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

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0.1 X64

Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of raw (0/1 Fill/compressible) or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Many new ‘SandForce Driven’ SSD owners who can’t wait to test the performance of their SSD often grab this program and run a quick test, not realizing that they are testing with incompressible data rather than compressible data used in testing by manufacturers.

The CDM results echo the immense change in throughput associated with the new release candidate FW. 4K results at a queue depth of one have not really changed from 1.3 to 1.4RC, but almost everything else has. The change in sequential read speed is substantial, from 424MB/s to 512MB/s. While 99% of transfers don’t occur at these high sequential transfer sizes, it’s nevertheless good to see. Of course, the newly found write speed is the star of the show: 385MB/s at 4MB sequential writes and 405MB/s at 512K speaks volumes about the V4’s new abilities.

The other notable change, QD32 4K writes, is somewhat expected. After all, the 1.3FW was rated for 90,000 IOPS on the 128GB Vertex 4. In practice, the number is hard to achieve. On the left, 196.4MB/s equates to 47K IOPS, typical of numbers seen in testing and nearly half of the rated spec. The new release candidate 1.4FW addresses that shortcoming in style, coming in at 340.4MB/s (equivalent to around 83K IOPS). We’ll do some IOPS testing later, but for now all the boxes are checked and looking good.

If the QD1 4K random writes look a little high at 150MB/s, that’s because they are. While the Vertex 4 128GB already has stunning low queue depth random performance, the changes to the testing environment are at play here as well. These are the highest QD1 4K random writes to date, but they are not directly comparable to other reviews. Reducing CPU clock speed variance during testing not only helps reduce inconsistency, but it also elevates bench scores. QD1 randoms are most affected when typical CPU power saving features are used, so disabling those features tends to raise them significantly.

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.64

Up until recently, AS SSD was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it tests through use of incompressible data which shows us the ‘worse case’ performance scenario in SSD transfer speeds (when using SandForce-powered SSDs). Many enthusiasts prefer benchmarking with AS SSD for their needs.

The 128GB V4 puts in a reasonable showing on 1.3FW, but is eclipsed by the 1.4RC. In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you’d just assume the drive on the left was 128GB and the one on the right was 256GB… such is the performance variance. Again, write speeds are practically doubled. Read speed is higher, and random performance is better at both low and high queue depths. The overall score goes from 919 to 1112. The only other consumer SATA III SSDs tested that get this kind of score are the other Vertex 4s.

It might be a good time to point out that the 128GB on 1.3FW is very consistent and yields similar results in test after test. On 1.4RC, that changes. AS SSD uses an average approach, so this helps minimize the inconsistency but there are still changes from test run to test run, especially sequential read and writes.

While the composite score may not mean much, it’s interesting to see. AS SSD’s 512 byte access time measurements are already great for writes, but the new firmware would seem to triple read access latency from .044ms to .125ms.

AS SSD’s copy benchmark emulates file transfers of different sizes and compressibility. ISO, Program, and Game copy operations are timed to give users an idea about real world copy speeds. The 1.3FW has a surprise here: the ISO copy completed at 300MB/s. Since the 1.3FW is capped at 200MB/s, it’s difficult to know what is transpiring here. The 1.4FW almost halves the Program copy time.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *