Toshiba OCZ VX500 SSD Review

Conclusion

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."

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10 comments
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  • Dan2357
    Hey Tom's (&Chris) great work with the ssd reviews! Between this and the PM961 review yesterday you guys are really putting out the sort of content I come here to see. Just wanted to say thanks and keep it up!
  • Zaxx420
    Like many others, I cut my teeth on Ocz drives back 'in the day'...lol Learned a lot of what I know about SSDs on their once awesome community forum. They had the balls to light the way for everyone else when SSDs were in their infancy. And ofc being first carries risks...Ocz took a beating trying to sort out Sandforce's firmware nightmare(s) but ultimately someone had to take one for the team. I'd hate to see the Ocz name and more so the Ocz spirit get absorbed into obscurity. Fingers crossed that Ocz can come out guns blazin' when Tosh finally gets BiCS to market. Lord knows they have the resources to duke it out with Samsung at the top but as it sits they are more focused on the more lucrative enterprise market.
  • ssdpro
    In defense, consumers that feel "No 3D, no sale" are victims of marketing magic. You will never experience the difference between planar mlc and "3D" in a high performing SATA device.

    But the negative, quoted directly from the article: "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?"

    At this point, it appears that is what it HAS become. Also, as of right now, from the moment this review and others went live OCZ still hasn't listed this product on their website (will change I am sure but sums up their organization).
  • Design1stcode2nd
    Maybe I'm missing something but the real world application graph is what I'm focusing on. It just confirms for me that your average user or gamer will see no real difference in a SATA SSD so go for a TLC or 3D TLC version. I'm probably going to end up with a Trion 150, I just don't see the need to go with an 850 or 850 pro for my use case. By the time the warranty runs out I'll likely have a new Mobo, CPU and be using NVME M/2 anyway. It will also probably be larger capacity for less money as well.
  • Modus27
    Given the barely noticeable real world differences, I'd take this over Samsung 850 EVO at current MSRP just based on endurance. How did that not make it into a PRO, when you said that was only advantage it had?
  • abbadon_34
    5 Year warranty? Sold.

    In this time dwindling warranties (my recent 8TB Seagate has a 1 year warranty) and the warning given by Kevin Chen about DRAMless going to 12 months this is music to my ears and solid belief in their products.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/kevin-chen-adata-ssd-industry,32050.html
  • mapesdhs
    I know this review naturally focuses on newer products, but it would be nice to include a couple of older OCZ mainstream models, and even an older top-end model, just to see whether "OCZ" products really have improved compared to what was current not that long ago. Any chance you could add an Arc 100, Vector, Vertex4? Sometimes I feel that SSD reviews tend to do what happens in GPU reviews, not enough comparison across historial timelines to show what the long term trends really are.

    Alas, in this case, once again I think price is going to be the deciding factor, and OCZ's more recent products have been consistently too expensive. Shame really, I bought a lot of their older models and am very happy with them, but after the Arc came out their pricing just went up and up, to the point where typical sellers had the Arc 100 listed for more than an 850 EVO, which is nuts. Many never bothered listing the Vector 180 at all.

    Btw Chris, please fix those graphs! ;D

    Ian.
  • CRamseyer
    I'm limited by how much space I have for the charts. 8 Products is the max for the charts. I would love to increase the comparison depth but I can't. I have nearly ever consumer SSD released since this category started. I would love to release a set of charts with hundreds of drives.
  • TMRichard
    Chris, what I would be really interested in seeing with your test data is an interactive 'chart' which allows us to select the drives want to compare it to. Even if it still maxes out at 8 items that would be more that sufficient. I know there are other sites that will allow us to do this but I would like to know I'm using a reliable, trustworthy set of test data so I can make an informed decision on the item.
  • mapesdhs
    1888934 said:
    I'm limited by how much space I have for the charts. 8 Products is the max for the charts. I would love to increase the comparison depth but I can't. I have nearly ever consumer SSD released since this category started. I would love to release a set of charts with hundreds of drives.


    Perhaps a different chart format? Or a selectable list as TMRichard describes?

    Ian.