OCZ Vertex 450 256 GB Review

Published by Marc Büchel on 23.05.13
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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 460 120 Gigabyte OCZ Vertex 460 240 Gigabyte OCZ Vertex 460 480 Gigabyte
Capacity 120 Gigabyte 240 Gigabyte 480 Gigabyte
Form Factor 2.5'', 7mm 2.5'', 7mm 2.5'', 7mm
Memory 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND, 3'000 P/E-cycles 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND, 3'000 P/E-cycles 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND, 3'000 P/E-cycles
Throughput 530 MB/s sequential read
420 MB/s sequential write
80'000 IOPS 4K random read
90'000 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
545 MB/s sequential read
525 MB/s sequential write
95'000 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

With the entire supply chain in their back OCZ it can now be expected from the company that the Vertex 460 is not only a very quick drive but also features an aggressive price tag. A closer look at the controller reveals, that there is the same Barefoot 3 M10 logic, that could be found with the Vertex 450 already. Apparently, since OCZ is now using latest Toshiba NAND there were some changes to the firmware necessary, in order to keep performance and endurance up as high as possible.

With the Vertex 460 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, which they already did when they released the Vertex 450. 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 460 with an additional DRAM cache, which in the end helps improving performance. When it comes to the NAND interface, OCZ uses and eight channel ONFI/Toggle interface.

The Vertex 460 drives features NAND flash, that has been manufactured using 19 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. Toshibas XYZ 19 nanometer chips - the ones you find on the Vertex 460 - are validated at 3'000 P/E-cycles.

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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