4-Way SSD Round-Up Redux: OCZ, Corsair, PhotoFast
Introduction and the OCZ Vertex (Updated)
Solid State storage products continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Over the last year or so, solid state drives, or SSDs, specifically targeted at PC enthusiasts have transformed from buggy, underperforming products to the preferred, high-end storage solution for performance hungry enthusiasts and even more mission critical applications. Available capacities have increased, cost per gigabyte has decreased significantly, and a number of useful features have been introduced that enhance or otherwise optimize performance.
We have already covered a number of different solid state storage products here at HotHardware, including the popular models features in this 4-way round-up, the ultra high-end options in this SSD grudge match, and we have of course featured Intel's recently introduced X25-M Gen 2. In this article, we're again rounding-up a quartet of solid state drives, but one of the entrants is a product we've already featured in the past.
The first drive we're going to show you is the OCZ Vertex Series 120GB SSD. This drive was featured in our last round-up, but since then a beta firmware has become available that features a "garbage collection" algorithm designed to scour and purge the drive of orphan data, and thus enhancing the performance of a well used, or "dirty" drive. We'll also be featuring a Vertex Turbo Series drive, Corsair's P64, and a beast of an SSD from Photofast, the G-Monster V5.
OCZ's Vertex Series of SSDs use Samsung MLC NAND flash memory, coupled to 64MB of cache and an IndiLinx IDX110M00-LC controller that does away with the stuttering and performance issues that plagued early JMicron controllers. The drives feature the same 2.5" form factor as all of OCZ's previous SSD offerings and they are available in capacities ranging from 30GB to 250GB. The drive you see here is the 120GB model, but we should point out that its actually a 128GB drive--OCZ branded it as 120GB drive because that is its formatted capacity within an OS.
120GB Max Performance
According to OCZ, the Vertex Series drives have varying read / write speed ratings, depending on their capacity. The 120GB model featured here, is rated for read speeds up to 250 MB/s, with write speeds of up to 180MB/s and sustained writes of up to 100MB/s.
The third benchmark run was performed after letting the Vertex drive idle for about five minutes though, and as you can see performance has nearly been restored to like-new levels, save for a few MB/s drop in the middle transfer sizes. Finally, after letting the drive idle for about an hour, performance has been totally restored.
OCZ worked with Indilinx to develop the garbage collection scheme for the Vertex serie's drives, but we should point out they are not the only ones with this type of feature incorporated into their firmware. Intel has similar functionality in their X25-M SSDs, as do current generation drives based on Samsung's controller technology, like the Corsair P64 we'll show you a little later.