Back in January I reviewed the OCZ Octane SSD, and was very impressed by its performance. The Octane was the first SSD to use OCZ own Indilinx Everest SSD controller. I was very curious as to how the Octane performed so well in the real world, despite what its technical specifications suggested. After all, the Octane had distinctly average small file random performance, but what it could do was produce very good small random file performance at low queue depths, and it had ultra fast file access times which is ideal for a consumer grade desktop SSD.
Even before I had published the Octane review, OCZ had demonstrated the Indilinx Everest 2 controller at the CES show in Las Vegas, even as early as January the Everest 2 looked to have a lot more grunt and very much improved performance, and I remember thinking that if OCZ could bring this type of performance to the market at a reasonable price, then they would have a real winner on their hands. Also I pondered the idea that this controller could well be a replacement for the SF-2281 controller found in the current Vertex 3 range of SSDs. Of course this was pure speculation at the time, but it did make a lot of sense.
So here we are in April 2012, and the OCZ Vertex 4 has landed on my desk, and it does indeed contain the brand new Everest 2 controller. Before I go any further, let’s take a quick look at the history of the OCZ Vertex range of SSDs.
Back in early 2009, the original Vertex SSD was launched, using the original Indilinx BareFoot SSD controller. It became an instant hit, and was a real rival to then dominant Intel G1 SSD. It was cheaper than the Intel, and in many cases showed the G1 a clean pair of heels in the performance stakes.
In 2010, the Vertex 2 appeared, and this time OCZ had switched controller manufacturers and introduced the SandForce SF-1200 series of SSD processors to the world. At the time, the performance of the Vertex 2 was untouchable, and it still remains one of the very fastest SATA 3Gbps SSDs.
In March 2011 OCZ introduced the Vertex 3 range of SSDs, and once again went to SandForce for the controller. This time it was a very much more powerful beast in the shape of the SATA 6Gbps SF-2281 controller, and the Vertex 3 still remains right at the top with regard to performance.
Now in spring 2012 we find we have gone full circle, and the Vertex 4 is back at its roots, using an Indilinx controller, the Everest 2. Of course things have changed since this time last year. OCZ now own Indilinx, although owning a company who designs and manufacturers an SSD controller won’t be enough, if that controller can’t deliver the goods. Everyone will see the Vertex 4 as an upgrade to the Vertex 3, so it must perform better, and it must have a competitive price to match, a tall order indeed.
At launch, the OCZ Vertex 4 will be available in three capacities, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The Everest 2 controller can address up to 2TB of NAND, so OCZ could build a 2TB SSD if there was a demand for such a product.
OCZ was kind enough to send me a review sample of their Vertex 4 series of SSDs, in actual fact the 512GB version. In this review I will be taking a look at the performance, and stability of OCZ’s new range of SSDs.
So, let’s find out how this new SSD performs in our range of tests.
OCZ Technology company information
OCZ should need no introduction, but for those of you who would like to find out more about OCZ Technology, you can do so at their website.
The OCZ Vertex 4 series 512GB SSD
Now it’s time to take a look at the drive itself and what it came shipped with.
Inside the box
The package contained the OCZ Vertex 4 series 512GB SSD, a pack of eight fixing screws, a 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch converter bracket, an installation guide, and finally a bragging sticker to fix somewhere prominent on the case of your PC.
OCZ Vertex 4 – 512GB SSD
The top of the OCZ Vertex 4 case is made from a strong but flexible plastic.
The underside of the drive is pretty boring; we can see the SATA power and data connectors, and four drive mounting holes. We can also see the drive’s model and serial number. The bottom of the case is made from strong metal which also acts as a heatsink for the Everest 2 controller, and removing the case reveals a heat transfer pad, which is designed to transfer heat away from the controller itself.
Now let’s head to the next page, where we look in more detail at the OCZ Vertex 4 SSD…..