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OCZ Vertex 2 Review


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#1 Brian

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 07:09 AM

SandForce rocked the SSD world with the debut of their SF-1200 processor a few months ago. While the Intel X25-M SSD held its own for a long time against the SSDs from most mainstream competitors, SandForce-enabled drives were able to catch up overnight. In this review we take a look at the 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 powered by the SandForce SF-1200 controller.

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#2 Spod

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 07:27 AM

First, some pedantry - there's no apostrophe in Phillips when referring to the screws.

Any reason a top down shot was omitted from the photos? It's easy enough to find one on Google, but it seemed strange to omit a clear view of the top sticker.

Anyway, I think it's great that SR has had a chance to review OCZ's flagship drive. Did they send you the drive as a review sample, or did you have to source it independently?

Fair point from OCZ about the firmware not matching the other SF1200 drives tested - at least they've made new firmware available, fixing a real issue, notably before anyone else. Not all SSD manufacturers are as responsive with firmware updates. I'd rather have a stable drive than a fast but flaky one! Though if the other drives didn't suffer from the same problem, even with their existing firmware, then that's a bona fide difference between OCZ's drive and the others.
It seems odd how the power numbers are so different, especially for read. Is that down to the firmware, or was it like that before the firmware update? Or did you have to upgrade before you got to the power tests?

Curious how the OCZ shines in the synthetic benchmarks, but struggles (compared to other Sandforce based drives) in real world tests. Still, it's a very good, very fast drive, and I wouldn't turn my nose up at one if it turned out a tiny bit cheaper than the SF1200 competition.
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#3 Brian

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 08:04 AM

First, some pedantry - there's no apostrophe in Phillips when referring to the screws.


Yikes, got it.

Any reason a top down shot was omitted from the photos? It's easy enough to find one on Google, but it seemed strange to omit a clear view of the top sticker.


No, just didn't do it this time, we can add one in pretty easily.

Anyway, I think it's great that SR has had a chance to review OCZ's flagship drive. Did they send you the drive as a review sample, or did you have to source it independently?


They sent it, but indicated it would be the last, so I'm not sure exactly what our plan will be going forward.

Fair point from OCZ about the firmware not matching the other SF1200 drives tested - at least they've made new firmware available, fixing a real issue, notably before anyone else. Not all SSD manufacturers are as responsive with firmware updates. I'd rather have a stable drive than a fast but flaky one! Though if the other drives didn't suffer from the same problem, even with their existing firmware, then that's a bona fide difference between OCZ's drive and the others.


I don't think it's a fair point - their drive wasn't working properly with the default firmware, the other SF-1200 drives worked fine. Evidently, we were the first ones to report the issue and they fixed the firmware as a result. We can't be expected to maintain firmware parity in reviews of similar drives.

It seems odd how the power numbers are so different, especially for read. Is that down to the firmware, or was it like that before the firmware update? Or did you have to upgrade before you got to the power tests?


We didn't get to the power stats done with the initial firmware. We could go back and reflash it and re-run them if OCZ gave us the 1.0 firmware.

Curious how the OCZ shines in the synthetic benchmarks, but struggles (compared to other Sandforce based drives) in real world tests. Still, it's a very good, very fast drive, and I wouldn't turn my nose up at one if it turned out a tiny bit cheaper than the SF1200 competition.


I agree - there's nothing "wrong" with the drive and if it were priced better than comparable models, I'd have no issue with buying it.

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#4 TSullivan

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:55 PM

Fair point from OCZ about the firmware not matching the other SF1200 drives tested - at least they've made new firmware available, fixing a real issue, notably before anyone else. Not all SSD manufacturers are as responsive with firmware updates. I'd rather have a stable drive than a fast but flaky one! Though if the other drives didn't suffer from the same problem, even with their existing firmware, then that's a bona fide difference between OCZ's drive and the others.
It seems odd how the power numbers are so different, especially for read. Is that down to the firmware, or was it like that before the firmware update? Or did you have to upgrade before you got to the power tests?


The firmware issue came into play whenever the drive was tested using IOMeter. Run the test, about 10-15 seconds in the drive would drop out of existence and vanish from the system. Had to power cycle it to get it working again. The traces though worked fine on the initial firmware and the V2 actually topped the charts on 1.00. In the HTPC test the first run had speed in the 248MB/s range and after 1.10 it dropped to 235MB/s.

I think its a bit unfair to call out the Corsair and OWC SSD as possibly being outdated or unstable on their 1.00 firmware. Neither threw any glitches whatsoever during our entire testing regime. For all we know the firmware revisions don't line up between manufacturers and the code itself could be drastically different.

Our power tests rely on IOMeter, so we didn't even have a chance to check power besides idle before the firmware flash. For each of the power tests we run a single thread in IOMeter for 2MB read, 2MB write, 4k random read, for a minute to average out the volts and amps of the SATA power line.

#5 Brian

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:58 PM

Hah, I told you I'd add a sticker shot, but it's the first one in the review :)
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