OCZ's Vertex series of solid-state drives has started shipping. That doesn't sound like big news at first, since the company previously announced the birth of the drives at the end of last year. However, if OCZs claims hold up to spec, their Vertex drives will rival the very best of the consumer SSDs, Intel's X25-M and X25-E drives.
The delay on shipping the SSDs came as a result of firmware updates, and OCZ now boasts sequential read and write speeds of 250 MB/s and 240 MB/s respectively.
How's that? OCZ has slapped a 64 MB data buffer on the two high-capacity versions of these MLC-based SSDs: the 120 GB and 250 GB editions. This is in addition to the Indilinx Barefoot controller that powers the data transfer for all drives in the Vertex line, which can address four flash channels at the same time. Intel's top drives can hit ten at once, so it will be interesting to see how this shoot-out amongst these high-performers plays out--cache size versus channels. Of course, firmware tweaking plays into the picture as well, which begs the question--will OCZ's drives be affected by similar performance issues as Intel's alleged troubles?
Don't expect to see similar performance amongst all drives in the Vertex line. The two smaller-capacity drives in the four-drive Vertex series, a 30 GB and 60 GB version, both come with a 32MB cache. They'll be priced at $200 or below, with the 120 GB and 250 GB Vertex drives shipping for $400 and $830 respectively.