The Toshiba OCZ VX500 is a mixed bag of positive and negative aspects. I really hope the OCZ portfolio doesn't turn into a rebranded version of Toshiba's OEM and retail products with a new package, sticker and software access. Is this what OCZ has become?
OCZ has always been a company with an eye on forward progress. Unfortunately, forward-thinking companies are always a target, and I'm sure your comments below will show that. Not every at-bat results in a home run, or even a hit, but OCZ was always willing to step into the batter’s box and swing for the fences.
Toshiba, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. The company manufactures good flash that only trails Samsung's efforts. The best consumer SSDs with Toshiba flash don't come from the company directly, though. They come from manufacturers that utilize Toshiba flash with third-party controllers. Toshiba's class-leading products stem from the enterprise side of its operation, where it leads the SAS race, but the consumer products don't seem to get the same focus on performance.
The VX500 series does well against the Samsung 850 EVO and fares well as a mainstream SSD, which is just one tier down from the two Pro branded products from Samsung and SanDisk. We focused on the 512GB capacity products, and the VX500 512GB is just a few dollars less than the 850 EVO 500GB. I didn't find a reason to recommend the VX500 over the EVO, just as I didn't recommend the Q300 Pro over the EVO last May. The only advantage the VX500 has over much of the competition is endurance.
OCZ will need to adjust the pricing for the VX500 to do well in the mainstream category. The current prices would be really good if the VS series performed like the two Pro SSDs, but that isn't the case. The VX500 is not an 850 EVO-killer, so OCZ shouldn't price it at the same level. We all know DRAMless products are coming…but in the premium performance category? We don't think so.
If Toshiba wants to get back in the game in any serious way it needs to roll out its 3D products. The company just announced its third-generation 3D BiCS3 NAND but has yet to release a retail product with it onboard. It's rare for us to see BiCS in any form, but we do have a single prototype drive in the lab with BiCS2. We have an identical controller paired with Intel/Micron's new 3D, and BiCS2 is faster. Toshiba doesn't use it in retail products, so it doesn't really matter, though. At this point, most shoppers look at the specification sheet and say "No 3D, no sale."