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OCZ Vertex 4 128 GB: Revisiting Write Performance With Firmware 1.5

Firmware 1.5: Something Special For OCZ's Vertex 4

Because SSD vendors are being allowed to customize their firmware, the latest SSDs based on Marvell's controller promise to perform differently. This is a pleasant change to what we're used to from SandForce-based drives, which didn't give manufacturers much flexibility to differentiate their products aside from a few different NAND interfaces.

When OCZ introduced firmware 1.4 for its Vertex 4, the company significantly altered the drive's performance profile, distinguishing it from a number of the other Marvell-based SSDs out there. But while the company delivered a significant write speed increase with that software update, it wasn't as vocal about the conditions under which you'd enjoy the extra boost.

In response to reader requests, we ran additional tests that confirmed our original findings: mainly, write performance degrades in real-life scenarios using firmware 1.4, and not just in synthetic metrics. Our first round of numbers indeed proved to be correct.

But our story doesn't simply end with vindicated testing results. Instead, in between our second and third rounds of coverage, OCZ quickly pushed out a firmware version 1.5 to alleviate some of what we observed the last time around. The latest build significantly helps the drive to remain in “performance mode” and significantly reduces the shortcomings identified in OCZ Vertex 4 128 GB: Testing Write Performance With Firmware 1.4.

The only other issue we'd be concerned about is the amount of write amplification being incurred, but that's not something we can easily test and, quite frankly, it's a lot easier to live with than the slow-downs observed from the previous firmware version.

OCZ certainly ups the Vertex 4's game with its new software, and we commend the fact that the company is striving to improve its products. If you were happy enough with Vertex 4 to buy the drive after our original review, surely you were happy to see the SSD's performance get even better in firmware 1.5. We chimed in after that update to let you know the conditions under which you'd see more performance. And now, with firmware 1.5, the efficiency in switching from storage mode to performance mode is improved. OCZ has even made mention of a firmware 1.6 in the works, suggesting further improvements are planned.

  • DeusAres
    Good idea I suppose. Nothing that's going to particularly influence my decision. Probably gonna be sticking with either a Crucial or Corsair SSD. :)
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    on pages 6 and 7, the author of the article is shown as "Chris angelini"
    the rest of the pages show "Richard Hart"
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    does the rearrangement of data occur only during a reboot cycle?
    how much idle time is needed for the data rearrangement to take place?
    And what is the authors recommendation on a Vertex4? should a user buy Vertex 4 over a Samsung/Sandforce?
    Reply
  • lutel
    Does this SDD support full disk encryption with any of the Intel desktop mainboards (Ivy Bridge)? AFAIK Intel is not supporting FDE since Q67 and although Q77 is capable of FDE, there is no mobo with BIOS that can support it. Could Tomshardware investigate it?
    Reply
  • TheSandman
    So keep the disk under half full and it wears out twice as fast?
    Does the performance mode mean that the wear leveling is constrained to the first bit of every cell and therefore the drive wears out quicker compared to normal mode?
    Reply
  • I went from firmware 1.3 to 1.5, the performance increase is huge, but the down side is that the drive is not 128GB anymore but only 120GB. Has anyone else seen this issue also? Did OCZ reserve more spare?
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    How many additional firmware updates are needed before OCZ gets it right?
    Reply
  • redgarl
    AnonymousI went from firmware 1.3 to 1.5, the performance increase is huge, but the down side is that the drive is not 128GB anymore but only 120GB. Has anyone else seen this issue also? Did OCZ reserve more spare?It is actually occuring with update 1.4. Hmm, damn I need to do another clone disk before doing the update.
    Reply
  • kissingman
    Bother! I just purchased one.The more worse is this one has updated to firmware 1.4.
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    JohnnyLuckyHow many additional firmware updates are needed before OCZ gets it right?
    Do you dislike manufacturers improving their products without demanding that you pay more money for the improvements?
    Reply