OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review

 

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review

Review: OCZ Vector 256GB SSD
Reviewed by: Wendy
Robertson

Provided by: OCZ Technology
Model: VTR-25SAT3-256G PR
Firmware version: 10200000

 

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.

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review

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.

Packaging

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
Package front

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
Package rear

Inside the box

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
Complete package

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 Review
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.

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
Drive underside

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.

Software

The software supplied via download from the OCZ Technology
website is as follows.

  • OCZ SSD Toolbox
  • Acronis True Image HD

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
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.

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
Note: Not all features are available in the OEM version.

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
Clone your existing system drive.

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
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

OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review
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…..