The Vertex 4 series of SSDs has hit the market, but this fourth generation Vertex has abandoned the use of SandForce controllers like its predecessors. OCZ acquired Indilix in 2011, and has since developed their own proprietary Everest 2 controller that is used on the Vertex 4.
Boasting sequential read/write speeds of 550 MB/s, and 420 MS/s respectively, We’ll see if the Vertex 4 128Gb version can live up to the advertising claims.
“Founded in 2002, San Jose, California-based OCZ Technology Group, Inc. has built on its expertise in high-speed memory to become a dominant player in the manufacturing and distribution of solid state drives (SSDs), a disruptive, game-changing technology that is replacing traditional rotating magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs). SSDs are faster, more reliable, run cooler, and use significantly less power than the HDDs used in the majority of computers today. In addition to SSD technology, OCZ also offers high performance components for computing devices and systems, including enterprise class power management products and industrial power accessories.”
The Vertex line of SSDs are typically boxed in a black and metal gray colored box, and the Vertex 4 is no different. On the front of the box there is a large picture of the drive itself, along with a list of a few of the major features.
The back of the box has a marketing explanation of what the Vertex 4 is all about, and what it is capable of.
Once the box is opened, the first thing you see is the included 3.5″ to 2.5″ adapter wrapped in a plastic bag. The adapter has a heavy duty feel to it, and has the OCZ logo applied.
After removing the adapter plate and lifting the protective lid, you come to a pamphlet with installation and warranty information. Speaking of warranty, OCZ offers an industry leading five year warranty on the Vertex 4 SSD line.
Under the pamphlet, you will find the OCZ Vertex 4 wrapped in an anti-static bag.
The included accessories are pretty slim once you get past the adapter plate, there is no SATA data cable or 4-Pin to SATA power cable. OCZ does include a bag of screws for mounting the SSD, and their customary “My SSD is Faster Than Your HDD” sticker.
The Company Line
“As the fourth generation of the legendary Vertex family, the Vertex 4 Series pushes storage performance to the max and redefines the modern day computing experience. Vertex 4 SSDs are innovatively engineered to deliver industry-leading file transfer rates and superior system responsiveness, all while providing a more durable, reliable, and energy efficient storage solution compared to traditional hard drives. Designed to take full advantage of the SATA III interface, the Vertex 4 unleashes ultimate productivity, gaming, and multimedia applications.
Mirroring real-world performance scenarios over a broad spectrum of consumer desktop and mobile applications, Vertex 4 SSDs are designed to provide a superior user experience and extreme performance over the other current solutions available on the market. With the cutting-edge Indilinx Everest 2 platform, Vertex 4 is optimized for consistent, high speeds with the complete spectrum of file types and sizes including both compressible and incompressible data for balanced performance like no other drive you’ve experienced.”
Features (As Provided by OCZ’s website)
Specifications (As Provided by OCZ’s Website)
Whew, that’s quite a list of features and specifications! Let’s see how all of this comes together during our testing.
- EVGA P67 FTW Motherboard
- i7 2600K CPU @ 4.5 Ghz
- G.SKill 8 Gb DDR3 1866 MHz F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL
- EVGA Superclock CPU Cooler
- PowerColor PCS+ HD7850 Video Card
- Corsair HX1050 Power Supply
Here is a screen shot with the AHCI driver information used for testing. It’s also worth noting that the OCZ Vertex 4 arrived with the latest firmware, 220.127.116.11.
Some of you may be interested in the Windows Experience Index score the Vertex 4 achieves, it scored a 7.9 which is the highest available.
As we move into the benchmarking phase, it’s important to note that a completely updated copy of Windows 7 X64 has been installed on the Vertex 4, along with a few productivity applications. I typically load a fare amount of software before testing a SSD, doing this allows us to obtain scores from a real world environment.
ATTO measures your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes, and test lengths for reads and writes. The 1K and 4K write tests show the Vertex 4 pounding out some good numbers, it fell behind the 240GB drives in the other write tests, but led the way when compare to the other 128GB drives in the comparison. The 1K and 4K read tests were not kind to the Vertex 4, but once the lengths got larger it performed on par with the other drives in the comparison.
AS SSD is a very popular benchmark to measure the performance of a SSD. It tests sequential read/write, 4K read/write, and 4K-64Thrd read/write performance. Additionally, it measures read/write access times and gives the entire test result a score.
It’s pretty apparent so far that the Vertex 4 loves 4K testing, and swept the field in those test result. The Vertex 4 came out on top of all the write tests, and by a substantial margin. The read tests had the Vertex 4 coming in the top spot for 128GB drives, but fell behind the 240GB+ drives. The access time results are a mixed bag with the write access time blowing every other drive away, but the read access time came in at the bottom. The scoring system AS SSD uses must really like what it saw in the Vertex 4, giving it the top spot in all three categories.
CrystalDiskMark tests read/write random data, 0-Fill data, and 1-Fill data. Within each of these test are sequential, 512K, 4K, and 4K QD32 results. The Vertex 4 continued its 4K dominance across all the 4K tests. The read tests were right in line with the other drives in the comparison, and the random write tests did the same, while the 0-fill and 1-fill write tests fell well behind some of the 240GB+ drives.
IOMeter is an oldie but goodie for testing 4K and 2MB transfer speeds, as well as IOPS for both. The 4K IOPS testing shows the Vertex 4 outperforming the other 128GB drives and right on par with all the other comparison drives except for the Vertex 3 Max IOPS. The 4K transfer speeds did not fare well with the write score coming out below all others, except for the Kingston SSDNow and the Vertex 2. The 4K read was not very impressive either, only managing to beat the SSDNow V200 and the Crucial M4.
The IOMeter 2MB IOPS test again shows the Vertex 4 read IOPS falling behind older OCZ SSDs using the SandForce controller except for the Vertex 2. The rite IOPS scored pretty well but still slightly behind both vertex 3 drives and the HyperX 3K SSD. The 2MB transfer speed testing revealed similar pattern, losing out to both Vertex 3 drives and the HyperX 3K SSD.
The OCZ Vertex 4 performed admirably during our testing and was consistently at the top when compare to other 128GB SSD’s. The Vertex 4 even managed to come out ahead of some 240GB+ drives in several of the test results. The Vertex 4 showed rock solid stability and took all the testing we could throw at it, and there was a lot of it! The Indilinx Everest 2 controller is OCZ’s second go around since acquiring Indilinx last year, and great strides have been made since the acquisition. OCZ has added unique features to the Everest 2 controller based SSDs, such as Ndurance 2.0, auto encryption and an industry leading five year warranty, all of which add even more value to the product.
At the time of this review the Vertex 4 128GB is priced at $179 USD, which is comparable to other SSDs with similar performance ratings. If a 64GB version of the Vertex 4 is large enough for your application, then a $95 USD price tag is hard to beat.
Given the price, performance, and value of the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD, it is easy for me to recommend this drive to anyone looking for a SSD with this storage capacity.
Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)