With 128 GB (1,000,000,000 bytes per GB) physically on board and 8 GB set aside for drive maintenance and wear-leveling, when all is said and done the user is left with 111 GiB (1,073,741,824 bytes per GiB) as reported in Windows.
With some delay between the announcement of the drives and when they were actually available, appetites were whet for the next generation SandForce SATA 6Gbps goodness that brings the promise of speed and longevity.
Performance on the OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD was excellent and on the compressible data benchmarks, it exceeded the rated specifications of 550MB/s read and 500MB/s writes. Incompressible data slowed things down noticeably on the sequential writes and that is where the Vertex 3 120GB lost ground to the larger Vertex 3 240 GB drive as it has half the number of die channels. Still, the random performance was exemplary and that’s where Windows spends much of its time in terms of data access.
With prices from $299 to $509 and $1,799 for the 120 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB drives respectively, we are looking at nearly $2.70 per usable GB which is relatively steep given what we see for other similarly equipped drives. Granted, prices are always inflated when products first hit the market so some settling will occur. OCZ does have a very nice toolbox application to assist with firmware updates and secure erases. This is a handy thing to have and not found with any other manufacturer outside of Intel, so it factors into the value proposition. Their three year warranty is really the industry standard nowadays and the bundled adapter plate is pretty common as well and less valuable as we see more cases emerge supporting 2.5″ drives natively. OCZ is also competing with themselves a bit with their “Max IOPS” flavor of Vertex 3’s. When the dust settles, the 120 GB Vertex 3 turns out to be one of the best performing SATA 6Gbps drives available although that marketspace is getting more crowded each week.
Legit Bottom Line: As we saw with our sneak peek at the Vertex 3 drives, they put up some impressive numbers and live up to the heritage of the Vertex moniker. They also carry a commensurate price tag that is currently a little above its peers but expect prices to settle as supply catches demand.