Perhaps one of the best mindsets I have seen in my six years in the SSD industry is the ambition to not only improve SSD technology, but to also take them to the next level. Selling a consumer SSD as an enterprise one will always be a shot in the dark, but the appetite of SSD manufacturers to push their consumer SSDs into that very realm can only be seen as a huge plus to the consumer. The inevitable effect today has top manufacturers watching one another very closely, only to run back to the boardroom with their teams in hopes of creating a better product, all the while understanding that SSD pricing continues to decline.
OCZ has traditionally done just this and today is no different as we provide analysis on their newest enthusiast level SSD, the OCZ Vector 150. Considering that, not so long ago many wrote about OCZ vacating the consumer SSD market for enterprise, this release is a bit unexpected. Add to this the news that OCZ is also working on the new RevoDrive 400 to replace their longstanding ‘King of the Hill’ Revo 3 Series PCIe solutions, and we can see that OCZ still has their feet firmly planted in the consumer SSD world.
OCZ’s marketing of the Vector 150 SSD represents more than release of a product that simply displays their Indilinx ‘Barefoot 3’ controller along with the expected move up to 19nm memory; they have fine tuned it to provide for prolonged use in steady state and mixed load situations as well. In fact, their documentation provides that the Vector 150 can more than double sustained random write performance of other leading competitors, adding to this with superior performance in mixed load applications.
The OCZ Vector 150 is available in capacities 120, 240 and 480GB and builds on the success of the vector series by now having 256-bit AES compliant hardware encryption, along with what has become the standard OCZ five-year warranty. OCZ has based this warranty on their confidence that the Vector 150 can sustain 50GB per day host writes for five years ‘under typical client workloads’. Remember what we said about enterprise features but still being a client SSD? Check out the Vector 150 120GB SSD Review here.
Performance is rated at 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write for the 240/480GB capacities, while the 120GB drops its write throughput a bit to 450MB/s. IOPS is a strong point with the vector 150 with the 480GB rated at 100K read and 95K write, with the other capacities dropping slightly.
Power consumption merits mentioning as it is rated at 0.55W idle and 2.50W active; this being a non-competitive factor with other SSDs with lower power consumption. MSRP for the Vector 150 SSD is $130 (120GB), $240 (240GB) and $500 (480GB) and a quick check of Amazon might be in order.
VECTOR 150 SSD COMPONENTS
Perhaps the smartest move OCZ has made in recent years was its purchase of Indilinx, which made the Barefoot 3 controller proprietary; it is a workhorse and has proven it over and over. The Barefoot 3 (Barefoot 3 M00) controller is SATA 3, able to address eight channels and contains an ARM Cortex processor with OCZ’s Aragon co-processor.
The PCB also contains 16 modules of Toshiba’s own 19nm MLC Toggle Mode NAND flash memory (eight on each side), along with Micron DRAM cache modules on each side of the PCB.
The OCZ Vector has a total RAW capacity of 256GB (16x16GB) and is advertised as a 240GB SSD as it contains 7% over provisioning to sustain performance and life of the drive. Once formatted, the storage capacity available to the user is 224GB.
We have actually tested memory similar to this in our recent analysis of the Silicon Motion SSD prototype which contained their newest SM2246EN controller, and as well, it is also being used in the ASUS RAIDR PCIe SSD.
The Vector 150 package contents include a 3.5″ desktop adapter, as well as a full version of Acronis True Image HD Cloning software and activation key.
Nice, I LOVE OCZ! (since I have 2 x Vertex3MI 120GB, and they rock! 🙂 )…
It was interesting to read ” One can easily identify the result of our 12 hour test pattern by the 7.73TB Total NAND Writes in 13 hours of use.” In fact perhaps it isn’t that easy because the Vector series come with up to 5 TB written to them in testing. As OCZ fail to mention this in the user manual it has led to a good deal of angst among users who have read the SMART data and have then assumed that they have been sold a used drive whilst paying for a new one. It also causes a lot of confusion regarding the warranty. When I questioned OCZ about the write limit I was informed that an allowance of an extra 5TB is made on top of the 20GB per day for five years. Again no mention of this in the user manual or the warranty conditions. OCZ may make top class drives (I have two) but their communications stink.
Hi Alan…. If I could be honest, it sounds like another typical thread coming from one who does not think much of OCZ and, IMHO, that has gotten very old. It is VERY common these days to find exactly the same burn-in and validation of new products and nobody mentions it whatsoever. With OCZ though it seems its a lose lose, they lose if they don’t burn in and something goes wrong, then again, they lose for burning in and not telling you it required up to 5TB written. Quite frankly, I believe the Barefoot 3 is the hottest controller available right now and OCZ firmware expertise is taking it in all new directions. We are long past the days of learning the hard way and my views are still the same.
Would I rather an innovator who has learned the hard way and, as a result, pushed SSD technology forward leaps and bounds, or would I rather the safe bet who came to the show late relying on the bumps that others have suffered along the way?
Your assessment of me and my post couldn’t be more wrong. I own two SSD’s, a 128 GB Vector and a 256 GB Vector . I chose the drives after considering as many options as I could and over and above the Samsung Pro, which a lot of the smart money was on.I am very happy with both of the drives, with the smaller one in particular impressing me with it’s speed.
When I fitted the 256 it had the best part of 5TB written to it and I honestly thought I had been conned because I could not find any reference to it in the manual.This led to an ugly scene with the retailer. Others have had similar issues. That is not good, don’t you agree?
Also I was aware of the 20GB per day for 5 years limit but only via website reviews and I was not aware of the extra 5TB allowed for the test writes and so would have assumed that my warranty ran out 5TB sooner than it actually would.
No Les , I happen to be a big fan of OCZ and I love my Vectors but I do honestly feel that some info re the test writes and the extra 5TB allowed in the warranty would be useful to us mere mortal consumers , who do not always understand all that there is to know about SSD’s. That’s why I read your reviews.
Please Les, reassess where it is you think I am coming from because I ma not the Anti OCZ ranter that you think.
Yes and my apologies from below. I was out of line and do see some valid points but they are not limited to just OCZ in my opinion. Have a good one!
Thanks for your revision, it is very much appreciated.
Yes, I am getting old and cranky at times.
Hmm, another alan here LOL, I for one, have a lot of respect for OCZ, without them bringing us many SSDs back in day when no one had SSDs, we would have struggled to get a fair price on anything SSD related, yes they had some problems in the beginning, but that was all cleared up many years ago, now they have the best Consumer Grade controller in the business, and yes they are asking a premium for it, and I am willing to pay that premium for a product I believe is worth every dime. JMHO.
Toshiba Q Series Pro with unknown contoller … Vector 150 with Toshiba Memory …
Seems that something is going on there no ?? 🙂
Coincidence eh…. So far…no denials and the typical silence… Who knows?
Isnt toshiba using marvell silicon with their firmware on these drivers ?
Also no DRAM cache, which is a first for marvell aswell.
I am a bit confused… the controller is Marvell. Are you speaking of the Toshiba?
Yeah i’m talking about the toshiba Q series..
Yes…witth the new controller on the Q, it is a diff prod number…let’s carry that to that review though shall we?