Customer Review

162 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good job OCZ, April 16, 2012
This review is from: OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) With Industry's Highest 120K IOPS And 5-Year Warranty - VTX4-25SAT3-128G (Personal Computers)
OCZ's new Vertex 4 drive is probably the fastest current SSD under most common consumer usage purposes. It is blazing fast and has none of the blue screen of death (BSOD) issues of previous drives using Sandforce controllers. OCZ is now using a new Marvel/Indilinx controller with 25nm MLC NAND flash memory. Therefore, OCZ is confident enough to give this drive a 5 year warranty. This is my second SSD and it blows the previous one out of the water. Be aware that almost all of the negative reviews on this drive are from before the 1.5 firmware update (which is now preinstalled).

Right now, the top three SSDs (best selling and best reviews) on Amazon are the OCZ Vertex 4, Samsung 830, and the Crucial M4. The Passmark benchmark scores are as follows: 3589 for the Vertex 4, 3230 for the Samsung 830, and 2409 for the best Crucial M4. Passmark averages all submitted test samples so it is not very sensitive to outliers.

The Vertex 4 has an amazing 120k input/output operations per second which is 30-40% higher than almost all other drives and it has great access times. The sequential write which was a weakness is no longer so due to the firmware updates (it is actually now a strength). But keep in mind that 95+% (perhaps 99+%) of the time you will be reading from the drive and the read speed, in particular random read, is where you'll see almost all of the speedup. Even if you write on the drive often, there are almost no sources you can draw from that will use up all of the write speed of any newer generation drive. If you are downloading from the internet (even if you are on a 100Mpbs T3 line) you won't come close to the write speed of a standard hard drive. Alternatively, if you are writing to the SSD from a big data hard drive, the SSD write speed will definitely not be the bottleneck. The only time you will see speedups is with SSD to SSD writes (but how often do you do that?) or more specialized operations such as data generation.

The thing that the OCZ Vertex 4 excels at above and beyond all other drives is its performance on incompressible data (think videos and pictures). Sandforce based drives attain most of their speed with clever compression algorithms but tend to do poorly on incompressible data.

OCZ always had the lowest prices and fastest drives before but reliability was a significant issue. I'm glad they finally figured it out. You can now buy one of the cheapest drives out there (prices are comparable to Vertex 3) with speed and reliability. SSD's sure have come a long way.

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Update 5/7/12

My drive still works perfectly and I just installed the new firmware so that the write speed more than doubled! The read speed also received a significant boost. This is the first time that I have become even happier with a purchase a few weeks in.

The new specs are:

550 MB/s read, 420 MB/s write for the 128 GB model
550 MB/s read, 465 MB/s write for the 256 GB model
550 MB/s read, 475 MB/s write for the 512 GB model

It seems like the SATA 3 interface is the limiting factor on the read speeds now. Because the firmware is so aggressive, it is destructive so that you must install it before you install your operating system or install it when the SSD is the slave drive.

The drive still blows away the competition on the IOPS and the random reads and writes on incompressible data which is almost an order of magnitude faster.

-----------------------------------

Update 9/8/12

My drive still works perfectly and the new firmware increased the speed even a bit more (see product info). With the myriad models of the newest generation of drives, it is hard for the average consumer to choose. All the drives now have outstanding read and write speeds (in excess of 400 MB/s) so the real world speed differences come from access time and IOPS (both of which the Vertex 4 excels at). It scores over 50% higher than the Crucial M4 on the PassMark hard drive benchmark.
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Comments

Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 16, 2012 9:16:44 PM PDT
B. Vandersys says:
Good to know. Any idea if this is on par with the Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD?
I am considering this one and the GT.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 1:22:56 AM PDT
Technologist says:
The Vertex 4 has 120k IOPS while the Corsair Force GT has 85k IOPS. However, the sequential writes will probably be faster with the Corsair Force GT. The sequential write is the one weakness of the Vertex 4. You can check out some of the review sites to see their comparisons.

However, keep in mind that 95+% (perhaps 99+%) you will be reading from the drive and this is where you'll see most of the speedup. Even when you write on the drive often, there are almost no sources you can draw from that will use up all of the write speed of any newer generation drive. If you are downloading from the internet, even if you are on a T3 line, you won't use up the write speed of a standard hard drive. Again, if you are writing to the SSD from a your big standard hard drive the SSD write speed will definitely not be the bottleneck. The only time you will see speedups is with SSD to SSD writes.

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 3:14:56 PM PDT
D. Snow says:
Rakion says:

"reliability was a significant issue. I'm glad they finally figured it out"

Who says they figured it out? This new Vertex 4 series was just released 2 weeks ago (April 4, 2012). It's too soon
to declare this drive reliable. Based on the many many problems people experienced with earlier OCZ drives, it
might be prudent to wait and see how the Vertex 4 behaves over time.

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 4:19:49 PM PDT
Technologist says:
It is a fair point but I've had this drive for over a week as well as many others. It isn't to say that there won't be future problems, but the BSOD issues came up almost instantly for previous generation drives. The NAND flash itself is unlikely to have significant problems. The controller is almost always the culprit and the Marvel controller has been used in other drives released serveral months ago without problems - OCZ created custom firmware to boost performance. In any case, the 5 year warranty should demonstrate at least bit of confidence in their product.

There are many places where you can get this drive for prices close to Vertex 3 prices. I personally can't justify spending 50% more on Sandforce based drives by Patriot and Crucial that seem to be having more problems. I do know that some people have sworn off ever buying OCZ again but that isn't the type of person I am. Even manufacturers like Sony have messed up from time to time. I base my purchase decisions on the product itself.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 7:13:17 PM PDT
D. Snow says:
It is NOT true that BSOD errors came up almost instantly! The Crucial M4 SSD drives have errors that did not show themselves
until the drive was running for about 5000 hours. Crucial has since released new firmware that fixes the problem.

And the Vertex 4 does not use a Marvell controller. It uses the Everest 2 controller that was developed by Indilinx, a company
owned by OCZ. And the Vertex 4 drive is the first product using the Everest 2 chip. Again, it's way to early to judge reliability.

A 5-year warranty looks good on paper, but previous OCZ drives had a 3-year warranty, yet many many people
had problems with OCZ SSD drives within the warranty period. Just read the reviews here on Amazon, New-Egg,
Anandtech, etc.

I have several OCZ SSD drives that were priced right and have performed fine, but other people were not so lucky.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 20, 2012 10:01:27 AM PDT
Lutwidge says:
Actually the Everest 2 Controller is a tweaked Marvell controller, you can google that ... It is a special version for OCZ but still a Marvell controller ... OCZ/Indilinx then wrote a special firmware for it ...

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 12:32:32 PM PDT
Technologist says:
Yes, as Ludwidge corroborates, the controller is made by Marvel while the firmware is made my Indilinx. And some people were disappointed that OCZ/Indilinx didn't make their own complete controller yet but maybe we'll see it in future generation drives.

In any case, I'll update if there are any issues with the drive.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 20, 2012 2:37:25 PM PDT
D. Snow says:
It looks like you are right about OCZ/Marvell.

OCZ buys Indilinx for millions of $$, then uses a Marvell controller with some custom firmware, and then
calls it Indilinx Everest 2? OCZ is too much about marketing and smoke and mirrors.

Now that Intel is releasing the new low-cost 330 series of SSD drives with SandForce controllers and Intel's
typically excellent and reliable firmware, OCZ is going to have to step up their game.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2012 10:15:50 PM PDT
The controller is unique to OCZ and was designed in collaboration with Marvell. OCZ and Marvell have been working together for quite a while now. They are even working on a native PCIe controller too (Kilimanjaro). All you need to know about Everest 2 is that it runs at a different clock speed (it's designed that way) and is a chip that's only being sold by OCZ. Why should it matter if this is an all-Indilinx solution? The FW is the most important part and that's all Indilinx anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2012 10:20:07 PM PDT
So Intel is using the same controller OCZ has been using for the past year and they're charging more for it. It's older brother, the 520 is already "BSOD"ing just like other SF-based drives. So much for Intel reliability. http://communities.intel.com/thread/27680

There's no reason to not buy OCZ. Everyone else is selling the same stuff now (insert SF controller here) and OCZ's products still out perform and cost less.
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