Toshiba OCZ VX500 SATA SSD Review: Fast, Affordable Storage

Introducing The Toshiba OCZ VX500

Although NVMe PCI Express solid state drives are all the rage as of late, due to their relatively strong performance and inherent feature benefits, manufacturers continue to tune and refine their SATA based offerings as well. Case in point: the brand new OCZ VX500 series solid state drives we’ll be showing you here today. The OCZ VX500 series targets the mainstream computing segment and initially consists of a quartet of 2.5mm SATA SSDs, packing all, in-house, Toshiba made technology. The hook is, even though these new drives are priced aggressively, they eschew less expensive TLC NAND in favor of more durable MLC, and performance is relatively strong too.

We’ve got the full list of features and specifications for the new OCZ VX500 series posted below. Give that a gander to get a feeling for where these drives fit in the market, and then we’ll tear one open, take a tour, and finally burn through a bunch of benchmarks...
ocz vx500 angle
OCZ VX500 Series Solid State Drives
Specifications & Features
Performance 128GB 256GB 512GB 1024GB
Sequential Read Speed Up To 550MB/s Up To 550MB/s Up To 550MB/s Up To 550MB/s
Sequential Write Speed Up To 485MB/s Up To 510MB/s Up To 515MB/s Up To 515MB/s
Random Read (4KiB, QD32) Up To 62K IOPS Up To 90K IOPS Up To 92K IOPS Up To 92 IOPS
Random Write (4KiB, QD32) Up To 49K IOPS Up To 58K IOPS Up To 64K IOPS Up To 65K IOPS
TBW (Total Bytes Written) 74TB 148TB 296TB 592TB
Daily Usage Guidelines 40GB/day 81GB/day 162GB/day 324GB/day
Usable Capacities 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1024GB
Interface Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/s
Form Factor 2.5", 7mm height
Dimensions 100 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.00 mm 
Drive Weight 128 GB, 256 GB: 49 g (typ.) 512 GB: 52 g (typ.), 1024 GB: 54 g (typ.)
Operating Temperature 0 °C to 70 °C
Storage Temperature -40 °C to 85 °C
Shock Resistance 1500G/0.5ms
Vibration 20G (10-2000Hz)
Certifications CE, BSMI, RCM, KCM, UL, WEEE
Power Requirements
Supply Voltage 5.0V
Power Consumption Active: Up to 3.4W, Idle: 125mW (128GB-512GB), 260mW (1T), DEVSLP 5mW max
Reliability / Security
MTTF 1.5M Hours
Health Monitoring Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART)
Serial ATA ATA/ATAPI Command Set-2 (ACS-2) and Serial ATA revision 3.1 interface spec
Operating System Windows, Linux, MacOS X
Connector Type Standard SATA Power Connector
Performance Optimization TRIM, Idle Time Garbage Collection
Service & Support 5-Year Advanced Warranty Program, Toll-free and online Tech Support
Software SSD Utility, Command Line Online Update Tool (CLOUT), Acronis True Image 2016

The new OCZ VX 500 series drives feature textured aluminum housings, similar to previous-gen mainstream offerings, though they're not quite as rigid or heavy as some of OCZ's older drives. The enclosures are held together with screws, however, and the PCBs inside are securely mounted with screws as well, so the VX500s should be somewhat more durable than drives that simply snap together. There are also thermal pads on every chip inside the drives, which aid in dispersing heat and ad a bit of cushion as well.
ocz vx500 angle2

All of the drives in VX500 series conform to the standard 2.5” form factor common to today’s SATA-based SSDs, and they all have slim 7mm Z-heights. The enclosures used on the drives are all metal (top and bottom) and there are no stand-out external features to speak off, other than a dimpled texture pattern, their decals / branding,  and the SATA power and data connectors at one end. Those are par for the course with a drive of this type, though.

ocz vx500 pcbocz vx500 pcb2

Open up an OCZ VX500 and you'll find Toshiba MLC NAND flash memory and a Toshiba controller (these shots are of a 512GB drive). Inside the 1TB drive, there is also a bit of DRAM cache soldered to the pad adjacent to the controller. Unlike many other affordably-priced solid state drives that use TLC NAND Flash memory, the VX500 uses MLC NAND, which improves endurance. Details are scarce on the Toshiba controller and actual NAND used though, so we don’t have much to share in that regard, but it is not the same TC58 found on the Trion series. The VX500 series does support DEVSLP to save power when idle, but it lacks support for hardware encryption at this time.

ocz vx500 chips

The VX500 series drives are all rated for max read speeds of 550MB/s, but write performance varies between the models. The 128GB drive’s write performance peaks at 485MB/s, while the 256GB drive top out at 510MB/s. The higher capacities peak at 515MB/s. All of the drives support TRIM and idle garbage collection, as you would expect, but endurance ratings differ based on capacity, ranging from 74TBW and 40GB/day on the 128GB drive on up to 592TBW and 324GB/day on the 1TB drive. Idle power is listed at 125mW, DEVSLP mode at 5mW, and active power at 3.4W, which is somewhat lower than many of OCZ’s recently released drives.

ocz vx500 bundle

We should also mention that OCZ offers a 5 year warranty on these SSDs. And that warranty is part of the OCZ Advanced Warranty Program, which the company describes as, “…a new approach to service that mitigates the hassle surrounding support and warranty claims that consumers often have to deal with”. Provide OCZ Support with the drive’s serial number (no original purchase receipt is required), and in the event the drive is determined to be defective, it will be replaced with a brand new SSD. Advanced product replacement and a paid return shipping label are also provided to minimize downtime, should users need to take advantage of the warranty coverage.

ssd utility

Bundled with the VX500 series is a serial number for a copy of Acronis True Image 2016 (which supports Windows 10) and the drives are supported by OCZ's excellent SSD Utility as well. It's becoming more and more rare for companies to provide any cloning software with their drives, so we have to give kudos to OCZ for coming through with a copy of Acronis here, which is widely regarded as one of the better utilities in its class.

Related content