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Josh Norem

Nov 05, 2013

OCZ Vertex 450 256GB SSD

At A Glance

Bare Bottom

More than enough speed; very solid build; OCZ firmware tools.

Barefoot

Too expensive; 3-year warranty.

A more affordable Vector has finally arrived

We were always big fans of OCZ ’s Barefoot 2–powered Vertex 4 SSDs. Heck, we even ran two of them in the almighty Dream Machine 2012 . If that’s not a stamp of approval, we don’t know what is. But the SSD game moves quickly, and you have to keep up or you get left behind, so this month OCZ has put the Vertex 4 out to pasture and ushered in a new drive bearing the moniker Vertex 450 . Unlike the Vertex 4, which ran a Marvell-based controller with custom OCZ firmware, this bad boy is juicing via OCZ’s very own Barefoot 3 controller, which we first examined in the Kick Ass–caliber Vector SSD. The Vector is so fast that it currently sits atop the leaderboard of our SSD benchmarks, right next to the equally Kick Ass Samsung 840 Pro , and both drives are as good as it gets in the SSD world. But like Samsung, OCZ needs a drive to appeal to the common folk with a bit less cash in their PayPal accounts, so it’s done what Samsung has done with its vanilla 840 drives and released this midrange SSD with a 3-year warranty to compete at a lower price point than the Vector. These are hotly contested waters, though, so the Vertex 450 has its work cut out for it.

OCZ’s “mainstream” SSD uses its very own in-house Barefoot 3 controller and 20nm MLC NAND flash.

At the heart of this drive is the renowned Barefoot 3 controller, though this is not the same animal you will find in a Vector. This version is called the M10; it has a slightly lower clock speed and the ability to work with the 20nm NAND flash instead of the Vector’s 25nm IMFT MLC NAND. For what it’s worth, the Vertex 4 also used 25nm NAND, and the move to smaller-process flash helps reduce costs and improve capacities, though endurance is affected. Still, OCZ says the drive is good for 20GB every day for three years, which is considered a “heavy” workload. The Barefoot 3 controller also supports 256-bit AES encryption and has Trim support, and promises high performance without resorting to data compression or needing to reserve some space for over-provisioning either, so you get the drive’s full capacity (238GB after formatting). It’s available in the usual sizes: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.

In our testing, we found the midrange Vertex 450 to be a totally adequate performer, as it hummed along right at the magical 500MB/s mark for most of its sequential-read speed tests. This is pretty much standard with modern SSDs; the 450 is right where it needs to be in terms of competitive performance. Its 4K random-write performance was middling overall, but placed dead last in this group. It’s “real world” performance, though, as measured by PCMark Vantage was top-of-the-list, with it smokin’ the Samsung 840 and Seagate 600 drives.

Overall, this is a great drive and is fast across the board. But like the Seagate 600 , it’s too expensive. For this price, you can get an SSD with a 5-year warranty and more performance, like a Samsung 840 Pro.

$235, www.ocz.com

Benchmarks
 OCZ Vertex 450
Crucial M500
Samsung 840Seagate 600
Controller
Barefoot 3
Marvell 9187
MDXLAMD
Capacity256GB480GB500GB240GB
CrystalDiskMark



 
Avg. Sustained Read (MB/s)
474
480
464515
Avg. Sustained Write (MB/s)
493422
333462
AS SSD    
4KB Read (IOPS)5,5956,3886,9216,585
4KB Write (IOPS)17,25117,00315,95516,020
ATTO    
64KB File Read (MB/s)501502335526
64KB File Write (MB/s)516422531465
Iometer    
4KB Random Write 32QD (IOPS)67,28583,35470,65484,390
PCMark Vantage x6472,57271,61952,55758,145
Sony Vegas Pro 9 Write (sec)272485327322

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.

THE VERDICT

OCZ Vertex 450 256GB SSD

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