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Results: Tom's Storage Bench v1.0

OCZ Vertex 450 256 GB SSD Review: Can We Call It Vector Jr.?
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Storage Bench v1.0 (Background Info)

Our Storage Bench incorporates all of the I/O from a trace recorded over two weeks. The process of replaying this sequence to capture performance gives us a bunch of numbers that aren't really intuitive at first glance. Most idle time gets expunged, leaving only the time that each benchmarked drive was actually busy working on host commands. So, by taking the ratio of that busy time and the the amount of data exchanged during the trace, we arrive at an average data rate (in MB/s) metric we can use to compare drives.

It's not quite a perfect system. The original trace captures the TRIM command in transit, but since the trace is played on a drive without a file system, TRIM wouldn't work even if it were sent during the trace replay (which, sadly, it isn't). Still, trace testing is a great way to capture periods of actual storage activity, a great companion to synthetic testing like Iometer.

Incompressible Data and Storage Bench v1.0

Also worth noting is the fact that our trace testing pushes incompressible data through the system's buffers to the drive getting benchmarked. So, when the trace replay plays back write activity, it's writing largely incompressible data. If we run our storage bench on a SandForce-based SSD, we can monitor the SMART attributes for a bit more insight.

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB
SMART Attributes
RAW Value Increase
#242 Host Reads (in GB)
84 GB
#241 Host Writes (in GB)
142 GB
#233 Compressed NAND Writes (in GB)
149 GB


Host reads are greatly outstripped by host writes to be sure. That's all baked into the trace. But with SandForce's inline deduplication/compression, you'd expect that the amount of information written to flash would be less than the host writes (unless the data is mostly incompressible, of course). For every 1 GB the host asked to be written, Mushkin's drive is forced to write 1.05 GB.

If our trace replay was just writing easy-to-compress zeros out of the buffer, we'd see writes to NAND as a fraction of host writes. This puts the tested drives on a more equal footing, regardless of the controller's ability to compress data on the fly.

Average Data Rate

The Storage Bench trace generates more than 140 GB worth of writes during testing. Obviously, this tends to penalize drives smaller than 180 GB and reward those with more than 256 GB of capacity.

The Vertex 450 is scorching fast in our trace replay, coming in just behind OCZ's Vector. This is a real-worldish case where OCZ's crafty firmware optimization pays dividends. With only 150 GB worth of writes in the trace, both SSDs have the ability to service I/O in their performance mode, yielding dramatically higher average data rates. Consequently, service times drop in the process.

Service Times and Standard Deviation

There is a wealth of information we can collect with Tom's Storage Bench above and beyond the average data rate. Mean (average) service times show what responsiveness is like on an average I/O during the trace. It would be difficult to plot the 10 million I/Os that make up our test, so looking at the average time to service an I/O makes more sense. We can also plot the standard deviation against mean service time. That way, drives with quicker and more consistent service plot toward the origin (lower numbers are better here).

The higher-end Vector services trace I/O more quickly than any other drive, with the exception of the Vertex 450. Though the new SSD is slower, the difference is miniscule, resulting in statistical data which places the Vertex 450 ever so slightly behind its stablemate.

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  • 12 Hide
    boulbox , May 27, 2013 9:35 PM
    Kinda wanted to see 840 pro match up with it too. Guess it doesn't really matter since we could just go find your other benchies on it and compare it ourselves but i thought it would just be nice to have it up there.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    boulbox , May 27, 2013 9:35 PM
    Kinda wanted to see 840 pro match up with it too. Guess it doesn't really matter since we could just go find your other benchies on it and compare it ourselves but i thought it would just be nice to have it up there.
  • 1 Hide
    Faisal Mahmood , May 27, 2013 9:37 PM
    Speed and performance are fine but what really counts is reliability which OCZ does not have. I had to RMA Vertex 2 twice and both times it lasted 8 months. Before that I invested in an Intel x25-m and it is still going strong.
  • 3 Hide
    s3anister , May 27, 2013 10:55 PM
    Just bought another 840 Pro. Really can't trust OCZ anymore after so many failed Vertex 3s.
  • 2 Hide
    slomo4sho , May 27, 2013 10:56 PM
    It is pretty common to find quality SSDs in the $0.55-0.65/GB range these days. Game coupon aside, the price of this SSD isn't all that competitive.
  • 3 Hide
    technerd , May 27, 2013 11:00 PM
    Faisal MahmoodSpeed and performance are fine but what really counts is reliability which OCZ does not have. I had to RMA Vertex 2 twice and both times it lasted 8 months. Before that I invested in an Intel x25-m and it is still going strong.

    SAME! I'm going to Samsung for my next SSD. OCZ's reliability is a joke
  • 1 Hide
    kitsunestarwind , May 27, 2013 11:31 PM
    I love OCZ The Vertex4 series SSDs have been nothing but rock solid reliable, much better then their earlier offerings and the problems with the Vertex2/3 series drives
  • 3 Hide
    cryan , May 28, 2013 1:40 AM
    slomo4shoIt is pretty common to find quality SSDs in the $0.55-0.65/GB range these days. Game coupon aside, the price of this SSD isn't all that competitive.


    The Vector gets the Far Cry 3 coupon until July 14th while the Vertex 450 doesn't get it at all. If you're having to choose between the two, the Vector is probably the better bet unless the V450 is significantly cheaper. It's hard to say what the Vertex 450 will cost once generally available, but it'd be prudent to expect prices to be higher for the first few weeks. Initially, the Vertex 450 will probably be near the $235 mark, only a few bucks less than the Vector (about $15). Is it worth giving up two years of warranty and a FC3 coupon to save $15? You be the judge.

    Regards,
    Christopher Ryan
  • 4 Hide
    cryan , May 28, 2013 1:55 AM
    boulboxKinda wanted to see 840 pro match up with it too. Guess it doesn't really matter since we could just go find your other benchies on it and compare it ourselves but i thought it would just be nice to have it up there.


    Stay tuned, because we're working on it. I've been rebuilding the entire database of comparative consumer SSD performance data, and some drives haven't been done yet for one reason or another. In some cases, it's due to time constraints. In other cases, acquiring or reacquiring particular SSDs has been problematic.


    Regards,
    Christopher Ryan
  • 1 Hide
    dgingeri , May 28, 2013 6:21 AM
    I'd like to see it's relative performance compared to a Vertex 4. I have two Vertex 4 drives, a 256 and a 128, and I've been wondering how these new drives would compare, and if they're worth spending the money to swap with my Vertex drives.
  • 2 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , May 28, 2013 6:35 AM
    I find it interesting that there are almost no benches relating to real world performance. Toms has said in the past that there are diminishing returns beyond a certain performance level for SSDs.

    Why not show some graphs of loading screens in games, Windows start-up times, and other tangible performance metrics instead of a bunch of graphs that mean very little to anyone other than the few who use consumer class SSDs for enterprise applications?

    I'm not saying that we take out the synthetic benchmarks. Just that there should be some real world ones added in.
  • 2 Hide
    raidtarded , May 28, 2013 7:31 AM
    Later in its life, the Vertex 4 shipped with Micron NAND, eschewing Intel's flash for a slight performance drop and better pricing.

    Doesn't Intel and Micron use the same NAND via the IMFT partnership?
  • 0 Hide
    ericjohn004 , May 28, 2013 7:37 AM
    I agree with another poster that said there should be more real world benchmarks. Like Windows 7/8 boot times, shut-down times, game load times, programs load times, and such.

    I would have also like to see the Samsung 840 Pro in there. Afterall, it's the fastest SSD to date, it should be included in any SSD article even if it takes a couple more days to get it.

    Personally, I really like Plextors drive. It really impressed me. If the 840 Pro weren't out I'd get one of those. Too bad I already own a Crucial m4 256GB, Crucial m4 64GB mSATA, Kingston HyperX 3K, and Samsung 840. None of these drives have given me any problems. I buy SSD's based on reliability and price. Buying drives based on performance only you end up spending 50$ more for nothing. I got my 840 and 3K for 89.99, whereas if I would have got an 840 Pro it would have been 149.99, or right now it's still 129.99. That's 40-60$ more for pretty much nothing.
  • -1 Hide
    falchard , May 28, 2013 9:39 AM
    lol there is nothing wrong with OCZs reliability. Most of the Vertex 3 performed exactly how OCZ specified. SSD have a finite lifespan that no manufacturer will overcome. If you want something that won't fail in 3-5 years than get an HDD, an SSD will fail in that time.
  • -2 Hide
    danwat1234 , May 28, 2013 1:01 PM
    @Falchard an SSD is usually much more reliable than a mechanical hard drive. It can handle 100s of Terabytes of writes in it's lifetime, other than that, there is no wear that occurs.
  • 2 Hide
    g-unit1111 , May 28, 2013 1:19 PM
    Quote:
    Faisal MahmoodSpeed and performance are fine but what really counts is reliability which OCZ does not have. I had to RMA Vertex 2 twice and both times it lasted 8 months. Before that I invested in an Intel x25-m and it is still going strong.

    SAME! I'm going to Samsung for my next SSD. OCZ's reliability is a joke


    OCZ's reliability used to be a joke because they used the same garbage Sandforce 2.0 controller that was known to have so many bugs that it plagued every drive it touched. I had an Intel 320 that used the same controller - thing was a nightmare, errors, BSODs left and right, you name it. Swapped it for a Vertex 4 - have not had a single issue with the drive and I've owned it for almost a year now. People need to stop taking the things they say in store reviews so seriously - 90% of the time they're complete BS.
  • 2 Hide
    alextheblue , May 28, 2013 4:30 PM
    boulboxKinda wanted to see 840 pro match up with it too. Guess it doesn't really matter since we could just go find your other benchies on it and compare it ourselves but i thought it would just be nice to have it up there.
    Regular 840 would be nice to have on the graphs too, just to see how close you can get for substantially less coin, and from a reliable manufacturer too.

    But it sounds like Chris is on the case! Thanks in advance. :D 
  • 0 Hide
    cryan , May 28, 2013 7:56 PM
    ericjohn004I agree with another poster that said there should be more real world benchmarks. Like Windows 7/8 boot times, shut-down times, game load times, programs load times, and such.I would have also like to see the Samsung 840 Pro in there. Afterall, it's the fastest SSD to date, it should be included in any SSD article even if it takes a couple more days to get it.Personally, I really like Plextors drive.


    We're working on a suite of "real world" test scenarios. The problem you run into is, just about all modern SSDs perform the same. Take boot time for example. The difference between the fastest SSD and the slowest SATA III SSDs is pretty miniscule. Half a second could cover the entire field. Is it a good metric because it shows there isn't much difference in that case, or is it not very helpful for just that reason?


    Regards,
    Christopher Ryan
  • 0 Hide
    dhemp , May 28, 2013 10:40 PM
    I'm sorry if I missed this in the review, but is that an mSATA on the opposite end of the board, and would it be functional?
  • 0 Hide
    boulbox , May 28, 2013 10:47 PM
    @dhemp

    Yea looks a lot like an mSata. It would be cool if it could be run though an mSata but i think the chip is too big.
  • 0 Hide
    Eric Van Boven , May 28, 2013 11:22 PM
    Actually there was. I had 5 vertex 1 fail on me. Company sent out a new vertex 1 each time. Then they finally upgraded me to vertex 2 which just died yesterday. Vertex 4 still going strong, but I have switched to samsung 840 pros now for 3 machines and will not be looking back. SSD's should not fail in a year when just doing normal everyday stuff on them (no benchmarking, no overclocking, different machines different types of users).

    falchardlol there is nothing wrong with OCZs reliability. Most of the Vertex 3 performed exactly how OCZ specified. SSD have a finite lifespan that no manufacturer will overcome. If you want something that won't fail in 3-5 years than get an HDD, an SSD will fail in that time.

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