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
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
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
So, let’s find out how this new SSD performs in our range of
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
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…..