One thing that hasn’t changed is that the drive is held together with four screws that join the rear plate to the front and four more screws holding the PCB in place.
A thermal pad covers the controller to mitigate physical shock, heat, and our attempts at product photography. This was present in the Vector drive as well.
Taking a look at one side of the PCB for the Vertex 450 256GB drive, we find a mix of components. Both NAND flash and a single cache chip cluster the board.
The flash modules are Micron branded IMFT 20nm MLC which is a change from the 25nm lithography NAND we saw on the last iteration of the Vertex 4 drives and the Vector drive. There are sixteen total on board with a density of 16GB to round out to 256GB.
Flipping the board over, we see much of the same save for the addition of the controller which is masked above by the aforementioned thermal pad.
There are 2 cache chips, one on each side at 256MB each. Both are also Micron in manufacture and exactly the same as found on the Vector drive. These DDR3 cache chips help buffer data when needed and can be spotted nearly all drives save for those with SandForce controllers.
Unveiled is the Barefoot 3 M10 Indilinx controller with part number IDX500M10-BC. The controller in the Vector carries part number IDX500M00-BC so they aren’t identical although outside of a slightly lower clock speed, exactly how they differ has not been made known to us. Obviously, the firmware has been altered to support the new 20nm NAND. As we covered in the Vector launch, this is a 100% OCZ designed controller that we’ve seen put up some amazing performance. Unlike SandForce controllers which utilize compression to boost performance, the Indilinx controller offers greater consistency of performance when presented with variable data types. As usual, the controller does all the heavy lifting on wear-leveling and error correction activities. So far, we’ve not heard any complaints or issues arising from the controller in the Vector series which bodes well for reliability.