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Spring 2010 Solid State Drive Roundup, Part 1

OCZ Vertex (120GB)

OCZ positions its Agility series for the mainstream, while the enthusiast-oriented Vertex is divided into a regular edition, a Turbo Series, and a top-end Limited Edition. We received the regular edition drive, which is probably what most people willing to spend a bit more money on their SSDs will consider anyway.

The Vertex is based on Indilinx's Barefoot controller and includes 64MB of cache. OCZ specifies maximum read speeds of 250 MB/s and write speeds of up to 180 MB/s for this model. The guaranteed sustained write speed is rated at 100 MB/s, which is a laudably honest statement indicating that SSDs may not always deliver blistering performance, even if only for a split second. OCZ offers 30, 60, and 250 gigabyte capacity points as well, but keep in mind that their performance specifications differ from one to the other.

Read performance varied between 212 and 220 MB/s during our testing. Writes ranged between 171 to 198 MB/s, which we consider to be good. OCZ delivers faster file server and workstation I/O performance than Crucial, but its drive falls slightly behind in the database test. Web server performance is equivalent. Solidata’s 64GB drive is faster in most workloads, which is probably due to its SLC flash memory. Crucial and OCZ employ MLC.

OCZ's measured idle power of 0.5W is the highest in this roundup, but 0.9W at streaming reads is decent. The Vertex also requires 0.5W to deliver HD video and stays at only 0.7W during workstation I/O loads. Obviously, this drive is most efficient if you keep it busy.

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