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OCZ Vertex 450: A True Descendant Of The Vector

OCZ Vertex 450 256 GB SSD Review: Can We Call It Vector Jr.?
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As long as there's enough pricing space between the Vector and Vertex 450, OCZ's newer, more value-oriented model is the better buy. They're aesthetically similar, they perform a lot alike, and they're both plenty fast. Despite the added incentive of getting Far Cry 3 and two extra years of warranty coverage, the Vertex 450 gives you the superior price-per-gigabyte figure (providing you aren't worried about the game coupon).

That's in theory, anyway. When the Vertex 3 was followed up by the slower Agility 3, the two were priced too close to each other largely because of the NAND market's volatility. Back then, simply springing for the faster drive was a no-brainer. If you like the way the Vector moves, getting most of its repertoire for less money might sound like a solid plan. If you're not a fan, saving a few bucks probably won't change your mind.

At least on the consumer side, OCZ has a healthy track record with firmware support. Issues with the Vertex 3's SF-2281 controller led to a string of fixes that didn't always help. But, for the most part, OCZ continues supporting its products with updates, including last year's Arowana FTL release for the original Vertex/Agility drives. The most important releases enhance performance, rather than just fixing bugs. That's always appreciated, even if they don't change the value equation much. There are always places where behavior can be enhanced and refined, and some drives (like the Vertex 4) end up looking a lot different after OCZ's sculpting than when they first shipped. As for the Vertex 450, it's certainly a branch from the Vector's family tree, and its firmware shares the same characteristics as its predecessors.

Part of what OCZ is selling is speed, and the company's special firmware concoction helps hit grandiose performance targets without the massive vertical integration of a company like Samsung. OCZ's unique software does help make an impression in the benches, regardless of the downsides in extreme situations. You don't always get that highest level of performance, but you do get it most of the time, and that means the optimization is doing more than just artificially inflating scores.

After some soul searching, the San Jose-based company is moving away from the lower-end value offerings that made up such a big part of its line-up. Drives like the Octane S2 and Petrol are on borrowed time, along with several others intended to get solid-state technology into the desktop space for cheap. There is more than just anecdotal evidence that those drives were at times problematic. So, reducing the number and complexity of its offerings could help OCZ focus on building higher-quality products enthusiasts might be willing to pay more for.

OCZ is still fighting an uphill struggle, though. Now that it's de-emphasizing some of the areas formerly found lucrative, OCZ's success is dependent on its ability to sell premium SSDs. That puts the company up against powerhouses like Samsung. SanDisk, notably, is ramping up its assault on the consumer market. And now companies that OCZ didn't have to worry about before (Seagate, for example) are looking for blood, too.

Seeing how industry veterans like OCZ adjust to the hyper-competitive (and crowded) SSD market is going to be interesting. After all, it took 50 years for the hard drive segment to emerge, mature, and then consolidate into a handful of firms. How fast that happens in the SSD space is unclear. But OCZ has big plans for the future, and at least with products like the Vertex 450 delivering solid performance for less than $1/GB, we expect it to be around as this industry evolves further.

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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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