Since we have never seen what components are being used inside the
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD series we opened up our 100GB Vertex 2 drive to see what the
internals look like. Breaking the warranty sticker and opening up the drive will VOID your warranty, so don’t do this unless you don’t mind losing the warranty on an expensive SSD.
After removing the four small Philips head screws that hold down the
Vertex 2 Series cover we were able to lift off the cover and
see what makes this little SSD tick.
Here is a closer look at the main component side of the PCB where you
can make out eight Intel 34nm MLC NAND Flash memory chips and the highly
anticipated SandForce SF-1200 series controller that is being used on this Solid-State Drive.
Flipping the PCB over we can take a look at the other side, which is
bare and has just eight more Intel MLC NAND memory chips on it. The
location of the large ‘super capacitor’ is present, but you will notice
that the Cap-XX is missing in action. We asked OCZ what happened to it
and were told the following:
will NOT be present on the consumer class devices Vertex LE, and Vertex 2. This will only be on our enterprise class Deneva product line.
Basically what it’s for is in event of a sudden power loss the drive
will go into a mode where it will focus on completing write commands
using the power in the super cap. Its only enough for a short burst, but
it’s enough to get the job done. This is important on SSDs more so than
HDDs in enterprise. On an HDD when write caching is turned off, the
last write command is lost, but the rest of your data is secure. On
standard SSDs because of the nature of Flash and Flash management it is
not typically possible to guarantee data integrity on sudden power loss.
The enterprise class Deneva Series will be the first high performance
readily available SSD that guarantees data integrity on sudden power
loss. As a bonus effect the last write does in fact complete so no data
is lost...” OCZ PR
The heart and soul the Vertex 2 is the SF-1200 series controller seen
above. Some companies have started to market their drives as having a SF-1222 controller as it sounds newer. The OCZ Vertex 2 has the SF-1222 as that is the specific name for this controller and it is part of the SF-1200 series of controllers. As we noted, the Vertex 2 doesn’t have any cache chips on it
as that is because the SandForce controller itself is said to carry a
small cache inside that is a number of megabytes in size. Inside the
controller there’s also the Tensilica DC_570T CPU core; this is used in
both the SF-1200 and SF-1500 models. This controller includes support
for all the latest features like native TRIM support. OCZ claims maximum
read/write performance of 285/275 MB/s with their revision 1.0 firmware. The interesting thing about SSDs with the SandForce controller is that performance doesn’t vary with capacity size. A 50GB, 100GB and 200GB OCZ Vertex 2 have the same speed ratings.
The OCZ Vertex 2 features Intel 29F64G08CAMDB MLC flash memory.
In total there are 16 chips and each IC is 8GB in density. That adds up to 128GB of storage space, but only 93.1GB of it will be usable space! The ‘hidden’ capacity is used for wear leveling, which is crucial to keeping SSDs running as long as possible.