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OCZ Vector 150 SSD Review: A New Flagship With 19 nm Flash

Results: PCMark 7 And PCMark Vantage

Futuremark's PCMark 7: Secondary Storage Suite

PCMark 7 uses the same trace-based technology as our Storage Bench v1.0 for its storage suite testing. It employs a geometric mean scoring system to generate a composite, so we end up with PCMarks instead of a megabytes per second. One-thousand points separate the top and bottom, but that encompasses a far larger difference than the score alone indicates.

This test is a big improvement over the older PCMark Vantage, at least for SSD benchmarking. The storage suite is comprised of several small traces. At the end, the geometric mean of those scores is scaled with a number representing the test system's speed. The scores generated are much different from PCMark Vantage, and many manufacturers are predisposed to dislike it for that reason. It's hard to figure out how PCMark 7 "works" because it uses a sliding scale to generate scores. Still, it represents one of the best canned benchmarks for storage, and if nothing else, it helps reinforce the idea that the differences in modern SSD performance don't necessarily amount to a better user experience in average consumer workloads.

Instead of showing the post-processed PCMark 7 scores, this chart reflects percentages relative to the fastest drive tested (in this test's case, that's Samsung's 840 Pro 256 GB). Our interpretation isn't earth-shattering, but it likely is more meaningful than raw benchmark results.

Fire up PCMark 7 and the status quo strikes back. Except, this time, OCZ's Vertex 3 bests the Vertex 450. The Vector 150 falls to the original Vector.

Futuremark's PCMark Vantage: Hard Drive Suite

PCMark's Vantage isn't the paragon of SSD testing, mainly because it's old and wasn't designed for the massive performance solid-state technology enables. Intended to exploit the new features in Windows Vista, Vantage was certainly at the forefront of consumer storage benching at the time. Vantage works by taking the geometric mean of composite storage scores and then scaling them a lot like PCMark 7 does. But in Vantage's case, this scaling is achieved by arbitrarily multiplying the geometric sub-score mean by 214.65. That scaling factor is supposed to represent an average test system of the day (a system that's now close to a decade behind the times). PCMark 7 improves on this by creating a unique system-dependent scaling factor and newer trace technology. 

Why bother including this metric, then? A lot of folks prefer Vantage in spite of or because of the cartoonish scores and widespread adoption. That, and the fact that most every manufacturer uses the aged benchmark in box specs and reviewer-specific guidelines. In fairness, Vantage's Hard Drive suite wasn't designed with SSDs in mind, and is actually quite good as pointing out which 5400 RPM mechanical disk might be preferable.

Break out the Moët, because the Vector 150 finally demonstrates a finish that trumps OCZ's other offerings. Granted, it bests the first-gen Vector by a slim 1.01%, but still, a win is a win.

Less enthusiasm-generating is the fact that OCZ's new flagship is bested by four 128 GB-class drives, seven 256 GB SSDs, a trio of 512 GB-class models, and Samsung's EVO 1000 GB. Then again, PCMark Vantage is no longer the most brilliant indicator of general performance.

  • Amdlova
    time to upgrade from vertex 4 to 150
    Reply
  • CommentariesAnd More
    It looks pretty good and it does perform pretty good.
    Reply
  • enihcam
    Will Toshiba buy OCZ?
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    11918040 said:
    time to upgrade from vertex 4 to 150

    I just hope the quality increased. Only because at my last job we had used Vertex 3s for all of our work stations and they one by one started having random issues, from not being detected to wiping the partitions.

    I like OCZ because they help lower the price of SSDs but there has to be quality behind the price as well.
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    Some of the numbers in the bottom diagram on page 4 seem to be off. Look at the Intel 520 180GB for example; the random write bar is longer than the random read bar, but the actual IOPS numbers are the other way around.
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    11918340 said:
    11918040 said:
    time to upgrade from vertex 4 to 150

    I just hope the quality increased. Only because at my last job we had used Vertex 3s for all of our work stations and they one by one started having random issues, from not being detected to wiping the partitions.

    I like OCZ because they help lower the price of SSDs but there has to be quality behind the price as well.
    My impression is that OCZ was hit hard by the Sandforce issues, partially as a result of being an early adopter. Their newer drives seem to be reliable.
    Reply
  • cryan
    11918441 said:
    Some of the numbers in the bottom diagram on page 4 seem to be off. Look at the Intel 520 180GB for example; the random write bar is longer than the random read bar, but the actual IOPS numbers are the other way around.

    Awesome catch! The 520 seems to have the right bar length, but the label from the Intel 510. I'll sort that out, but that's a genuine not-my-fault problem. One of the very few. I can blame Excel 2013 with confidence, but kudos for the eagle eye.

    The random write bar is correct though; the SandForce-based 520, 525, and Intel 530 each pull down more random write IOps than read with incompressible data.



    Regards,
    CR
    Reply
  • kancaras
    TOM!!! you gotta unswap PCMARK 7 graph with PCMARK vantage graph!
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    I got two SSD vertex 4 128gb on my computer 3770k and on my girlfriend 3470 I never get an single error on this SSD. raid 0 or normal configs. run solid!
    Reply
  • ssdpro
    11918455 said:
    My impression is that OCZ was hit hard by the Sandforce issues, partially as a result of being an early adopter. Their newer drives seem to be reliable.

    Early on yes, but the 2nd gen SF drives really are pretty darn stable now. OCZ has had solid top tier releases since the Vertex 4. I own Vertex 4 and Vector, will probably get a 150. Hands down the worst thing they ever did was try budget/value offerings like the Petrol. I don't think there is any reason for fanboism, I own Samsung and OCZ drives and all work happily together.

    Reply