OCZ Vector SSD Review – Indilinx Barefoot 3 Becomes Reality

To say the new OCZ Vector was a long time in the making would be an understatement as discussion over the development of this platform just might be one of the oldest SSD conversations to date.

Today’s Vector release may mark the first major success story of OCZ’ purchase of both Indilinx and PLX, this story born through development of their Barefoot 3 silicon and firmware. Follow along as we take a very close look at the OCZ Vector ‘Indilinx Infused’ SSD.


Quite frankly, if you don’t know the OCZ name, you are new to SSDs and welcome! OCZ first entered the SSD scene in 2008 with their release of the original ‘Indilinx Barefoot controlled’ Vertex and Agility Series SSDs following shortly after.

blankOCZ then moved away from Indy and shook hands with SandForce in what would become a very key period in their development.

It was this partnership that enabled OCZ to spread their wings with countless SSD releases to include the Vertex 2/3, Agility 2/3, Nocti, Revo 1/2/3×2 and Synapse, as well as enterprise products to include the Deneva, Talos, Velo and Z-Drive, with customized iterations of these as well.

All was not lost with Indilinx, however, and more than a few eyebrows were raised at the OCZ acquisition of both Indy and the engineering team from PLX Technologies along the way. For SSD ‘geeks’ such as myself, this period met with a great deal of speculation as there was rumor of the much fabled next generation Barefoot 3 controller and what might become of it.

blankOur hopes were up with the release of the Octane, followed by the Vertex 4 and, as much as we were a bit disappointed to discover the Marvel controller within, this may have actually been a very key period in company development where we saw their reliance on a rock solid controller and their new acquisition of Indilinx and PLX in firmware development. After all, the incompressible performance of the Vertex 4 is still amongst the top in the industry.


The OCZ Vector enters the SSD arena as the premier introduction of OCZ’s very own IP (intellectual property).  Other than the sheer performance of this SSD, chances are that we won’t be seeing any surprises or playing guessing games, as we did not so long ago with the Vertex 4.

I sat with OCZ VP and CMO Alex Mei last week and asked why this has been so long in the making. He answered that time could not be a factor in the development of the Vector and led me to believe that the Vector’s validation may be the longest and most intensive we have seen in the industry to date.

Just to demonstrate a bit of what we are in for, OCZ has also provided their ‘Barefoot 3 footprint”:



The OCZ Vector is available in capacities of 128, 256 and 512GB and manufacturers retail suggested pricing is $149.99, $269.99 and $559.99, respectively.  Performance varies slightly for each capacity and is listed at 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write with 100,000 IOPS at 4K random read aligned disk access for the 256GB model we are testing today.  These are impressive numbers considering the Vector doesn’t rely on compression in storage, a factor that also allows for full binary storage capacities.

blankblankThe Vector is of a 7mm ultra slim design, has TRIM  support and power consumption of this OCZ release has been reduced to 0.9W idle and 2.25W active.  Each SSD is bundled with cloning software and the standard warranty for is five years.



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    Excellent as always, Les! Can’t wait to get mine in for testing!

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    I am very excited about this drive! Maybe it will be my next ssd.

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    Geeze, SandForce is getting kicked to the curb with this one. Do you think this will send toggle NAND to the sidelines for good?

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    What about this V. OCZ Vector Turbo

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    Les, I took a chance and bought the 512GB from your Amazon link! I hope I like this drive!

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      You will and thanks! Need any help at all, send me a note as you have my email! Congrats…the long wait is finally over!

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        Yes, I just had a feeling about this drive. Bought a few shares of OCZ yesterday as well. They are very cheap 🙂 But I am betting that this drive keeps them as a major player. And like you, I believe SSD’s are a HUGE market. And I always thought them buying Indilinx was a great idea. And this drive is the culmination of that.

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        Ya…shares are a pretty safe bet at this point…too bad I couldnt jump on that train.

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        Well, I only got 85 shares. Becasue I blew all my other $$$ on… AMD! Which I really hope makes a comeback 🙂 I am really betting that OCZ learned from their earlier mistakes. It did take awhile for this drive to appear. It is also my first 512GB drive.

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        I bought 350 more shares of OCZ. I am betting that this drive is going to be a BIG winner. I hope I am right.

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        Got the disk today. Cloned it with no issues. Seems to be working just fine. Cannot seem to find the toolbox software online. Seems to top out at the Vertex drive.

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    Les halo! First post here. Excellent review. Well i still side with 840 pro but OCZ did some serious job here. One question do you disable LPM before testing? Any opinion on that?

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    Check this link. https://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD/Solution-C300-Disk-Freeze-ups-in-Windows-7-solved-for-me/td-p/38766

    It looks like an important performance factor ignored by many. Maybe a note for the optimization guide? Trust me i felt embarassed more than once from your knowledge of ssd’s! Lol I’m a gpu knowhow guy. Your name is not wikipedia after all!

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    Hello Les, tanks for the review! Great as aways! I would like to know what SSD do you recommend between the Samsung 840 Pro 250GB and the OCZ Vector 240GB? I don’t understand so much about technical specifications, but I wan’t the very best available on the market at this moment! I’ll buy two SSDs to use on RAID 0, because of that I can’t do the wrong choice, since I’ll spent a good amount of money on this.

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      Neither of these drives could be he wrong choice and I haven’t settled on a favorite just yet as they are so close in performance and both have five year warranties. Either is the right pick for your needs.

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        Hi Les! Just bought two of those for RAID0! I’m in love with this SSDs ehe but I’m having a little problem. The write-back cache on IRST can’t be enabled =( Do you have any ideas to help me to enable that? The IRST version is One more thing: can I enable the TRIM function with this version of IRST? (if yes, how can I do that?)Thanks a lot!

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    Hello Les, it is very good review but what about the DRAM Controller and two of the DDR3 256MB DRAM. Cache? how it it work? what is the advantage of this function?

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    How good is the IOPs with SATA 3Gb/s? That would be good to know for people that have older laptops and want to buy the Vector for their old laptop but want to eventually upgrade their laptops.

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      Pretty much any SATA III spec’d SSD will saturate the SATA II bus. Real world performance will float around 230MB/s . If you’re on a SATA II limited system, you can either save $ by buying a lower end SSD like an Agility 3 or know that with a 5 year warranty this SSD will be waiting with a performance jump when migrated to a newer system.

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    Its been 3 months, the Samsung Pro can be had for 100.00USD less than the Vector in the 512gb flavor. No contest Samsung every time. If both prices were equal, I would probably have a harder time deciding.

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