Well, here we are again with another iteration of the OCZ Vertex drive on our desktop. As we mused about in our Vertex 3.20 review, the Vertex series of drives have had quite a run after getting off to a superb start. Much as changed over the years with the Vertex line yet much also remains the same. It’s been through several variations in controller hardware with shrinking NAND architecture and this latest version features the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller that made its first appearance in the much lauded Vector drive as well as 20nm NAND. This new Vertex carries the naming suffix of 450 and while the Vector now wears the flagship badge that proudly worn by the Vertex series for many years, the 450 is still one heck of a drive as our tests will bear out on the following pages. It’s still king of the hill in their performance line of drives as OCZ now categorizes it. The Vector 150 SATA based drives belong in the enthusiast sector and the Vector PCIe series drives aptly fall into the workstation category. We received the mid-capacity 256GB version of the Vertex 450 for testing.
According to the press release OCZ provided, this drive is the first to be deployed with their own in-house ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) technology as they continue to move down the path towards a greater degree of self-sourcing of their programming, design and fabrication. This is a drum they’ll need to keep beating and then some if they wish to remain competitive and profitable in this market space. With specifications of 540MB/s max reads and 530MB/s max writes, it comes within 10MB/s on the reads side of things to matching what the Vector drive offers while doign just that on the writes. On the IOPS side, there’s a bit more disparity between the two although 85k/90k reads/writes are still impressive numbers.
|Sequential Reads (MB/s)||525||550||540||550||540||550|
|Sequential Writes (MB/s)||290||400||525||530||530||530|
|4KB Random Reads (IOPS)||75,000||90,000||85,000||100,000||85,000||100,000|
|4KB Random Writes (IOPS)||70,000||95,000||90,000||95,000||90,000||95,000|
This diagram should look somewhat familiar if you’ve read any literature on the Vector series drives. The Vertex 450 offers slightly lower clocked ARM Cortex processor paired with an OCZ Aragon co-processor that together, pump data through a SATA 6Gbps interface. They also power the 256-bit AES-compliant encryption, error correction and wear-leveling algorithm pieces. The DDR3 cache is accessed through the DRAM controller and communication with the NAND is performed across 8 parallel channels giving it breadth to hit those big numbers. All of this makes for very fast and consistent performance that competes with just about any SATA based drive on the market.
Following the trend in the industry due to smaller host devices, the 2.5″ form factor has been reduced to a 7mm z-height from 9.5mm found on the now end-of-line Vertex 4. Still present with the drive is a 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter plate adorned with the familiar OCZ logo as well as the jocular sticker professing love of OCZ SSDs. Lastly, they also include Acronis cloning software that’s Windows 8 compliant. Let’s have a peek inside.