OCZ Vertex 4 Solid State Drive Review
Know this: SSDs are the wave of the future. Their benefits far outweigh any type of hard disk drive that’s ever existed. Now that the price point has come down to a competitive level, it’s time to upgrade and make the most of your old laptop or desktop. OCZ, one of the biggest names in the SSD market, has recently released their Vertex 4, the truly affordable SSD that doesn’t skimp on performance and reliability.
It’s no joke that Solid State Drives (SSDs) are better than traditional spinning hard drives (HDDs) in virtually every way possible. They’re faster, as in surprisingly faster, quieter, as in completely silent, more durable, as shakes and bumps will not affect them, and they run cooler and on minimal power. SSDs can achieve all this because they have no moving parts, it’s essentially a large flash drive. An SSD is the single best upgrade you can offer your computer; the performance boost is outstanding. Currently, the only area SSDs have been slow to compete is price and maximum storage size.
OCZ Vertex 4 and Features:
This is the fourth generation of the Vertex SSD, OCZ’s high-end high-performance SSD model. It’s a 2.5 inch drive that supports the newer, and faster, SATA-3 interface. This is one of the first drives to incorporate an Indilinx controller since OCZ recently acquired them. It was built completely in-house, which is probably why OCZ is now offering a 5-year warranty. The previous generation Vertex, like many other SSDs, uses a SandForce controller, which is able to achieve incredible speeds by compressing the data before storing it. The Indilinx Everest 2 on this Vertex 4 is able to achieve equally incredible speeds without having to first compress the data. The Indilinx controller helps improve life-span, reliability, and real-world performance over other SSDs on the market.
The OCZ Vertex 4 has a lot to boast about, but to most of us they’re just numbers. We’ll keep it simple. It claims to have the industry’s highest input/output operations per second (IOPs) at 120,000; an average hard disk drive has around 100. It also claims sequential read speeds up to 550 MB/s, whereas your average HDD would be lucky to hit 100MB/s.
The Vertex 4 comes in capacities ranging from 64GB to 512GB. Other features include TRIM support, wear-leveling, background garbage collection, SMART support, upgradeable firmware, shock resistance up to 1500G, and a mean-time between failures (MTBF) of 2 million hours.
While the Vertex 4 won’t fit in an Ultrabook, it will fit in most any desktop and most laptops. It uses the newer SATA-3 interface, but is backward compatible with SATA-2 computers (chances are you have SATA-2). There’s an included adapter that converts it to a size that will fit in a 3.5inch (desktop-sized) slot. The Vertex 4 is OS agnostic, it will work with Mac, Windows, and Linux, it just needs to be formatted first. Remember to upgrade the firmware with OCZ Toolbox!
Like most consumers, we don’t yet own a SATA-3 computer. So unfortunately, we can’t yield the maximum capabilities of our 256GB OCZ Vertex 4, though it’s hard to imagine our real-world usage getting even faster! Speed tests won’t always give you an accurate depiction of how the drive will handle every-day usage. Our speed tests were still pretty amazing considering our handicapped machine. While other Vertex 4 reviews note sequential read and write speeds above 480MB/s, our SATA-2 desktop saw 271MB/s read and 224MB/s write speeds. This was substantially faster than our Macbook’s stock HDD’s 31MB/s and 30MB/s read/write. These speeds also happened to be decently faster than the OCZ Agility 2 (SATA-2) SSD that we reviewed a couple years ago.
It might be surprising how SSDs can even improve tasks like internet browsing; websites load faster. Personally, my favorite performance enhancement of the Vertex 4 is browsing my thousands of high resolution photos. I can smooth scroll through literally thousands of 10+ Megapixel photos without hiccup. I’ve been using the Vertex 4 to revive my Unibody Macbook from 5 years ago. It’s been running cooler, infinitely quieter, and faster than when I first purchased it. There’s no greater feeling then opening an application and having it almost instantaneously pop open.
If you’re in the market for a computer upgrade, it’s hard to not highly recommend the OCZ Vertex 4. Even if you have an old SATA-II computer like us, it still offers a gigantic improvement over any other drive we’ve used/tested. The real-life performance is out of control. It’s also comforting having a hard drive that won’t damage from drops and bumps. If you’re using a laptop, it’s noticeable how much quieter and cooler it will run. The OCZ Vertex 4 also has one of the best price points for SSDs. Considering it’s OCZ’s performance model of SSD, it’s very affordable at about $1 per gigabyte. The best value is the 256GB model on Amazon for $189.99, or the 128GB model on Amazon for $99.95. Also available is the 512GB model for $528 or 64GB model for $64.98. For more information see OCZ.com
The Good: Really Fast, Cool, Silent, Energy Efficient, Durable, Reliable, Affordable, 5-Year Warranty
The Bad: No Included Instructions for Beginners