Brains and brawn in one neat package.
The OCZ Vertex series has been quite popular over the past years, being one of their star products, and also usually one of the first in the industry to come out with smaller process NAND and usually the latest SandForce controllers. Today I’ll be looking at their Vertex 3 120GB SSD powered by the slightly old, but not yet outdated, SF-2200 controller.
On the outside the Vertex 3 is clad in a matt black plastic cover, with the bottom and side edges made of gunmetal brushed alloy. Inside the Vertex 3 we have the SandForce 2200 controller with Intel 25nm NAND Flash and a SATA III (6GBps) port.
As with most MLC based SATA III SSD in this capacity, the Vertex 3 is priced very competitively. Now with the formalities out of the way, let’s get down to some number crunching. A small disclaimer for first time buyers wanting to use the Vertex 3 as their primary SSD, you cannot update the firmware on the Vertex 3 if it’s running Windows. So just update your firmware before you install Windows 7 on this for the first time.
For comparisons I have used the Kingston HyperX SSD 120GB version which has the latest SF2281 controller and retails for $40 (AED 200) more. The test was done on an MSI Z68A-GD80 (B3) motherboard, Intel Core i7-2600K CPU, Kingston HyperX T1 4GB DDR3-2133MHz RAM running Windows 7 Ultimate and powered by a Cooler Master 1200W Silent Pro Gold PSU. For measuring sequential read and write speeds I used ATTO disk benchmark and HD Tach for burst speeds. For a real world analysis on performance I have used PCMark 7’s hard drive productivity suite which contains a mixture of running simulated tests of moving and copying data within Windows environment as well as frequent data accessed during video editing and playing games.
The speed numbers for the OCZ Vertex 3 are very similar to its main rival, the Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD, suffering ever so slightly with burst speeds. However, the productivity suite for PCMark 7’s simulated usage shows the Vertex 3 being able to better handle increased workload.
Ultimately the performance between the Vertex 3 and HyperX SSD 120GB variants is very close to each other, and your decision may well lie with brand loyalty and previous experience. Regardless, the OCZ Vertex 3 120GB is a top contender for your money if you’re out looking for a new SATA III based SSD.