The OCZ Vertex Series of Solid-State Drives (SSDs) has been without a doubt one of the most successful SSDs released by any manufacturer. When we reviewed the original Vertex 120GB drive in April 2009 we found it to be an amazing SSD that was one of the first on the market that had the ability to do garbage collection and TRIM. It was truly a drive that was better than much of the competition and even today it is a solid performing drive thanks to the Indilinx Barefoot controller. OCZ has been busy working on their next generation SSD products, and rather than using last year’s Indilinx Barefoot controller they found a new controller series that they liked from an upcoming SSD controller company called SandForce. OCZ has been testing the SandForce SF-1200 and SF-1500 controllers for months internally and during CES they made the formal announcement that OCZ would be bringing out the Vertex 2 series of SSDs using these two new controllers. OCZ has since used the SF-1500 controller on the OCZ Vertex Limited Edition and the SD-1200 controller on the OCZ Vertex 2. The SandForce SF-1200 is said to have nearly the same performance level as the SF-1500 at a fraction of the cost thanks to improved firmware, so we can’t wait to benchmark the Vertex 2 SSD and see what it has!
The Vertex 2 will be available in 50GB (OCZSSD2-2VTX50G), 100GB (OCZSSD2-2VTX100G) and 200GB (OCZSSD2-2VTX200G) drive capacities with the 50GB model having a cost of $199.00, the 100GB at $409.99 and the 200GB model being sold for $749.99. Clearly, these are not inexpensive drives! They do happen to be price competitive with other SandForce SF-1200 series drives, though.
Inside the retail bundle we found that OCZ has included a 3.5″ desktop adapter bracket with the Vertex 2 SSD. This is a nice touch as most of the cases that have been sold in recent years were not designed to store 2.5″ SSDs, so you have to have a way to secure them. Notebook users will have no need for this, but it is nice that companies are including these adapters.
The drive that we are reviewing today is the OCZ Vertex 2 100GB model with part number OCZSSD2-2VTX100G. It features a matte black finish and a sticker that clearly shows what the drive is. You can’t really dress an SSD up to make it look better, but for most of us appearance doesn’t matter as it will be locked into a laptop or drive bay in your chassis and not be seen for years if all goes as planned.
|Model||Controller||NAND||Max Read||Max Write|
|OCZ Vertex 120GB||Indilinx Barefoot||MLC||250MB/s||180MB/s|
|OCZ Vertex 2 100GB||SandForce SF-1200||MLC||285MB/s||275MB/s|
The Vertex 2, with the latest revision of its firmware, has been rated with transfer rates at up to 285MB/s read and 275MB/s write with up to an impressive 50,000 IOPS. If you compare these speed ratings to the original Vertex 120GB drive you can see that the Vertex 2 has the slight edge on read speeds, but nearly a 100MB/s lead on write speeds. Many of the advancements in SSDs over the past year have been on write speeds and, of course, improved 4K file size performance.
Vertex 2 Maximum Performance
The OCZ Vertex 2 has native TRIM support and measures in at just 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm in size. For a drive that weighs in at 77g it is amazing to think that it has a shock tolerance of up to 1500G and only consumes 2W of power during operation and just 0.5W in standby mode. Flipping the OCZ Vertex 2 100GB SSD over gives you get a
better look at the back of the drive. Notice that it has threaded
mounting holes on both the bottom and sides to fit in various cases and
Here is a better look at the SATA II header and the SATA power connector on the Vertex 2. Notice that this drive doesn’t need a jumper for firmware flashing. The SATA 2 storage
interface is backwards-compatible with SATA 1. For maximum performance, OCZ recommends installing Vertex 2 series SSDs on a SATA 2 controller and
enabling ‘AHCI’ mode in the BIOS. This drive does not support SATA 6Gbps, which is a bit of a bummer, but the factory ratings are very impressive and this drive should scream in the benchmarks. The OCZ Vertex 2 features a 3-year warranty in case the drive should ever fail.
Let’s take a look the new controller and then we will crack open the drive to give you a look inside so you can see what makes it tick.