About a month ago we brought you an early preview of the OCZ Vertex 2 Pro SSD. This high-speed product was to be part of a new range of drives based on controllers from the start-up SandForce. As we recently learned, due to the high cost of its SF-1500 controller, OCZ has decided to scrap the Vertex 2 Pro entirely and instead shift focus to the originally announced Vertex 2 and Vertex 2 EX.
The first is the mainstream product that uses the SandForce SF-1200 controller with MLC flash, while the Vertex 2 EX is aimed at enterprise customers and includes the SF-1500 controller with SLC flash – expect prices are just terrifying for this controller.
OCZ was hoping that SandForce would cut prices on its chips before the launch of Vertex 2 Pro, to strike a middle ground for businesses and enthusiasts, combining a business controller with MLC memory. Obviously, this never happened, and that's where the Vertex LE comes in that we're reviewing today.
Originally, it was said that OCZ used an early batch of SF-1500 controllers that they received at a discount rate from SandForce. Now they claim that the Vertex LE SSDs carry a hybrid model that is neither a 1200 nor a 1500 Description: It is not an SF-1500 as it does not have the additional SMART data, the additional ECC or any of the The company's SF-1500 features. In other words, it has the functionality of the 1200 but the performance of the 1500, which is why we can expect it to perform similarly to the Vertex 2 Pro. It is also possible that you have simply disabled these functions in the firmware, but you do not want to tell you anything about it.
Regardless of these details, this limited edition Vertex is sold in limited quantities, more precisely in 5,000 units. OCZ charges $ 399 for the 100GB model and $ 799 for the 200GB model. This is only slightly more than the current Vertex drives, which indeed sounds very good given the expected increase in performance.
The problem with SandForce-based drives right now is that their reliability is largely unproven, while the original Indilinx Barefoot Vertex is now a proven product that consumers can buy with a lot of confidence.
Nevertheless, OCZ is ready to support its customers with a 3-year guarantee to protect against failures. They reportedly put some drives aside to replace defective products. If your Vertex LE drive fails in a year or two, it will be replaced with a product of equal or superior performance, according to OCZ. Chances are it won't be difficult to do in a few years' time, but the idea of losing data due to failure seems to be a bigger problem than getting a replacement drive.
Due to the limited units available, OCZ expects these drives to sell out quickly. As of this writing, there doesn't seem to be a problem getting either model, although retailers seem to be selling both units for quite a premium, $ 430 for the 100GB drive and a staggering $ 900 for the 200GB -Part.