OCZ Vertex 3 SandForce SF-2000 Based SSD Preview

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Just last week, we gave you a glimpse of what OCZ has in store for the enterprise SSD market with our preview of the Vertex 3 Pro. Without giving away all of the juicy details, the Vertex 3 Pro essentially buried the competition and offered performance that was significantly better than any current-gen solid state drive. As we mentioned though, the Vertex 3 Pro is an enterprise-class drive, and as such, it sports a price tag outside of the realm of your typical PC enthusiast. OCZ did hint that the “non-Pro” version of the Vertex 3 was coming soon, however, and stated that it would be priced “significantly lower”.

Well, here we are, just one week later and we’ve already got a beta Vertex 3 in hand for some initial testing. As you’ll see in the specifications below, the upcoming Vertex 3 looks equally as impressive as the Vertex 3 Pro in terms of if features and expected performance, but what’s more exciting is that it’ll be price more in-line with current SSDs. Take a look...

OCZ Vertex 3 Solid State Drive
Specifications & Features

Performance Specifications
  • Max Read: 550 MB/s
  • Max Write: 525 MB/s
  • 4KB Random Write (aligned): Up to 60,000 IOPS
    • *Achieved on Intel Sandy Bridge platform which is recommended to show full potential of the drive

Key Features

  • SATA III / 6Gbps
  • Implements SandForce 2281 Client SSD Processor
  • Enhanced BCH ECC capability
  • Supports SATA-7 Security Erase
  • Efficient Write Amplification Factor of less than 1 (4K database transfer workload)
  • Significantly improved performance over previous generation
    • Delivers 20% faster IOPS, and 40% faster sequential read/write throughputs
  • Consumer solution that implements cost-effective 2Xnm MLC NAND Flash to deliver an excellent balance of performance and reliability
  • MTBF: 2 Million Hours
  • 3 Year Warranty


OCZ Vertex 3 240GB Solid State Drive

Despite the similar naming convention, the OCZ Vertex 3 is a completely different drive than the Vertex 3 Pro. The two have different controllers, different NAND flash memory, PCBs, and the more mainstream Vertex 3 lacks the “super-cap” that makes the Pro drive more suitable to mission-critical, enterprise applications.

The OCZ Vertex 3 drive you see pictured here is a 240GB model (224MB formatted) outfitted with 16 pieces of Micron NAND flash, totally 256GB—the additional capacity is over provisioned for wear leveling, data protection, and other functions. The controller on the drive is the SandForce SF-2281, and differs from the 2582 on the Pro edition in a few ways. The SF-2582 controller offers a few more features not available on the SF-2281, like additional flash support (eMLC and SLC specifically), SMART features, higher MTBF on the controller, better unrecoverable bit error read (UBER) rating, as well as adding the power loss data protection feature which is augmented by the super-cap.

In terms of its specifications though, the new Vertex 3 is very impressive. It has a SATA III interface with max reads of 550MB/s and writes up to 525MB/s, with up to 60K IOPs.

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coolice 3 years ago

Nice!! cant wait to see some real-time benchmarks. I really want to know the difference between vertex 2 and this. Also, the difference between the vertex 3 and the pro. and whether its worth the extra "dough"

amdcrankitup 3 years ago

This is a great review! OCZ is definatly rocking the boat with this drive! Its a monster and anyone would be thrilled to have this in their Rig! I,ll be watchin OCZ for their availabilty on the Vertex 2 and 3 maybe I could own one of these one days! Really like the review very impressive benchmarks!

marco c 3 years ago

@Coolice, all of the benchmarks with the drives you mention are in the article.

coolice 3 years ago

Nah, i forgot to comment after.... I wrote that i think within minutes of the article coming up... then read it, then forgot to post what i thought about it haha... i look like a fool!

rapid1 3 years ago

Wow; for what you get the price on these seems pretty justifiable, it beats everything across the board minus the pro version. It only loses to the pro in very minimal amounts, and even beat's it in some although that plus seems to be a almost pointless because it is so minor.

I think drives like this are what will really bring these drives to a much better price point. As far as it goes no one can compete with it at current standings on performance, plus the amount it cost's is almost relative compared to the cost's of other drives it seems.

Think about it this way if you could get a CPU that gave you a 30% advantage across the board for within the same price of your current CPU would you upgrade?

I know I would! Either way the largest bottle neck across computer systems in many ways for the past several years has been the hard drive, and that components performance. Plus these run cooler, use less energy, and from my personal experience of just over a year now very reliable (not to mention compared my SSD is a POC compared (actually it doesn't really compare above much now except for a mechanical HD).


inspector 3 years ago

LOL coolice, you should start reading the articles and not just the announcement post...

All these SSDs are making me cry. i need some money to get myself one! Nice review and specs!

coolice 3 years ago

haha, My mistake, I honestly go through the articles, its just that, for my next built, i've set aside $200 so far for an SSD and as soon as this article was posted, i was drooling and day dreaming about owning this! haha, i am going to thumbs down myself for the first comment lol!

SammyHayabuza 3 years ago

This is a great product indeed, its basically almost the same as the Pro version but without the added secuirity and MTBF, plus you get 224GB of formatted space versus 186GB on the Pro Version.

If I had the money I would buy the Pro version thou, but any of them would be nice.


*Achieved on Intel Sandy Bridge platform which is recommended to show full potential of the drive*

*If you've got a system with native SATA III support though, the Vertex 3 is one heck of a performer*

I don't have a Sb mobo, and I know OCZ specifically wanted SB to be the test bed for these two SSD's. But I want to know how does it perform with in a X58 platform(which does not natively support SATA III and is using a third party controller) or the AMD platform using, off course, the SATA III ports. How much less performance will we get........ Also, The Pro version is specifically targeted @ the "enterprise market", but SB isn't targeted at them , Xeons are, so this is another reason why I want to see the performance levels on other chip-sets.

marco c 3 years ago

@Sammy - I have a set of numbers with the V3 tested on a SATA II connection in the article. It wasn't 100% perfect, but the numbers that are here (with the exception of the smaller files sizes in ATTO) should be representative). It's basically only a little faster than a Vertex 2, due to limiations of the older SATA interface.

SammyHayabuza 3 years ago

Yes , I'm well aware, but I'm referring to see,  test results on a X58 motherboard using the Sata 3/6Gbps port, not SATA II !!

marco c 3 years ago

@Sammy - Do you mean using a third-party controller, like the Marvell controller installed on many X58 boards?

SammyHayabuza 3 years ago

Yes, I would like to see the test results on any LGA 1366 or LGA 1156 motherboard that you have, that has the SATA III/ 6Gbps port.  I'm well aware that to achieve its full potential, The Cougar Point Chipset is the best , but people who own LGA1366 boards w/ Sata III, want to know just  how good the Vertex 3 will perform with those chip-sets too.


acarzt 3 years ago

Hey Marco, noticed a typo in the Article...

In the very first chart for IOMeter you made the worst Maximum response time bold, and then in the Second chart... it looks like you just chose at random lol and didn't give the intel it's credit lol

Sammy, If anything, I would expect it to perhaps slow down the response time a tiny bit, but the data rate should stay about the same.

marco c 3 years ago

@acarzt - Thank you, sir. Think I screwed that up inserting lines in Excel! Fixed.

rapid1 3 years ago

I really think drives with performance levels like this one are the market changer for SSD's. I mean for $249 which I know is not cheap, but in a 120Gb drive, with performance for writes and reads (not to mention iops, lol) to be at these levels it changes things. I would of course love to have a 240Gb one but the price for that is out of reach. A drive like this at the 120 level is awesome for an OS drive though. I know with my 60 Gb SSD I have to keep it maintained regularly. Of course it never gets to full (I general keep between 15-20 Gb free), but with a drive of this size it would require way less maintenance, not to mention perform at least 400% better than the drive I have!

hateregistrations 3 years ago

I find it interesting that the by now a bit old Intel drives totally destroy even the newest drives when it comes to worst case latency in the IOMeter test.

Any explanation for this?

Naedi 3 years ago

Noticed another typo on the first page. You say the drive "...is a 240GB model (224MB formatted)..."

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