Toshiba OCZ VX500 SSD Review (256GB/512GB/1TB) – A New MLC Contender In The Recent Sea of TLC


The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as Xbox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications


During our runs of PCMark Vantage the OCZ VX500 averaged 78K points across all capacities. This ranks the VX500 among many of the mainstream SSDs in the market. Most speeds were in the 300-400MB/s range. Let’s move onto our PCMark 8 testing to see how these drives differ.








For our last benchmark, we have decided to use PCMark 8 Extended Storage Workload in order to determine steady state throughput of the SSD. This software is the longest in our battery of tests and takes just under 18 hours per SSD. As this is a specialized component of PCMark 8 Professional, its final result is void of any colorful graphs or charts typical of the normal online results and deciphering the resulting excel file into an easily understood result takes several more hours.

There are 18 phases of testing throughout the entire run, 8 runs of the Degradation Phase, 5 runs of the Steady State Phase and 5 runs of the Recovery Phase. In each phase, several performance tests are run of 10 different software programs; Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop Heavy and Photoshop Light, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word, as well as Battlefield 3 and World of Warcraft to cover the gaming element.

  • PRECONDITIONING -The entire SSD is filled twice sequentially with random data of a 128KB file size. The second run accounts for overprovisioning that would have escaped the first;
  • DEGRADATION PHASE – The SSD is hit with random writes of between 4KB and 1MB for 10 minutes and then a single pass performance test is done of each application. The cycle is repeated 8 times, and with each time, the duration of random writes increases by 5 minutes;
  • STEADY STATE PHASE – The drive is hit with random writes of between 4KB and 1MB for 45 minutes before each application is put through a performance test. This process is repeated 5 times;
  • RECOVERY PHASE – The SSD is allowed to idle for 5 minutes before and between performance tests of all applications. This is repeated 5 times which accounts for garbage collection; and
  • CLEANUP – The entire SSD is written with zero data at a write size of 128KB

In reading the results, the Degrade and Steady State phases represent heavy workload testing while the recovery phase represents typical consumer light workload testing.


As you can see, performance is recorded in terms of Bandwidth and Latency. Bandwidth (or throughput) represents the total throughput the drive is able to sustain during the tests during each phase. Latency, at least for the purposes of PCMark 8, takes on a different outlook and for this, we will term it ‘Total Storage Latency’. Typically, latency has been addressed as the time it takes for a command to be executed, or rather, the time from when the last command completed to the time that the next command started. This is shown below as ‘Average Latency’.

PCMark 8 provides a slightly different measurement, however, that we are terming as ‘Total Storage Latency’. This is represented as being the period from the time the last command was completed, until the time it took to complete the next task; the difference of course being that the execution of that task is included in ‘Total Storage Latency’. For both latency graphs, the same still exists where the lower the latency, the faster the responsiveness of the system will be. While both latency charts look very similar, the scale puts into perspective how just a few milliseconds can increase the length of time to complete multiple workloads.

For a more in-depth look into Latency, Bandwidth, and IOPS check out our primer article on them here.


These results show the total average bandwidth across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the higher the result the better.



These results show the average access time during the workloads across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the lower the result the better.



These results show the total access time across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the lower the result the better.


In this test we can see that the steady state total performance has slightly suffered with the transition to the new architecture, however, while it has suffered in comparison to the old product, its performance is still very good overall. The performance is in line with many other mainstream contenders and the latency is also very well controlled. The 1TB and 512GB models also boast very good average bandwidth metrics and are among the best during the steady state phases. In the recovery phases the average bandwidth is slightly below the 250MB/s mark, but that is a very good result.


  1. blank

    Where is the hd tune pro chart to see what happens after slc runs out?

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      After running HDTune on all capacities we tested there was no drop off in write performance. All maintained about 490MB/s write across the board.

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        That sounds like one of the highest read / write averages for a sata3 ssd from start to finish. Am I right? Thank goodness for mlc.

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        It is up there for sure. We have not tested write performance with many other MLC SSDs in HDTune so I can not say for sure one of the highest, but it sure is good!

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        Now that’s the way a HD Tune chart should look. Nice! I hope they keep making mlc drives because I cant believe companies are still trying to sell us on write speed does not matter. If we wanted slow write speeds we would stick with hard drives.

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        I find it highly unlikely, that 256GB model can hit sustained 490MB/s write. MLC is good, but not that good. That would require 64Gbit dies to achieve.

      • blank

        The heading / advertisement should read. This mlc ssd is not just good its great!

  2. blank

    I get sick of seeing this nonsense… ‘Once formatted the 256GB model has 238GB of usable space’.

    You should know better, it’s simply a difference of GB vs GiB.

    • blank

      The majority of our readers do not know this unfortunately and thus we provided this information as we do.

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      Actually, the statement is 100% correct. Typical consumers, and in fact, the industry does not advertise or speak of GiB whatsoever in discussing available volume on a SSD. The SSD is a consumer directed SSD and 99.9% of consumers don’t understand GiB whatsoever. They want and deserve to know how much logical space is available to them when the drive is formatted. The freedom to read what we wish is an amazing thing.

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        I found it funny you got so defensive.

        You should be trying at least to educate your readership, rather than just perpetuating myths about lost space through formatting.

      • blank

        You have a strange sense of humour.

        You criticized, and Les responded. Yes, that’s defensive.

        While your first comment might be true, you shouldn’t be surprised that Les explained why he writes what/how he does… which is also true.

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        I dont recall ever stating, or rather Sean writing that space was lost after formatting. He simply stated the available space after the drive was formatted. Should he then have to say that, before formatting, there is no available space for storage? Nobody ever spoke of lost space, but rather, at least I think you sought the opportunity to perpetuate the whole GB/GiB scenario.

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