OCZ Vertex 450 SSD Evaluation

After OCZ acquired Indilinx in 2011, the company slowly moved towards a unique line of SSDs with their own controllers. At the end of last year, we tested OCZ Vector, the first drive entirely developed by OCZ based on the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller, and it certainly didn't disappoint.

Before the vector was released, OCZ relied on third-party controllers from SandForce, Marvell, and Indilinx. By carefully working on the firmware of the drives, they were still able to market their drives well against the competition, but ultimately had a certain disadvantage compared to the giants Intel and Samsung.

Nevertheless, the wait for the cooperation between OCZ and Indilinx was worth it as soon as the Vector arrived. Unlike almost all SSDs we've reviewed over the years, the Vector's performance has been consistently high. This got more impressive when you consider it goes against the Samsung SSD 840 Pro which is one of the fastest, if not the fastest SSD available to date.

The Vector was able to hold its own and although it did not beat the SSD 840 Pro in any of our copy tests, it was never far behind.

The battle between the Vector and the SSD 840 Pro has been fierce since then, although OCZ could end up in defeat if it matters. From today's perspective, the SSD 840 Pro series is a little cheaper and a little faster. So it makes sense that OCZ brings out a second SSD series based on a slightly modified version of the Barefoot 3 controller that is more cost-effective.

This new SSD, known as the Vector 450, uses the “Barefoot 3 M10” controller, which has a performance-optimized clock generator and runs at a slightly lower clock rate, which helps to improve yields and thus reduce costs. This modified controller also supports 20 nm lithography NANA and AES-256 encryption.

OCZ Vertex 450 SSD

The Vertex 450 is still aimed at performance improvers, while the Vector series is recommended for enthusiasts willing to part with extra cash for extra performance. Equipped with the Indilinx Barefoot 3, M10 controller models offer capacities of 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. The drives have a slim 2.5-inch design, are 99.8 x 69.63 x 7 mm in size and weigh up to 83 grams.

The power consumption is low compared to conventional hard drives, since the Vertex 450 only consumes 2.25 watts when active and 0.9 watts in standby mode. While this is less than OCZ's claimed performance for the Vertex 4, it is more than Samsung's for the latest SSD 840 Pro series.

The 128 GB model offers read and write speeds of 525 MB / s and 290 MB / s, which is considerably less than vector drives of the same capacity. The 256 GB and 512 GB models offer a read throughput of 540 MB / s, which is 10 MB / s less than the Vector. The 256 GB model offers a write speed of 525 MB / s and the 512 GB model is slightly faster at 530 MB / s.

All Vertex 450 models are equipped with 20 nm synchronous IMFT NAND flash memory and replace the 25 nm-based Vertex-4 drives that have been in circulation for a year.

Our test device contains 16 16 GB NAND ICs with the designation Micron 29F128G08CFABB, which corresponds to a total capacity of 256 GB. Of course, OCZ is not able to create its own NAND flash storage, but instead buys and packages the NAND flash wafers which allow them to pass the cost savings on to their customers. The NAND flash memory is believed to be manufactured by Micron.

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. With a suggested retail price of $ 270, the Vertex 450 256GB is priced at $ 1.05 per gigabyte – excellent value for a high-performance SSD.

The Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller 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 Vertex 450 SSD series delivers 20 GB of writes per day for 3 years, for a total of 21.9 TB of written data. OCZ also offers a 3 year warranty on all Vertex 450 drives so users can rest assured.

OCZ has set the MSRP for the 128GB model at $ 130 while the larger 256MB model will cost $ 235 and the 512GB model will cost $ 499. These price points mean about 8% discount compared to the current outgoing Vector models with the same capacities. It's also worth noting that the drives also include a 3.5-inch adapter kit for desktop PCs and cloning software from Acronis.

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