Logo   Banner   TopRight
TopUnder
Transparent
OCZ Vertex 460 240GB Solid State Drive Review
Transparent
Date: Jan 22, 2014
Section:Storage
Author: Marco Chiappetta
Transparent
Introduction and Specifications
We had originally planned to start this review and evaluation off with a brief discussion of OCZ’s potential fate and what the company’s recent bankruptcy and looming acquisition by Toshiba could mean for its future. But in the 11th hour yesterday, news came through that the acquisition was complete and OCZ would go on producing solid state storage products but now as a “wholly owned subsidiary and Toshiba Group Company”. We've even got a fresh new logo to show you in the table below.

Fittingly, the first product released after the announcement, and the drive we’ll be showing you here, features all home-grown OCZ controller technology and bleeding edge 19nm Toshiba-built MLC NAND flash memory. These just-announced OCZ Vertex 460 series drives will be available soon in 120GB – 480GB flavors and we’ve got the full scoop for you all on the pages ahead. First up though, let’s take a look at some specifications...

OCZ Vertex 460
Specifications & Features

  120GB 240GB 480GB
Max Read 530 MB/s 540 MB/s 545 MB/s
Max Write 420 MB/s 525 MB/s 525 MB/s
Max Random Read IOPS (4K QD32) 80,000 85,000 95,000
Max Random Write IOPS (4K QD32) 90,000 90,000 90,000
Steady-State Random Write IOPS (4K QD32) 12,000 21,000 23,000
Physical Specifications
Controller Barefoot 3 M10
NAND Components 19nm Toshiba Multi-Level Cell (MLC) Flash
Interface SATA 3.0 6GB/s
Form Factor 2.5"; Ultra-Slim 7mm
Reliability Specifications
Data Path Protection BCH ECC Corrects up to 44 random bits/1KB
Encryption 256-bit AES-compliant
Product Health Monitoring Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART)
Endurance Rated for 20GB/day host writes for 3 years under typical client workloads
Environmental Specifications
Power Consumption Idle: 0.6W Active: 2.70W
Operating Temperature 0°C ~ 55°C
Shock Resistance 1500G/0.5ms
Vibration (Operational) 2.17Grms (7-800Hz)
Vibration (Non-Operational)
Price:
16.3Grms (20-2000Hz)
$99 (120GB), $189 (240GB), $359 (480GB) MSRP 


OCZ Vertex 460 Retail Package

Before we take a look at closer look at the new 240GB OCZ Vertex 460 we received for testing, we want to quickly draw some attention to its accessory bundle. OCZ continues to be one of the few companies that bundle its drives with not only a 2.5” to 3.5” mounting adapter, but with a license for Acronis True Image HD (Windows 8 compatible) as well. Heck, OCZ even thrown is multi-language installation manual and an “I Love My SSD” decal. Though the mounting adapters are growing less important as newer cases that include 2.5” mounting locations are released, the inclusion of Acronis is an excellent value add in our opinion.

Transparent
The OCZ Vertex 460 SSD

The new OCZ Vertex 460 series drives look essentially identical to the Vertex 450 drives that came before, save for the small “460” badge to the right of the name and the coloring on the decal.


It Looks Like OCZ Went With HotHardware's Color Scheme On This One...

The 240GB drives shown here conforms to the 2.5” form factor (as do all of the other drivers in the family) and is has a slim 7mm Z-Height. The enclosures used on the drive is all metal and is clearly sturdier and heavier than most other consumer-class SSDs we’ve tested. There are really no external features to speak of, other than a few decals and the standard SATA power and data connectors, but that’s par for the course with most SSDs.

Open up the drive, however, and you’ll see OCZ’s own Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller on board—the same controller used in the older Vertex 450 series. That controller is paired to 19nm Toshiba MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND flash memory and a DDR3-1333MHz DRAM cache. The 120GB and 240GB drives sport 512MB of cache memory, while the 480GB model will be outfitted with 1GB.

Note that these new Vertex 460 drives have more spare NAND over-provisioned than the original Vertex 450 drives, which were built using 20nm NAND. Whereas the original drives launched in 128, 256, and 512GB capacities, these new drives land at 120, 240, and 480GB. That additional spare area is reserved for wear leveling and other proprietary features and aids the drives in achieving their higher endurance ratings.

OCZ’s Vertex 460 drives are rated for max read speeds of 530MB/s (120GB), 540MB/s (240GB) and 545MB/s (480GB), and write performance varies between models as well. The 120GB drive’s writes peak at 420MB/s; the 240GB and 480GB drives peak at 525MB/s. All of the drives support TRIM, 256-bit AES compliant encryption and they’re rated for 20GB/day host writes for 3 years, under typical client workloads. Idle power is listed at .6w and active power at 2.7W, which is slightly higher than some previous SSD products.

OCZ also offers a 3 year warranty on the drives.
 

Transparent
Test Setup, IOMeter 1.1 RC

Our Test Methodologies: Under each test condition, the Solid State Drives tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a separate drive used for the OS and benchmark installations. Out testbed's motherboard was updated with the latest BIOS available as of press time and AHCI (or RAID) mode was enabled. The SSDs were secure erased prior to testing, and left blank without partitions for some tests, while others required them to be partitioned and formatted, as is the case with our ATTO, PCMark 7, and CrystalDiskMark benchmark tests. Windows firewall, automatic updates and screen savers were all disabled before testing. In all test runs, we rebooted the system, ensured all temp and prefetch data was purged, and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle and for the system to reach an idle state before invoking a test.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 and SSD Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -


Video Card -

Memory -

Audio -

Storage -

 

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-4770K

Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH
(Z87 Chipset, AHCI Enabled)

Intel HD 4600

8GB G.SKILL DDR3-1600

Integrated on board

Corsair Force GT (OS Drive)
AData XPG SX900 (256GB)
SanDisk Extreme II (480GB)
Samsung SSD 840 EVO (250GB)
OCZ Vector 150 (240GB)
OCZ Vertex 460 (240GB)
OCZ Vertex 450 (256GB)

OS -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers
-


Relevant Software:
Windows 8.1 Pro x64
Intel 9.4.0.1027, iRST 12.8.0.1016
DirectX 11

Intel HD 10.18.10.33

Benchmarks Used:
IOMeter 1.1.0 RC
HD Tune v5.50
ATTO v2.47
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark v3.0.3 x64
PCMark 7
SiSoftware Sandra 2014

IOMeter
I/O Subsystem Measurement Tool

As we've noted in previous SSD articles, though IOMeter is clearly 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 reliable gauge for relative available throughput within a given storage solution. In addition there are certain higher-end workloads you can place on a drive with IOMeter, that you can't with most other storage benchmark tools available currently.

In the following tables, we're showing two sets of access patterns; our custom Workstation pattern, with an 8K transfer size, 80% reads (20% writes) and 80% random (20% sequential) access and a 4K access pattern with a 4K transfer size, comprised of 67% reads (34% writes) and 100% random access.

The OCZ and Samsung drives are tightly grouped in the 4K transfer test, with the new Vertex 460 falling somewhere in the middle of the pack. The same is mostly true in our custom workstation test, though the Samsung drive's performance tapered off somewhat. The Sandforce-based AData drive and SanDisk Extreme II trailed the rest of the pack here.

In terms of actual transfer rates, the results mirror what we saw above. The new OCZ Vertex 460 outpaced the competitors' drives and trailed only the Vertex 450 and recently released Vector 150.
 

Transparent
SANDRA and ATTO Disk Benchmark

Next we ran SiSoft SANDRA 2014, the the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. Here, we used the Physical Disk test suite and provide the results from our comparison SSDs. The benchmarks were run on unformatted drives and read and write performance metrics are detailed below.

SiSoft SANDRA 2014
Synthetic HDD Benchmarking

 

According to SiSoft SANDRA's physical disk benchmark, the new OCZ Vertex 460 offers very competitive read speeds and writes are among the best as well. Only a few MB/s separate the top performers in this test.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
More Information Here: http://bit.ly/btuV6w

ATTO is another "quick and dirty" type of disk benchmark that measures transfer speeds across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and graphs them out in an easily interpreted chart. We chose .5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes and a queue depth of 6 over a total max volume length of 256MB. ATTO's workloads are sequential in nature and measure raw bandwidth, rather than I/O response time, access latency, etc.

The Samsung 840 EVO put up some of the better scores in the ATTO Disk Benchmark, but generally speaking, all of the drives are tightly grouped here--for the most part. The Extreme II's performance bounced around a bit depending on the transfer size, though it was clearly the fastest of the bunch with small transfers and in read performance overall.
 

Transparent
HD Tune Benchmarks
EFD Software's HD Tune is described on the company's web site as such: "HD Tune is a hard disk utility with many functions. It can be used to measure the drive's performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more." The latest version of the benchmark added temperature statistics and improved support for SSDs, among a few other updates and fixes.

HD Tune v5.50
More Info Here: http://www.hdtune.com







The new OCZ Vertex 460 offered up some of the best access times of the group according to HD Tune, and its read and write performance were among the best as well.
 

Transparent
CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks

CrystalDiskMark is a synthetic benchmark that tests both sequential and random small and mid-sized file transfers using incompressible data. It provides a quick look at best and worst case scenarios with regard to SSD performance, best case being larger sequential transfers and worse case being small, random transfers.

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks
Synthetic File Transfer Tests

The OCZ Vertex 460 offered middling performance according the various CrystalDiskMark tests. OCZ's new drive trailed the pack in the basic 4K transfer test, but came back strong in the 4K QD32 test. The drive fared much better in the 512K and sequential transfer tests, however, and was tightly grouped with the other OCZ drives and the Samsung 840 EVO.
 

Transparent
AS-SSD Compression Test

Next up we ran the Compression Benchmark built-into AS SSD, an SSD specific benchmark being developed by Alex Intelligent Software. This test is interesting because it uses a mix of compressible and incompressible data and outputs both Read and Write throughput of the drive. We only graphed a small fraction of the data (1% compressible, 50% compressible, and 100% compressible), but the trend is representative of the benchmark’s complete results.

AS SSD Compression Benchmark
Bring Your Translator: http://bit.ly/aRx11n

As you can see, the SandForce-based AData XPG SX900's performance varies significantly (especially in the read test) depending on the compressibility of the data being transferred. None of the other drives are affected much at all, however, and offer consistent performance regardless of data compressibility.
 
Transparent
PCMark 7 Storage Benchmarks
We really like PCMark 7's Secondary Storage benchmark module for its pseudo real-world application measurement approach to testing. PCMark 7 offers a trace-based measurement of system response times under various scripted workloads of traditional client / desktop system operation. From simple application start-up performance, to data streaming from a drive in a game engine, and video editing with Windows Movie Maker, we feel more comfortable that these tests reasonably illustrate the performance profile of SSDs in an end-user / consumer PC usage model, more so than a purely synthetic transfer test.

Futuremark's PCMark 7 Secondary Storage
http://www.futuremark.com


Technically speaking, the new OCZ Vertex 460 trailed most of the drives we tested according to PCMark 7. Take note, however, that the deltas separating the drives here are all very small. There is only a 2.1% delta separating the highest and lowest performing drives, which is to say the real-world performance differences would be imperceptible to end users.
 
Transparent
Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The new OCZ Vertex 460’s performance doesn’t blow-away the competition in any one category, but the drive did offer consistently strong performance throughout our testing. Large sequential transfers and small file transfers at high queue depths were the Vertex 460’s strengths, though even in the tests where it trailed some competing drives, the deltas separating them were relatively small.


The OCZ Vertex 460

In its product brief, OCZ says the Vertex 460 is targeted at users who want the best bang for their buck and that the drive is “designed for value-minded users who want a performance SSD with no tricks up its sleeve.” After playing with the drive for a while, it seems that is exactly what OCZ is offering here. The Vertex 460 doesn’t offer any brand-new, whiz-bang features that clearly differentiate it from many other cutting-edge, consumer class solid state drives, but it is a solid offering that should serve users well at a competitive price point.

OCZ is pricing the new Vertex 460 drives at $99 for the 120GB model, $189 for the 240GB model we tested here, and $359 for the 480GB model. Those prices are somewhat higher than the street prices for many competing drives, but once availability ramps up, we expect the Vertex 460’s price to be right in-line with the competition. That said, now that the Toshiba acquisition is final, who knows what OCZ will be able to pull off down the road. We suspect OCZ is going to have much better access to Toshiba’s NAND engineers and a strong chip supply, which could result in more finely tuned firmwares.  OCZ’s probably going to get some sweet deals on NAND pricing too, which should shake out to consumers. Time will tell.

 

  • Good Performance
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Bundled Acronis Cloning Software
  • 7mm Z-Height 
  • Didn't Lead The Pack In Any Particular Category



Content Property of HotHardware.com