OCZ Vertex 2 Pro, Sandforce Powered SSD Preview

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Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The OCZ Vertex 2 Pro series SSD performed extremely well in our testing. Throughout the various benchmark runs, we saw maximum read speeds in excess of 225MB/s while maximum write speeds also reached 225+MB/s of throughput.  This SSD displayed a significantly more balanced performance profile that was largely unaffected by use over time, though we do have one caveat to report unfortunately.  At this point in time we feel the Vertex 2 Pro isn't quite yet ready for prime time, though of course OCZ isn't shipping them at retail yet.  In fact, we "bricked" a couple of these drives with the included "Toolbox" software that came with them and were unable to restore them to working condition. We've reached out to OCZ for follow-up on this and do feel confident they can work out these issues with Sandforce before they make the drives available on the market.  We're hopeful anyway, because other than the rather significant snag of these drives going south for some strange reason, the Vertex 2 Pro is quite literally the fastest SATA-based MLC SSD we've tested to date.  Update 1:31PM EST:  It turns out OCZ was able to restore the drives back to working order again, which is a good sign.

 

The underlying technologies that comprise the OCZ Vertex 2 Pro SSD are perhaps what's most interesting about the product.  In fact, we easily could see OCZ going full-bore with Sandforce NAND Flash controller technology across a number of product lines.  What's most impressive about the product is that the Sandforce 1500 seems to handily address some of the significant intrinsic performance limitations of NAND Flash-based SSD designs that are on the market today.  Its management of write amplification and data maintenance of the drive are unmatched in the industry thus far, at least versus the SSD products we've looked at to date, which are many and varied. 

There are a few variables that hold us back from passing on a final judgment of OCZ Vertex 2 Pro however, namely a more concrete MSRP for the product and its availability timeline, along with the final revision of its firmware and related Toolbox software, if in fact this will actually ship with the product to end customers.  We're hearing the 100GB version of the drives will drop in at around $450 - $500, which is a bit of a premium versus OCZ's previous generation Indilinx-based Vertex drives that retail for $399 or so for a 128GB variant. If you consider the performance upside and the long term maintenance of that performance by the Sandforce controller, a 20 - 25% price premium seems reasonable.  Regardless, we're more interested in seeing this product hit retail-ready status for OCZ.  The promise of performance it offers, at least tentatively we can say, looks to take on Intel's best SSD offering and beat it nicely in many real-world usage models.

  

  

  • Superb performance
  • Great sustained performance with maintenance algos
  • Claimed increased durability, reliability

 

  • Will likely be relatively pricey
  • Preliminary firmware and availability

 


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