OCZ is one of the few firms in the industry who are first to launch products with new technology under the belt. Their SandForce based controllers were one of the first ones to hit the market with their Vertex 3 SSDs, but today we’ll be looking at a different beast. OCZ acquired the SSD controller manufacturer Indilinx over a year back, and today we see the fruits of that investment.
OCZ’s new Vertex 4 SSDs all come with their new Indilinx Everest 2 controllers, although they have confirmed that the controller itself is sourced from Marvell, and it is only the firmware itself that was written in-house by Indilinx. Of course, as Intel has proven with their latest 520 Series SSDs, even with a tricky controller like the SandForce SF-2281, at the end of the day it’s the firmware that really matters. And OCZ claims that their algorithm allows them to enable enhanced features, performance, and endurance.
Basically what the new Indilinx based controller does is provide higher IOPS compared to SandForce, but at the cost of lower sequential transfer speeds. OCZ Vertex 3 was rated at 60K IOPS Read and 85K Write, whereas Vertex 4 is rated at 95K IOPS Read and 85K Write. Consequently sequential read speeds for Vertex 3 are 550MB/s Read and 500MB/s Write, whereas Vertex 4 has 535MB/s Read 475MB/s Write speeds.
The rest of the internals are equally impressive as we have Intel’s 25nm synchronous NAND Flash modules as well as the 1GB DDR3-800MHz memory from Micron to cache data for the NAND.
For testing the OCZ Vertex 4 128GBm the below testbed was used.
The reason I have selected the Kingston HyperX 3K drive is to measure the performance difference between a SandForce-2281 controlled SSD with 3K (p/e) rated NAND which has rated IOPS of86K Read and 60K Write speeds.
I have used ATTO Disk Benchmark to get the sequential read and write speeds and Crystal Diskmark for 4K speeds.
The PCMark 7 Storage benchmarks are some of the most stressing tests designed for modern hard drives and solid state drives. There are a number of tests performed, focusing on different aspects of the drive and eventually churn out a score based on the overall performance of the drive. Below I have shown the total PCMark 7 storage score for multiple hard drives and SSDs.
In this case I have used AS SSD, which utilizes read and write speeds based on uncompressed data.
It’s clear that the sequential read and write speeds of the Indilinx Everest 2 controller aren’t as fast as the SandForce-2281 controller, especially when it comes to write speeds. And even when it comes to the random 4K read and write speeds it’s left behind the SF-2281, but we know that SandForce’s algorithm excels at transferring compressible data.
Where the Indilinx Everest 2 controller shines, though, is with incompressible data, such as your MP3 audios and MKV videos, shown in the AS SSD benchmark. When it comes to real world simulation, PCMark 7 shows that the SandForce controller has a 7% lead over Indilinx (Vertex 3 vs Vertex 4), but what you get is reliability.
OCZ offers 5 years warranty with the Vertex 4, that’s two more years over Vertex 3. More importantly, however, is the fact that because OCZ owns Indilinx, any firmware updates can be issued as soon as problems are discovered in the real world. Gone are the days when the public had to wait for SandForce to discover bugs in their labs to write up a patch code which could then be certified and issued by SSD manufacturers such as OCZ. With the entire R&D in-house, OCZ finally has a drive that not only performs as good as the best in the market, but also has tremendous support for it.