The Vertex 3.20 240GB drive yields 223GiB in Windows which is no different than the 34nm or 25nm Vertex 3 drives of the past as the architectural scale has no bearing on drive capacity.
So the big (or small, such as it is) change for the Vertex 3.20 is the transition to 20nm architecture NAND. This impacts performance a bit with slightly more modest performance specifications, increases the amount of error correction needed to be handled by the controller, and has overall less endurance. However, for OCZ this means lower manufacturing costs and to the consumer it means a more affordable drive.
With this in mind, having a look at OCZ’s product page I found an interesting illustration touting the benefits of a 20nm MLC drive versus a TLC drive as found on the relatively new Samsung 840 drive. A lot of attention was given to the Samsung drive due to the very favorable cost to capacity ratio. Obviously, OCZ is squaring off against Samsung here without specifically calling them out. As compared to TLC NAND, the drawbacks of moving to 20nm we’ve pointed out certainly seem less prominent and in reality they are merely footnotes as the performance and endurance decreases will be imperceptible to the vast majority of users.
Performance wasn’t at all surprising, we pretty much knew what to expect. Even with the 20nm flash on board we were able to exceed the 550MB/s reads and 520MB/s write specifications on the ATTO benchmark and the IOPS performance appeared to be very good as well. So while not the leader of the pack in OCZ’s shrinking drive lineup, it holds its own just fine. The 240GB drive retails for about $220 which comes out to a nearly even $1.00 per usable GB. This is very competitive pricing and there are few drives offering the same level of performance that can be found for less. The SSD trend is moving towards smaller architecture NAND so it won’t be long until the Vertex 3.20 has company on the shelves.
Legit Bottom Line: The latest Vertex release from OCZ, dubbed 3.20, isn’t a far departure from the original Vertex 3 with solid performance and a proven heritage.