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OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD Review update

Posted 18 March 2009 20:33 CET by Wendy Robertson

  


Test machine


For this review we will be using a computer with the following configuration:

Hardware:

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 (Intel X48 chipset)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
  • RAM: 8 GB Crucial Balistix Tracer (red) dual channel kit DDR2 800
  • GFX: ATI HD 4870 (512 Megabytes GDDR5 HDCP compliant)
  • Sound: Onboard Realtek ALC889 HD audio controller
  • Hard disk OS: 2x OCZ Core series V2 60GB SSD on Adaptec hardware RAID 0
  • Hard disk storage: 2X 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (SATA 2) - 1x 1TB WD green.
  • Case: Antec 900
  • PSU: Enermax Liberty 620W
  • Display: Samsung Syncmaster 245B 24” widescreen LCD (HDCP compliant)
  • Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium (64 bit) with Service Pack 1

The OCZ Technology Vertex 120GB SSD was connected to an SATA 2 port (ICH9R) on the motherboard of our review PC and all tests on the drive were carried out with the drive connected to this connector.

Test applications

To test the performance of the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD, we will be using the following test applications in this review.

We should state that with the exception of the CrystalDiskMark test, all the tests carried out on the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD, were carried out on a fully functioning operating system and applications installed on the Vertex drive itself. So these tests are not best case scenarios on a blank drive. These results reflect the performance you can expect on a fully functioning Windows Vista installation when using an OCZ Technology Vertex series SSD.

Reading Benchmark


For these tests, we will use HD Tune Pro 3.50 and will conduct a reading benchmark. Since we are conducting a head to comparison of two different firmware versions on the same drive, we will not include any benchmarks from our other comparison drives.

OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD (shipping firmware)

OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD (firmware 1199)

 

We present the table below for comparison with other recently tested drives.

The average reading speed is up from 182.8 MB/s to 203.9 MB/s with firmware 1199.

We present one more reading test to benchmark sustained reading performance.

HDTach (long bench 32MB zones with the shipping firmware):

HDTach (long bench 32MB zones with firmware 1199):

The result is pretty much in line with our HD Tune benchmark, and once again, the test shows that reading speed has gone up with firmware 1199.

Writing and advanced benchmarks (single Vertex series SSD)
 


ATTO disk benchmark

ATTO has become a standard tool for measuring the data throughput of SSD drives. It measures the performance of reading and writing, using different file sizes and block sizes.

OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD with the shipping firmware.

OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD with firmware 1199.

It is quite easy to see that sequential writing speed has gone up quite significantly from the shipping firmware to firmware 1199. Reading speed is also up.

Summary:

Reading and writing speeds on the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD with firmware 1199 is extremely impressive and makes this drive with 1199 firmware, the fastest single drive we have ever tested here on CD Freaks.

Advanced performance tests


I/O Performance

There is little point of having an SSD drive that has blazing sustained reading and writing speeds, if the drive can't handle reading and writing of small random files. If you intend to use your new SSD drive to store and run your operating system, then the drive must be able to cope with the many small random files that Windows will write to the drive continually. So we feel it is very important to test how many of these random files that a drive can handle in one second. It is believed that anything over 200 I/O’s per second would be enough for most users, and should provide a smooth running system. But obviously, the more I/O's that a drive can handle, the faster the drive will feel and leave more headroom for those huge multitasking sessions that users sometimes engage in.

The things that we should look closely at, are the total I/O per second, average and max latency (response time in ms), and total MB/s.

Our first test involves creating continual 4KB files on the target drive with Iometer. We use a 4KB file size, as it is believed that Windows will create and modify many of this size of file constantly in the background during a typical Windows session.

We should also point out that two of the tests on these drives were conducted using a different PC and operating system, and this may account for at least a small margin of difference in performance, but we do not expect this to have a significant impact on the results.

We have simply added the scores from the new 1199 firmware to our graphs.

Iometer 4K RW test, total IOPS.

Iometer 4K RW test, MB/s.

Iometer 4K RW test, average response time

Iometer 4K RW test, Maximum response time

Summary

With the new 1199 firmware, 4K random writing performance is at least as good as it was with the shipping firmware, if anything, it is slightly better..

You can download a small video of the Iometer 4K RW test. The file is in AVI format and shows the 5 second sample screenshots taken during the test. Please note, the video is not in real time.

Download the video here (right click - Save target as), to download the file.


Our second test is once again with Iometer. This time we will run the "all in one test" test for 2 minutes, and once again we will be taking a sample every 5 seconds.

The All in one test writes and reads files of different sizes and measures the drive’s performance. It is an unknown factor on how many IOPS a drive requires to remain smooth and stable when running an operating system. All these drives were completely smooth and stable throughout our tests. Of course, the more IOPS a drive can deliver, the more headroom there is.

Let's look at the graphs below for more detail.

Iometer All in one test, total IOPS.

Iometer All in one test, MB/s.

Iometer All in one test, average response time

Iometer All in one test, maximum response time

Summary

In the all in one test, we can see that firmware 1199 has produced better performance than the original shipping firmware.

You can download a small video of the Iometer All in one test. The file is in AVI format and shows the 5 second sample screenshots taken during the test. Please note, the video is not in real time.

Download the video here (right click - Save target as), to download the file.


We add a further test with Iometer. This time we will run the "Workstation1" test for 2 minutes, and once again we will be taking a sample every 5 seconds. Please note: The OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD had already been flashed with the new 1199 firmware before I had access to this test, so the test does not include results from the original Vertex shipping firmware. We also ran the test on our comparison HDD so we had some data to compare.

Iometer Workstation1 test, total IOPS.

Iometer Workstation1 test, MB/s.

Iometer Workstation1, average response time

Iometer Workstation1 test, maximum response time

Summary

It is really no contest. In our Iometer Workstation test, the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD just leaves our traditional spinning HDD for dead.

You can download a small video of the Iometer Workstation1 test. The file is in AVI format and shows the 5 second sample screenshots taken during the test. Please note, the video is not in real time.

Download the video here (right click - Save target as), to download the file.


CrystalDiskMark 2.2

Crystal Disk Mark is quite a handy benchmarking application, as it focuses on the file sizes that can cause a problem on a system drive.

We ran the test three times to ensure we didn't notice any significant falloff in performance.

OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD with the shipping firmware.

Test run #1

Test run #2

Test run #3


OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD with firmware 1199.

Test run #1

Test run #2

Test run #3

Summary

It is quite clear to see that sequential reading and writing speed has significantly improved with the new 1199 firmware. In the 512K test, we can also notice that writing speed has significantly improved. For the 4K file size, performance is pretty much the same for both the shipping and the new 1199 firmware.

On the next page we will conduct real world tests on our Vertex series drive....


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