Some amount of wheeling and dealing got OCZ access to special firmware for its last-gen SandForce drives, enabling faster random-write performance than the competition. Despite OCZ’s recent acquisition of Indilinx, it seems there’s still a spark to OCZ’s relationship with SandForce, as the company was able to get us an SF-2200 drive before anyone else. Since the Vertex 3 is the first SF-2200–powered SSD we’ve tested, we don’t know how it compares to the rest of the SF-2200 field, but we do know it kicks the pants off of most every other SSD we’ve reviewed.
OCZ retains the solid-state crown with stellar overall performance.
The Vertex 3 uses 25nm-process NAND and, like all SandForce drives, no cache. That SF-2200 controller really cooks, setting records in most of our benchmarks and performing competitively in the rest. No single drive in our roundup matches the Vertex 3 on all fronts, though the Crucial m4 is close in random read/write performance and the Intel 510 comes close to its sequential reads and surpasses its sequential writes. OCZ continues its tradition of blazing-fast random-write performance, both at low- and high-queue depths, serving up more than 85,000 IOPS in our Iometer QD32 4KB random-write test. That’s nearly 80 percent faster than the Vertex 2, the previous SATA champion.
It’s too early to tell whether the rest of the SF-2200 lineup will be able to compete with OCZ’s Vertex 3. But for the few weeks until we get our hands on more next-gen SandForce drives, the Vertex 3 reigns supreme.
Our current test bed is a 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 processor on an Asus P8 P67 Pro (B3 chipset) running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. All tests used onboard 6Gb/s SATA ports with latest Intel drivers, except 3Gb/s SATA tests, which used onboard 3Gb/s Intel SATA ports.