Last week we brought you a preview of the OCZ Vertex 3 Pro SSD whose target demographic is the enterprise sector. Today, we’re following that up with a preview of the Vertex 3 consumer version, although as you’ll see, performance is very much on par with the more expensive Pro model. Since the inception of the line, the Vertex name has been synonymous with performance and helped propel OCZ to a prominent position in the SSD market. Not resting on their laurels, OCZ has jumped out in front again to be the first to launch a line featuring the latest SandForce controllers paired with a SATA III 6Gbps interface and 25nm NAND, while others ostensibly seem a little more conservative in their speed to market.
The drive we received for testing is an
engineering sample in beta format, although we expect the hardware to
remain unchanged with a few minor tweaks to the firmware in the
production version. The unlabeled drive should look like the above image at ship time. The metaphorical engine this time around is the SandForce SF-2281 controller which is essentially the same controller as the SF-2582 found on the Vertex 3 Pro with a few less features around reliability that the average consumer won’t miss. Sequential read and write speeds are rated for 550MB/s and 525MB/s, respectively, which really only applies to the Sandy Bridge platform because, as we saw with the tests of the Vertex 3 Pro on the X58 boards, the architecture just can’t support the data throughputs these guys are cranking out.
The controller features the same DuraClass technology that made its predecessors so popular and SandForce has made a number of improvements in error correction, write amplification and power management, just to name a few. The biggest change impacting performance is the move to a SATA III 6Gbps interface which was necessary since the last generation of drives was maxing out the SATA II 3Gbps bandwidth allowance. OCZ expects the 240GB version to retail for $499.99 and the 120GB version to sell for $249.99, which is not much more than the Vertex 2 line so consumers should be pleased since peak performance is nearly doubled.
*Achieved on Intel Sandy Bridge platform which is recommended to utilize the drive’s full potential
While this is a beta version of the drive, we decided to go ahead and do our full suite of tests since it should be very close to what we’ll see when the production drives hit the shelves. With that, let’s have a closer look at the innards.