OCZ Vector 150 SSD Overview

The Vector 150 is an evolutionary advancement for the OCZ enthusiast series. It improves the endurance and security of the original Vector by allegedly withstanding 150% more writes while offering AES-256 encryption. By focusing on these features, OCZ has created the impression that speed is not a priority, but that hasn't stopped the company from boasting of breaking performance barriers.

According to OCZ, the Vector 150 series offers better results for sustained and mixed workloads than the first Vector series. While we'll test these claims shortly, it should be noted that the company's pricing is certainly reflecting a speed boost of no less than $ 1.00 per gigabyte. The 120 GB model is $ 130 ($ 1.08 / GB), the 240 GB version is $ 240 ($ 1.00 / GB), and the 480 GB Vector 150 $ 500 ($ 1.04 / GB).

In comparison, the OCZ performance series Vertex 450 costs $ 128 for a 120 GB drive ($ 1.06 / GB), $ 230 for 256 GB ($ 0.89 / GB), and $ 500 for 512GB ($ 0.97 / GB), while Samsung's 256GB SSD 840 Pro costs just $ 0.83. GB and a TLC equipped 840 Evo of the same size cost only $ 0.66 / GB. Finding a snappy yet affordable SSD is easy – even among OCZ's own offerings where the 256GB Vertex 450 is such good value.

We're skeptical that OCZ can justify the price of the Vector 150 at a dollar per gig or more, but the company has surprised us in the past with a knockout performance so it only seems fair to expect big things from the Vector 150 You can lift the bonnet of the newcomer against today's top SSDs and see what has changed from last year's Vector, which had a place on our enthusiast's PC until the arrival of the Samsung 840 Evo.

Vector 150 240 GB in detail

The Vector 150 is designed for the "enthusiast" market while the Vertex 450 series is recommended for "performance" users – both masses love hardware, but apparently "enthusiast" means "performance users with more disposable income".

The Vector 150 is equipped with the Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller, just like in the original Vector. The models offer capacities of 120 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB and have a slim 2.5-inch design with dimensions of 99.8 x 69.63 x 7 mm and a weight of up to 83 grams.

The Vector 150 consumes only 2.5 W when active and 0.55 W in standby mode, and uses much less power than conventional storage drives. The claimed idle performance is even lower than that of the original Vector, which is likely due to the memory used. We'll get to that in a minute, of course.

The 120GB model offers read and write speeds of 550MB / s and 450MB / s, which is slightly more than the Vector drive of the same capacity. The 240 GB and 480 GB models offer read and write throughputs of 550 MB / s and 530 MB / s, which are identical to the original Vector drives.

All Vector 150 models are equipped with synchronous 19 nm Toshiba MLC flash memory and replace the 25 nm-based Vector drives that have been in circulation for a year.

Our test device contains 16 16 GB NAND ICs called "Toshiba TH58TEG70DJBA4C", which corresponds to a total capacity of 256 GB. After formatting in Windows, the original 256 GB will be converted to 239 GB. However, Windows shows this as 239 GB, so it appears that 7% of the original capacity is lost.

The Barefoot 3 M00 has an ARM Cortex processor and is coupled with a 1 GB DRAM cache. OCZ used a pair of Micron DDR3-800 512MB chips, one on each side of the circuit board.

The Vector 150 is designed for a whopping 50 GB of writes per day, which is significantly more than the 20 GB of the original, and comes with a full five year warranty.

It's also worth noting that the drives also contain a 3.5-inch adapter kit for desktop PCs and Acronis clone software that supports Windows 8. In contrast to the original Vector series, today's version also contains AES-256 encryption for fast, secure deletion. The AES keys can be destroyed by firmware that would make data illegible. The encryption and decryption takes place in the hardware of the controller, so that there is no loss of performance.

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