Superb bundle; five-year warranty; top-notch performance; extreme endurance.
OCZ Toolbox is bush league; too expensive (just barely).
The SSD world is a bit stale these days, as we all wait for the industry to move beyond the SATA 6Gb/s interface. Most high-end drives have been able to saturate the bus for a while now, so manufacturers have been looking for ways other than performance to differentiate their products from the competition. Though we awarded the original OCZ Vector the vaunted Kick Ass award, the drive came out of the gate as one of the most expensive SSDs available, and the price never really dropped much over the past year. Sure, it’s smokin’ fast, but $300 for a 256GB SSD is too much, considering its competition is just as fast and less expensive. OCZ has addressed this problem by moving to a smaller, more-efficient process for its NAND, switching from 25nm Intel/Micron IMFT chips to 19nm Toshiba modules. These bits of ToshMLC NAND are popular and have a solid reputation, as shown by their usage in the Corsair Neutron GTX and the Seagate 600 SSDs. OCZ also increased the drive’s write endurance to a torrent-loving 50GB a day, up from 20GB on the original Vector.
OCZ has updated its flagship Vector with smaller-process NAND and much higher write endurance.
Since this is a flagship SSD, it comes with a five-year warranty. It’s available in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities. You’ll note the rounded-off capacities due to overprovisioning, which is also a change from the original model, which came in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. Finally, OCZ has added full-disk 256-bit AES encryption this time around, which is also an upgrade from the OG Vector. The drive uses the same all-metal 7mm chassis as the original model, and includes a 3.5-inch bay adapter as well as a copy of Acronis True Image hard-drive cloning software, so you can easily clone your old drive to your new SSD.
This new Vector 150 uses the same Barefoot 3 drive found in the original Vector, and it’s still able to run with the big boys of the SSD world, of which the Vector is a card-carrying member. To be clear, we consider all the SSDs with a five-year warranty to be “enthusiast” drives, whereas three-year warranty drives are merely “consumer.” That aside, the new Vector is just as impressive as the previous model, meaning it’s one of the fastest SSDs available. In testing, it matched the Samsung 840 Pro and the SanDisk Extreme II in sequential read and write tests, where it is saturating the SATA 6Gb/s interface. It didn’t really care if data was compressed or not, and was able to chug through them regardless. It achieved the second-best score ever in our Sony Vegas 20GB write test and also was top of the charts in PC Mark Vantage, although its score of 71,125 IOPS in Iometer, while respectable, was not near as fast as we’ve seen.
All in all, the pattern is quite clear. This is an SSD that’s very strong across the board. We like the drive’s increased endurance, but would need a year to test it, so we’ll have to take OCZ’s word for now. We love the software bundle too, though its OCZ Toolbox is still rough around the edges. While we do think the drive is a bit too expensive, it’s other- wise top-notch.
|OCZ Vector 150||OCZ Vector||Samsung 840 Pro||SanDisk Extreme II||Corsair Neutron GTX|
|Controller ||Barefoot 3||Barefoot 3||MDX||Marvel Monet||LAMD|
|Avg. Sustained Read (MB/s)||515||497||524||534||534|
|Avg. Sustained Write (MB/s)||497||496||497||503||434|
|Compressed Read (MB/s)||502||502||513||510||504|
|Compressed Write (MB/s)||491||492||495||478||433|
|64KB File Read (MB/s)||532||522||524||528||527|
|64KB File Write (MB/s, 4QD)||480||541||497||398||445|
|4KB Random Write 32QD (IOPS)||71,125||80,015||89,297||43,558||81,068|
|PCMark Vantage x64||74,595||74,005||75,205||76,358||42,211|
|Sony Vegas Pro 9 Write (sec)||276||307||294||273||358|
Best scores are bolded. All tests conducted on our hard drive test bench, which consists of a Gigabyte Z77X-UP4 motherboard, Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz CPU, 8GB of RAM, Intel 520 Series SSD, and a Cooler Master 450W power supply.