Back in April 2012, I took a look at the OCZ Vertex 4 SSD, and was very impressed by its performance. The Vertex 4 is a well rounded SSD, with exceptional performance, and seven months on, has proved to be totally stable and reliable. The Vertex 4 uses Marvell silicon with Indilinx firmware, which has also proved to be a potent combination.
Today I’m taking a look at OCZ technologies first fully in-house designed and manufactured SSD, in the shape of the new OCZ Vector SSD which OCZ was kind enough to send me for review. Many Myce members will fondly remember the first Indilinx BareFoot SSD controller which powered the original Vertex SSD. Now it’s time to meet the new Indilinx BareFoot 3 SSD controller.
The Vector series is going to be very important, perhaps the most important SSD range that OCZ have released, to date. The controller silicon and the firmware are all built and designed in-house, even the NAND packages are built in-house from IMFT wafers, so OCZ have a lot riding on the Vector series of SSDs.
OCZ Technology hasn’t gone for straight out and out performance with the Vector series of SSDs. They still have, as we will see later in this article, astounding performance, but this time OCZ has also focused heavily on reliability and endurance, and a much tighter validation process for both the hardware and firmware.
The Vector series is available in three capacities, 128GB, 256GB, and finally 512GB. The version I’ll be looking at today is the 256GB version. The OCZ Vector is aimed at the high end consumer, and workstation markets.
We will take a look at the new hardware on the next page of this article, but for now, let’s take a look at the complete Vector package.
OCZ Technology company information
OCZ Technology should need no introduction, but those of you who would like to find out more about OCZ, can do so at their website.
The OCZ Technology Vector – 256GB SSD
Now it’s time to take a look at the drive itself and what it came shipped with.
Inside the box
The Vector package consists of the OCZ Vector SSD itself, a 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch converter bracket, eight fixing screws, an "I Love my SSD" sticker, the quick start booklet (not shown), and finally a serial key for Acronis True Image HD cloning software, which we will take a brief look at further down this page.
OCZ Vector 256GB SSD
The top of the unit is made of metal, and looks extremely nice with its high quality finish. Unfortunately, the scan of the top of the SSD, doesn’t do the product justice. It really does look very attractive indeed. The metal top also acts as a heat sink for the BareFoot 3 controller.
On the underside of the drive we can see the SATA power and data connectors, and four drive mounting holes. The bottom of the case is also made of metal, and for an SSD, the Vector is quite heavy. We can also see that the SSD was manufactured in Taiwan, and according to the label, that the review sample is a prototype. Having contacted OCZ, I’m assured that the review sample is the final retail hardware. There may be a minor firmware update for the retail units, but this update will not affect performance.
The case itself is 7mm thick and designed to be housed in a standard 2.5 inch drive bay, or a 3.5 inch drive bay using the converter bracket.
The software supplied via download from the OCZ Technology website is as follows.
- OCZ SSD Toolbox
- Acronis True Image HD
OCZ SSD Toolbox
The OCZ SSD toolbox provides a means of updating the SSDs firmware, Secure Erasing the SSD, and also providing useful information about the OCZ Vector hardware via S.M.A.R.T.
Bundled Acronis True Image HD
As I mentioned a little earlier on this page, the OCZ Vector is bundled with a serial key for Acronis True Image HD. Primarily this software is provided to allow the consumer to easily migrate their existing system partition over to their new Vector SSD. But, True Image HD also has a few other very useful features. Let’s take a brief look at the True Image HD software.
Note: Not all features are available in the OEM version.
Clone your existing system drive.
Recover the backup of your system drive to your new Vector SSD
Cloning your system drive to your new Vector only takes a few simple mouse clicks, and enough HDD space for the backup data itself. Recovering the backup to your new Vector SSD is once again a very simple task, only requiring a few simple mouse clicks.
TRIM SSD feature
Acronis True Image HD also has a very useful TRIM SSD feature, which is able to TRIM an SSD even when used with an operating system that doesn’t natively support the TRIM command.
All in all, the bundled software is a very nice addition.
Now let’s head to the next page, where we look in more detail at the OCZ Vector series SSD…..