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OCZ Vertex 450 256 GB Review

Published by Marc Büchel on 23.05.13 (12322 reads)
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With the Vertex 450 OCZ officially launches their second product that features 20 nanometer NAND from the Intel/Micron joint venture. With the Vertex 3.20 they introduced these 20nm chips to the market and now their equipping their faster Vertex 4 with the same NAND flash chips. We're really curious to see what they've come up with. The Vertex 450 with 256 Gigabyte could be a really interesting drive and when the price hits a sweet spot, then it will definitely sell well.

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Specifications / Delivery

Model OCZ Vertex 450 128 Gigabyte OCZ Vertex 450 256 Gigabyte OCZ Vertex 450 512 Gigabyte
Capacity 128 Gigabyte 256 Gigabyte 512 Gigabyte
Form Factor 2.5'', 9.3/7mm 2.5'', 9.3 mm/7mm 2.5'', 9.3 mm/7mm
Memory Synchronous NAND, 20nm, 3'000 P/E-cycles Synchronous NAND, 20nm, 3'000 P/E-cycles Synchronous NAND, 20nm, 3'000 P/E-cycles
Technology Intel 29-... Intel 29-F128C08CFABB Intel 29-...
Throughput 525 MB/s sequential read
290 MB/s sequential write
75'000 IOPS 4K random read
70'000 IOPS 4K random write
540 MB/s sequential read
525 MB/s sequential write
85'000 IOPS 4K random read
90'000 IOPS 4K random write
540 MB/s sequential read
530 MB/s sequential write
85'000 IOPS 4K random read
90'000 IOPS 4K random write
Accesstime (read) < 0.1 ms < 0.1 ms < 0.1 ms
MTBF 2'000'000 hours 2'000'000 hours 2'000'000 hours
Acoustics no noise no noise no noise
Warranty 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years

Since OCZ launched their Vector series, their Vertex drive don't hold the performance within the manufacturers entire line-up. These days OCZ is trying to position the Vertex 450 with a sweet price and really good performance. Furthermore the manufacturer is underlining the reliability of its drives. In this case they say, that the Vertex 450 should survive writing 20 Gigabyte per day within the three year warranty time frame without breaking a sweat.

With the Vertex 450 you get OCZ's Barefoot 3 M10 controller which the company develops inhouse. According to the block diagram we can see that the controller is based on an ARM architecture. Additionally OCZ optimized the clock generator towards lower power consumption. In other words this means, they've lowered the internal clock speeds in order to make the drive more energy efficient. Furthermore this drive ships with AES 256 Bit encryption as well as an ECC engine which is taking care of error corrections. On the right hand side of the diagram you can see that OCZ equips the Vertex 450 with an additional DRAM cache, which in the end helps improving the performance. When it comes to the NAND interface, OCZ uses and eight channel ONFI/Toggle interface.

Like with the Vertex 3.20 OCZ has changed the type of NAND flash memory they are using, when comparing the drive to the Vertex 4. The Vertex 450 drives features NAND flash, that has been manufactured using 20 nanometer structures. In case of the original Vertex 4, OCZ has been using NAND flash memory with 25 nanometer structures. When it comes to the manufacturing process of NAND flash, then a customer gets an upside as well as a downside at the same time. Let's talk about the upside first: a shrink enables the manufacturer to put more memory chips on one 300 millimeter wafer. In other words the manufacturing process becomes more cost efficient. This cost efficiency is going to be carried to the end user who actually buys these products for a lower price. The downside however is, that making the structures smaller causes the P/E-cycles to drop. Most 25 nanometer MLC NAND flash chips featured a P/E-cycle count of either 5'000 or 3'000. Intels 29-F128C08CFABB 20 nanometer chips - the ones you find on the Vertex 450 - are validated at 3'000 P/E-cycles. So basically, these 20 nanometer chips offer the same level of endurance like the 25 nanometer chips one can find on Kingston HyperX 3k SSD.

Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 7 - Random read KByte/s
Page 2 - Impressions Page 8 - Sequential write ops
Page 3 - How do we test? Page 9 - Sequential read ops
Page 4 - Sequential write KByte/s Page 10 - Random write ops
Page 5 - Sequential read KByte/s Page 11 - Random read ops
Page 6 - Random write KByte/s Page 12 - Conclusion

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