PROS / The OCZ Vertex is exceptionally fast and consumes very little power.
CONS / This SSD is a bit bigger than most, and it could use a few more capacity options.
VERDICT / The OCZ Vertex is one of the best solid-state drive available, offering fast speeds and reliability for a good price.
Solid-state drives are becoming more affordable with each passing day. These drives have several significant advantages over traditional hard disk drives. They use less energy, are much less susceptible to mechanical failure, and blow away HDDs with their read and write speeds.
When it comes to solid-state drives, you won't find many better than the OCZ Vertex. This SSD features the latest technology available to the entry-level consumer, including the latest controller from Indilinx and MLC NAND flash component technology. Furthermore, this is one of the fastest solid-state drives on the market. The OCZ Vertex easily earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for solid-state drives.
The Indilinx Everest 2 controller is at the center of the OCZ Vertex. The Everest 2 is the latest controller tech from Indilinx, featuring support for all of the newest gear coming out of the SSD marketplace. This controller supports a wide range of NAND flash memory components and supports capacities between 64GB and 2TB.
This is a multi-level cell (MLC) drive, which means that multiple cells are responsible for storing and transferring information. In contrast, single-level cell (SLC) flash memory stores data in individual cells. SLC drives consume less power than MLCs and they feature higher cell endurance. However, single-layer cells cost much more to make than multi-level cells. Most SLC drives are too expensive for the general computer user. The 34nm MLC technology in the Vertex is more than enough for the processing speeds you will need.
The form factor of the Vertex SSD is 2.5 inches, so it will fit in most laptop computers without any issues. It also comes with a 3.5-inch mounting kit, so it can easily be installed in your desktop computer. In addition, since the Vertex has a SATA III interface, it is compatible with a large number of laptop and desktop computers, and is backwards compatible with SATA II interfaces. Most computers use a Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) to open communications between the hard drive and the rest of the computer. The connection on this SSD has a communication rate of 6GBps.
This SSD is a slim 99.8 millimeters long by 69.63 millimeters wide. It is 9.3 millimeters high and weighs 101 grams. Since there are no moving parts in this computer storage drive, it doesn't require a bulky design to accommodate larger capacities. In fact, no matter what amount of storage you choose, the size of the OCZ Vertex remains the same.
This drive uses less energy than an HDD, and it is compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. This means that this SSD is lead-free, cadmium-free and mercury-free. It also means that it meets the standards of RoHS and is environmentally friendly.
Even though there are no moving parts, even flash technology can have errors. Bad flash blocks can be formed that could create major issues with your SSD. The Vertex offers Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) support to warn you if there are any problems. S.M.A.R.T. support allows you to catch small problems before they turn into big ones.
One of the problems that solid-state computer storage has had in the past is the fact that the memory blocks couldn't be overwritten, and had to be erased before they could be written on again. This issue caused delays and stuttering in early SSDs, as they had to go through a deletion process before they could write any new files on used blocks. The Vertex helps alleviate this problem by featuring native TRIM support. The TRIM command allows the drive to wipe data blocks that are no longer in use. This clears the memory blocks ahead of time, so it won't slow down the process when you are trying to write data.
In an ideal setting, the OCZ Vertex features sequential read speeds of up to 560MB per second and writes up to 510MB per second, which are among the highest speeds that we've found. However, most likely you will not be doing sequential reads and sequential writes on your computer most of the time. Random write speeds are what you should look out for when assessing solid-state drives.
The Vertex boasts an outstanding speed of 120,000 Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS) while writing random 4KB blocks of memory. This far surpasses any other SSD that we reviewed. This speed of 120,000 IOPS was most likely achieved with a clean drive in ideal settings, but this still shows the potential power and speed of the OCZ Vertex.
This drive had a seek time of less than 0.1 milliseconds, which we found to be the standard among most solid-state storage devices. Here's a look at just how fast that is: A common desktop hard drive has an average seek time of nine milliseconds. Even the fastest spindle-spun hard drives only have an average seek time of two milliseconds, which is still 20 times slower than the Vertex.
SSDs also consume much less power than traditional hard disk drives. The Vertex uses 1.3 watts when idle and only 2.5 watts when active. This means that it won't draw as much power from your laptop battery and it will consume less power when plugged into the wall. In addition, these drives are tough. Maximum shock tolerance for HDDs is around 1,000 G. The Vertex has a shock resistance of 1,500 G. It also has a life expectancy of 2 million hours.
The OCZ Vertex has a solid selection of capacities. You can choose between the 64, 128, 256 and 512GB models. As mentioned previously, each model of this solid-state drive is the same size regardless of the capacity you choose. The range of capacities for the OCZ Vertex covers the needs of anyone from a basic user to those looking to store large amounts of data on a solid-state drive. However, the 512GB model may not meet your needs if you are looking to store several large HD video files, as it will fill up rather quickly.
Help & Support
A limited three-year warranty covers the Vertex. This warranty would be voided if you take your SSD apart, so we recommend checking out our screenshots if you want to see inside. On OCZ's website, you will also find email support, a FAQs page and a phone number if you need to contact customer service. In addition, there are firmware updates, an online manual for the Vertex and a community forum where you can get information. This kind of support is valuable if you're switching out your old HDDs for this new technology.
The Vertex is a drastic improvement over any HDD, and it is at the top of the class for available solid-state drives. It features a cutting-edge Indilinx Everest 2 controller, as well as native TRIM support. The Vertex is available in a wide range of capacities and offers read and write times that are superior to almost every other solid-state drive. In addition, the 3.5-inch adapter tray allows you to put this storage drive in your laptop or desktop. The OCZ Vertex represents the future of computer storage.