OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD Review and 1.4RC FW Comparison – SSD Steroids for Your Vertex 4

Testing will be performed on an Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z paired with an Intel Core i5 2500K and 8GB of G.Skill DD3 1866.

The Intel Rapid Storage Technology storage driver version 10.6.0.1002 is used for all testing. Windows Search and Indexing are also enabled, as are Speed Step and Turbo. Stock Sandy Bridge Turbo ratios are also used for the i5-2500K.

SSD COMPRESSION AND TESTING FLUCTUATIONS

To better discern the subtle difference between firmware revisions, a separate testing methodology has been employed. To eliminate subtle testing variations when looking at sub-millisecond latencies in IOmeter and other test programs, the testing environment has been modified. By eliminating CPU voltage and frequency changes, associated latency variance has been minimized. Speed Step and Turbo have been disabled, and CPU frequency is set at 3.3GHz. Without this modification, CPU speed and voltage switching during test runs can lead to inconsistent or contradictory results.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

Software utilized for this review consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities, and PCMark Vantage. All do a great job of showing us the numbers that we want to see, or don’t want to see in some cases. PCMark Vantage x64 is an excellent program which recreates tests that mimic the average user’s activity, all the while providing a medium to measure each.

CRYSTAL DISKINFO VER. 4.6.2

The Vertex4 is somewhat improved in the SMART department over it’s Octane cousin. Highlights include a write counter to display total writes to the drive, though not much else is of intererest. The Remaining Life attribute takes reallocated sectors and average erase count into consideration to yield a percentage of drive health.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW data, which removes the file system overhead. For our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with zero-fill data rather than random and shows better performance than benchmarks which operate through the file system.

The ATTO results for the old 1.3FW (left) and the new 1.4 RC firmware (right) show some impressive differences right off the bat. Max reads with 1.3 are 533MB/s, while 1.4RC shows a 15MB/s improvement, up to 548MB/s. Obviously, the big story here is the writes: max sequential write speed has practically doubled, from a max of 201MB/s to 396MB/s with the new release candidate. Not bad for a few moments of work using the Windows Toolbox updater. ATTO tests sequentially at a queue depth of four, so let’s see what happens with more relevant benchmarks.

18 comments

  1. i wanted to see some updates on 256gb drive lol but this is great. the HD tune showing a weird behavior though, would probably wait for the releases of next firmware, which no one knows when..

  2. “once you’ve upgraded to 1.4RC. Flashing to 1.4RC involves a destructive update (all data is wiped in the process), and the drive must not be the primary system drive.”

    im understand why. flashing to 1.4RC involve destructive update,
    but im not understand, why the drive, cant act as the primary system drive?
    pls explained?
    thanks

    • You cannot upgrade while it is a boot drive or it will destroy your system. You can upgrade and then use it as a boot drive.

    • I think the author was saying if you’re running this drive right now, and it’s running 1.3, and your operating system is running on the drive running 1.3, you can’t update to 1.4, because flashing it would wipe out everything on the drive running 1.3, including the operating system.

  3. Many people reporting Vertex 4 is having issues being detected on cold boot which is also causing waking from sleep bsod.

  4. Way to be punctual and terse about it! 🙂

  5. also i still dont get how firmware seems to boost the performance up for everything, its clear in CDM as well as ATTO or ADSSD, but not the vantage.. is it something to do with that issue with HDtune?

    • This has us a bit stumped as well but, in testing as many SSDs as we have over the years, we have seen variances where SSD compatibility was an issue for on reason or another without a clear understanding of why.

      • im wondering if its because the latency tripled as shown in the picture AS SSD and that probably cause the poor performance on the overall realworld vantage

  6. Is there any difference between 1.4RC and 1.4? (I’m wondering if they fixed the slow write speeds on the 2nd half of the disk.)

  7. Are there any considerations to running a pair of these in Raid0? The intent is performance. I saw a comment about 3 months ago that you were better off running the biggest ssd you could afford instead of 2 smaller in Raid0. Any truth to that?
    Thanks!

  8. Raid 0 Setup with Vertex 4 (Firmware 1.5) 512GB SSD in HP Elitebook 8570W i7- Failed
    To potential OCZ SSD buyers,
    I posted the above matters to OCZ forum and got no solution from them after many email in and out in a week time. They want me to write an email to HP for help. They even deleted my reply and make the post like I did not reply their request or reply their mail. Furthermore, they blocked my post. They wanted me to send them a personal email instead of on the public forum.
    They moved my post to ForumOCZ Support ForumCompliments, Complaints, & SuggestionsVertex 4 512GB BSOD in RAID 0 setup.
    or
    https://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?104396-Vertex-4-512GB-BSOD-in-RAID-0-setup
    That’s why I totally agree with the post here on the first page:
    “It’s still a drive from OCZ, a company that has repeatedly and blatantly used its customer base as unpaid beta testers, and lambasted them when they dared to complain about it. No thank you. The fastest drive in the world is of no use to me if it’s causing my computer to BSOD constantly. I’ll be spending my money and that of my many clients on drives with proven track records for reliability and excellent customer service, both sadly lacking in OCZ products.”
    I will walk away from this OCZ unreliable SSD. Luckily I am able to return the drives and asked for refund instead of following their steps to do the beta tester in a week time.
    Think twice before you buy it.
    Thanks you.

  9. The OCZ SSDs got a lot of compatibilities and reliable issue. Just heading to their technical forum and you will know what I mean. The fastest drive in the world is of no use to me if it’s causing my computer to BSOD or other problem.

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