excellent opening day prices, especially when we consider the performance and the fact that the Vertex 4 has an industry leading five year warranty.

Last but not least, I wanted to address everyday use as even I would have thought that seeing such a low PCMark Vantage score would impact on this.  Both of these SSDs are in our main rigs and I am compiling this review with the 512GB installed.  If there is any performance deviation whatsoever as Vantage might suggest, I certainly can’t see it.  The Vertex 4 hits the mark in performance (and then some), warranty, availability and price and I might be out on a ledge here folks but I am standing by it.

FOLLOW THE DISCUSSION IN OUR FORUM THREAD!

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…

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  • 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 ;).

    • 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.

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

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 😛 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….

      • 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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