OCZ Technology was kind enough to send us their latest high performance consumer grade solid state drive for review; the MLC based Vertex 2 100GB. The Vertex 2 series of drives have a 2.5 inch form factor, SATA2 connection and SATA power connector. The Vertex 2 series can be fitted to a laptop with SATA hard drive support, or as we have done for this review, the OCZ Vertex 2 series can also be fitted to a desktop PC which supports SATA hard disk drives.
It has been quite a while since I reviewed an SSD, almost 9 months to be exact. The time between reviews hasn’t been wasted however. During this time I have spent a lot of time researching SSDs in general, the technology itself, and also I have been doing a lot of research into what makes an SSD fast in the real world. I have also been able to do long term testing on three very popular SSD drives, the original OCZ Vertex 120GB, the Intel X25-M (G1) 80GB, and the original OCZ Agility 120GB. It has been an interesting experience using these drives and learning in detail where each of these drives shines, and where they are not so strong.
Since I started reviewing SSDs over 2 years ago, I have always believed that running synthetic benchmarks on SSDs is of very limited use, as they rarely show the real world performance of an SSD. Real world testing is not as simple as it sounds. Take the original OCZ Vertex and Intel X25-M for example, they are both quite different in how they perform, the Intel drive having strong 4K random write performance and very limited sequential writing performance, whereas the original OCZ Vertex had modest 4k write performance and strong sequential writing performance. Yet put these two drives side by side in the real world, with real users and applications, and it become almost impossible to tell these drives apart in terms of speed.
Back in early February of this year (2010) I started developing and testing a new suite of real world tests, now known as the “MyCE Reality Suite”, which uses real applications and data to run identical and automated tests on all the drives in this review. For more details on how the tests are run, and the tests themselves, see the MyCE Reality Suite page later in this article.
Right then, let’s get back to the OCZ Vertex 2. As most of you will already know, the original OCZ Vertex SSD used an Indilinx Barefoot SSD controller. For the OCZ Vertex 2, OCZ has switched SSD controllers by using a SandForce SSD controller, to be exact: the SandForce SF1200.
Let’s find out how this new SSD performs in our range of benchmarks and real world tests in this review.
OCZ Technology company information
I’m sure most MyCE members will be familiar with the OCZ Technology brand name. OCZ has been manufacturing high performance PC memory, SSDs, and other PC related hardware for many years.
If you would like to find out more about OCZ Technology, you can visit the OCZ Technology website.
What’s inside the box
Now it’s time to take a look at the drive itself and what the drive came shipped with.
The package contained the OCZ Vertex 2 drive itself, 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch drive converter for easy installation of the SSD in a desktop PC including the fixing screws, and instruction booklet.
Now let’s take a look at the drive itself.
On the bottom of the drive, we can see the model (OCZSSD2-2VTX100G) and serial number, the drive’s capacity and also that the drive was manufactured in Taiwan. We can also see the drive’s SATA power and data connectors.
The OCZ Vertex 2 is well constructed, in a strong aluminium housing.
Now let's head to the next page, where we look at the SandForce SF1200 SSD controller.