OCZ Vertex 4 Indilinx Everest 2-Infused SSD

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OCZ Technology’s Vertex series of solid state drives have been consistently popular with enthusiasts since their initial arrival in 2009. OCZ has made significant changes with each successive generation of Vertex solid state drives, but generally speaking, each one has offered strong performance and was considered among the best overall values in the consumer SSD space. OCZ has also been good about providing regular firmware updates and proprietary tools to make it easy to flash a drive, perform a secure erase, or just monitor health data.

The original Vertex SSD was built around the Indilinx Barefoot controller, which was competitive when first released, but didn’t quite perform as well as some of the higher-end drives available at the time. The Vertex 2 and 3, however, featured SandForce controllers and both drives proved to be among the best performing SSDs of their generation. In fact, the Vertex 3 is still one of the best performing consumer-class solid state drives available. With the new Vertex 4 we’ll be showing you here today though, OCZ once again turns to Indilinx—now wholly owned by OCZ. The new Vertex 4 series of solid state drives are built around the Indilinx Everest 2 controller platform, which offers a host of leading-edge features like a SATA 3.0 6Gb/s interface, Auto-Encryption and AES-256 Support, and “Ndurance 2.0 Technology” for reduced write amplification (without Compression), Multi-Level ECC, adaptive NAND management, and support for Redundant NAND Array (RNA) technology.

In light of the Vertex 3, however, the new Vertex 4’s specifications may leave some of you scratching your head’s. As you’ll see below, the Vertex 4 offers max read bandwidth of 535MB/s and max writes in the 200MB/s to 475MB/s range, depending on the model, which is lower than the SandForce-based Vertex 3. However, OCZ’s new baby is tuned for higher IOps and doesn’t suffer from any compression-related performance limitations. To put it simply, the drives are optimized for different workloads.


OCZ Vertex 4 Indilinx Everest 2.0-based Solid State Drives

OCZ Vertex 4 SSD
Specifications & Features
128GB Model
  • Max Read: 535MB/s
  • Max Write: 200MB/s
  • Random Read IOPS: 90,000 (4K QD32)
  • Random Write IOPS: 85,000 (4K QD32)
  • Max IOPS: 120,000 (512B Random Read, Iometer 2010)
256GB Model
  • Max Read: 535MB/s
  • Max Write: 380MB/s
  • Random Read IOPS: 90,000 (4K QD32)
  • Random Write IOPS: 85,000 (4K QD32)
  • Max IOPS: 120,000 (512B Random Read, Iometer 2010)

512GB Model

  • Max Read: 535MB/s
  • Max Write: 475MB/s
  • Random Read IOPS: 95,000 (4K QD32)
  • Random Write IOPS: 85,000 (4K QD32)
  • Max IOPS: 120,000 (512B Random Read, Iometer 2010)

Vertex 4 leverages new leading-edge Indilinx Everest 2 Platform Features of Everest 2 include:

  • SATA 3.0 6Gb/s Interface
  • Ndurance 2.0 Technology
  • Reduced Write Amplification without Compression
  • Advanced Multi-Level ECC
  • Adaptive NAND Flash Management
  • Redundant NAND Array (RNA) Technology
  • Auto-Encryption and AES-256 Support
  • Advanced ECC Engine (up to 128bits per 1KB)
  • Superior Flexibility (extensive NAND compatibility; vendor-specific NAND commands)


From the outside, the new OCZ Vertex 4 looks just like the vast majority of consumer-class solid state drives currently available. The drive you see pictured here is a 512GB OCZ Vertex 4, but we’ve also received a 256GB model, which looks virtually identical.

    
OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SSD

The OCZ Vertex 4 uses a 2.5” form factor with 9mm Z-Height. The top casing of the drive is made from a plastic / composite material, while the bottom is a brushed metal. The top is adorned with a large Vertex 4 decal with “Indilinx Infused” emblazoned in one corner, while the bottom only has another decal with serial and model number details.

    

   
Inside The OCZ Vertex 4 SSD

Crack the drive open, however, and you can see all of the really good stuff. As we’ve mentioned, the OCZ Vertex 4 is based on the Indilinx Everest 2 controller platform. The exact model of the controller pictured here is the Indilinx IDX400M00-BC. The controller features a SATA III interface, support for up to 8 channels with up to 16-way Interleaving, and unlike SandForce’s current designs, it does not have any data-compression related limitations, meaning it should perform consistently with both highly-compressible and incompressible data.

The Everest 2-based OCZ Vertex 4 also offers TRIM support, and dynamic and static wear-leveling and background garbage collection algorithms to maintain strong long-term performance. The drive also features “Indilinx Ndurance 2.0” technology to help minimize write amplification and increase the life-span of the attached NAND Flash memory.

Paired to the Indilinx IDX400M00-BC Everest 2 controller in this drive is 512GB (16 x 32GB) of 25nm Intel MLC NAND flash memory and 512MB of DRAM cache, comprised of two Micron chips which reside on the top and bottom sides of the PCB. The 256GB drive we tested was also outfitted with 16 pieces of NAND, but with half the capacity.

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Very nice. I was kind of a SSD refusenic and actually for a while regretted buying an OCZ Vertex 4 for a while. I kept on trying to figure out how to get rid of, but eventually just gave up and installed it and...I can't go back to normal HDs anymore...

What I did was when upgrading to Windows 7, I installed Windows on the SSD, and used my old HD as the other partition for games and whatnot. Windows completely boots in about 7 seconds or so. The difference became more apparent when I bought a cheap laptop for school with a regular HD, and waiting for this thing to boot up is now torture compared to my desktop.

Anyway, nice review but for me it seems like the price doesn't climb proportionally to how much the space increases, so I think I'll stick smaller ones just for a Windows partition and regular HD for everything else.

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Thanks for the review Marco I've been waiting for this one. Ever since they announced they were going back to the Indilinx controllers it's had my attention. After seeing the octane's performance I was skeptical the Vertex 4 would break any records. I'm glad to see it's performance is up there but like you said the vertex line means speed and I was expecting it to beat the vertex 3 in all categories and sit as top dog. On the plus side it looks like ocz is really benefitting from their Indilinx purchase. It will be interesting to see if they convert the agility line over to the new controller as well.

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Good review Marco. These are good performers. The SSD market is really changing fast these days. Prices are going south and performance keeps getting better too.

Also,.....the SanDisk Extreme SSD drives are really looking good to me.

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