OCZ Vertex Limited Edition, SandForce Powered SSD

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Our Test Methodologies:  Under each test condition, the Solid State Drives tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a standard spinning hard disk for the OS and benchmark installations.  The SSDs were left blank without partitions wherever possible, unless a test required them to be partitioned and formatted, as was the case with our Vantage benchmark tests. Windows firewall, automatic updates and screen savers were all disabled before testing. In all test runs, we rebooted the system and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle before invoking a test.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 Powered

Processor -
Motherboard -

Video Card -
Memory -
Audio -

Storage -

 

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7 965

Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme
(X58 Express Chipset)

GeForce GTX 280
6144MB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333

Integrated on board

Western Digital Raptor - OS
OCZ Vertex LE 100GB
OCZ Vertex 2 Pro 100GB
OCZ Vertex 120GB
Intel X25-M Gen 2 160GB

OS -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -
Video Drivers
-
Relevant Software:
Window 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Intel 9.1.0.1012
DirectX 10
NVIDIA ForceWare v195.62

Benchmarks Used:
HD Tach 3.0.1.0
ATTO ver 2.41
PCMark Vantage
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2
IOMeter 2008
CrystalDiskMark

 IOMeter
 I/O Subsystem Measurement To


The IOMeter Question:
As we noted in a previous SSD round-up article, though IOMeter is clearly thought of as a well respected industry standard drive benchmark, we're not completely comfortable with it for testing SSDs.  The fact of the matter is, though our actual results with IOMeter appear to scale properly, it is debatable whether or not certain access patterns, as they are presented to and measured on an SSD, actually provide a valid example of real-world performance for the average end user.  That said, we do think IOMeter is a gauge for relative available bandwidth with a given storage solution.

In the following tables, we're showing two sets of access patterns; one with an 8K transfer size, 80% reads (20% writes) and 80% random (20% sequential) access and one with IOMeter's default access pattern of 2K transfers, 67% reads and 100% random access.



First we should note that there is a very different set of test conditions here, between the OCZ Vertex 2 Pro SSD, with AHCI disabled and the OCZ Vertex LE drive, as well as all other drives in this test, with AHCI enabled.  As we mentioned earlier, we learned the hard way that these drives from OCZ based on Sandforce SSD controller technology, benefit significantly from enabling AHCI.  As such, you can see how well the drive performs with this feature turned on, which allows the drive to queue up concurrent requests when the system is busy.  In terms of IOMeter metrics, we're looking at a 3X - 6X  performance gain with AHCI enabled.  Also, essentially, the Vertex 2 Pro and Vertex LE drives are the same SSD, save for different firmware versions. They both use the same controller and memory architecture with Micron NAND Flash.  What's also impressive is how the Vertex LE with AHCI enabled takes the Intel X25-M Gen 2 to task, generally doubling its performance in our IOMeter testing.

Article Index:

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OCZ first as a memory manufacturer is really making great choices both here as well as in a new or newer market sector here. The one thing I don't get as well as a great platform performance wise with this device, and an especially enabled on now with the huge standard HD's available now at attractive prices is the combination setup. For the price of one of there 200 Gb units, I could conceivably get two of the 100 Gb units, and a standard HD of twice there size. What this would allow anyone to do is run these two in RAID 0 with a full backup to the standard drive. I see this as an attractive idea for multiple reasons. Obviously two of these in RAID 0 would raise the performance spectrum considerably. The reliability of these type of drives while greatly enhanced still falls below a mechanical HD, as does the functionality of RAID 0. So having two of these blazing along in RAID 0, while still completely backed up to say a 400 GB or larger mechanical HD enables far better performance as well as full reliability, for roughly the same price point as one of there 200 GB stand alone drives does. This is attractive at least to me.

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Every time new drive comes out with a large jump in performance, I think about upgradeing.  Those thoughts last all of 10 seconds until I realize it will cost me damn near a grand to replace my two Vertex 120GiB drives.  The Micron drive came the closest to making me take the jump, but I would have to dig up a SATA 6G controller.  I'm thinking I'll end up waiting until 6G is the standard for MoBos and drives, then just upgrade the whole thing.

That right there is the problem.  Your early adopters are starting to suffer some burnout (at least the ones I know).  Most of us can not afford to buy new $400+ drives every 2~3 months when the latest and greatest comes out anymore.  The situation is even worse when you look at all the early adopters (more so the first time early adopters in this case) who got saddled with the JMicron based drives.

I know the sales right now are nice, but does anyone else agree that sales will not explode till the next generation interface (6G) becomes the market standard?

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Hey infinityzeN as a straight pointer I have been seeing with both Sata3 and USB3 the adapters are coming out very early compared. As far as I know both are available now, although I have not bought one yet. The USB 3 adapter I am pretty sure is now or will shortly be available as a PCI-X one for under 100 dollars with internal and external ports. I am also pretty sure Sata 3 adapters are also available in the same PCI-X makeup although I think they are more than 100 but under 175 from what I've seen. This is one of the reason I did not like the 1156 motherboards, and or implementation all together, is the limitation in PCI-X bandwidth as well as how the controller works period.

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By market standard I ment mobos would have 6G plugs and most of the drives on the market would be 6G.

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Yeah I got that, but why not use a PCI-X adapter if you can, rather than building a whole new PC if your current PC is sufficient? I know in general I am stating that question on a forum which has users like us that in general love building or upgrading our PC's. But still if you have the available socket, and bandwidth, why not until the prices as well as components get lower, and more standard.

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I'm soooo tempted to buying an SSD. I've still got an old mechanical hard drive, I know, I know, GO BUY ONE. I'm planning on getting a "cheap" Intel X-25-V.. V for Value that is xD What would you guys consider a good SSD to start out with.. And if I were to get a high end SSD should I go with the OCZ LE Vertex or should I go with one of the others out right now?

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