Similar to the Vector drive, the capacity of the OCZ Vertex 450 256GB drive yields 238GB as reported by Windows after formatting, unit conversion (GB to GiB) and overprovisioning are taken into account. As usual, the capacity stated in the drive description comes from the available 256,058,060,800 bytes which equates to 256GB (1GB byte = 1,000,000,000 bytes) but 238GiB (1Gib = 1,073,741,824 bytes).
Knowing that the Vertex 450 was going to be very similar to the Vector series drives, we already had an idea of what we would see on the test bench. We certainly weren’t disappointed with performance that lived up to the storied Vertex name. Specifically, we love seeing the consistent performance without the dips we’ve been so accustomed to seeing with the SandForce drives. The Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller is proving itself to be amongst the best available and frankly SandForce (LSI) needs to step their game soon if they wish to keep pace with what we are seeing from numerous other controllers. We saw reads and writes top out at 547MB/s and 524MB/s respectively at best and falling only about 10% on benchmarks where many other drives drop nearly in half. We weren’t given that much time with the drive as it arrived just a few days prior to the NDA being lifted so we didn’t get much chance to really spend some quality time with it but we don’t anticipate any hiccups in performance during prolonged daily usage. The move to the smaller architecture 20nm does decrease the overall drive endurance but it’s still rated to handle 20GB a day of host writes for three years. As such, OCZ does cover the drive with a three year warranty (the Vector has a five year) and they offer the use of their free drive toolbox for monitoring, firmware update, and secure erase purposes.
OCZ has been aggressive with the pricing. In fact, we received a late revision to the pricing where they reduced the MSRP from what we were originally given. This was probably to remain below the price points of the Vector drives which don’t carry all that much of a premium – especially at the 256GB capacity. As of now, we are looking at $129.99 for the 128GB (VTX450-25SAT3-128G) version, $234.99 for the 256GB (VTX450-25SAT3-256G) version and $499.99 for the 512GB (VTX450-25SAT3-512G) version. For the 256Gb drive we tested, this pricing comes out to just a hair over $1 per usable GB which is very competitive for a drive of this performance level, matching what we could find for the similarly sized Samsung 840 Pro and below what we could find for the aging Intel 520 series drive. Of course, these are MSRP’s and it’s tough to tell what they open at on the retail market. Odds are good they’ll be in high demand straight from the launch which may drive the price up.
Once again we have to commend OCZ for putting out a splendid drive and based on what we’ve seen from the Vector drive to date, it should have solid reliability to pair with its impressive performance. The Vector drive is certainly one of the best drives on the market and the Vertex 450 is not far off in terms of performance. That said, they certainly cannot afford sit back and make minor refinements going forward and hope to remain competitive with the likes of Samsung, Intel, Crucial/Micron and others of their ilk. They must continue to innovate and find ways to scare up supplies of NAND which they currently do not 100% manufacture – unlike those previously mentioned. As such, they rely on competitors for supply which surely hurts their margins, making it tough to dig out of the financial hole former CEO Ryan Peterson left them in. There have already been numerous speculations of their lack of solvency due to their continued Forms 10-Q filing delays with the SEC and the real possibility of being delisted by the NASDAQ for said tardy filings. Their share price has slipped over 50% in the last year though has recovered a bit as of late with the announcement of a business deal with NETGEAR. Honestly, we hate to even broach the subject and we’ve tiptoed around it to this point but at this time we feel it can’t be ignored and is relevant information to our readers. This is Legit Reviews after all, and we’re just as compelled to dish the dirt as we are the accolades. We certainly think OCZ is on the right track with their new products and revised business philosophy and sincerely hope they are able to get back solidly in the black soon. Competition breeds excellence and OCZ has proven to be a driving force in the SSD industry.
Legit Bottom Line: If the performance of the Vector series SSDs made you drool but a little out of your price range, OCZ may have just the thing for you with the Vertex 450 series that offer similar performance for less coin.