OCZ Vertex 4 128 GB: Testing Write Performance With Firmware 1.4

Back in April, we published one of the first reviews of OCZ's Vertex 4. In those three months, the company has issued three firmware updates, with a fourth reportedly in the pipeline. We take another look at the drive using its latest software.

Early last month, OCZ released firmware version 1.4RC for its Vertex 4 SSDs. The update was deliberately destructive, meaning it wiped drives clean. When a company goes to the trouble of issuing an update like that, you know something significant is happening under the hood. 

In this case, the 128, 256, and 512 GB drives received minor sequential read performance improvements, while the 128 and 256 GB drives purportedly enjoyed massive sequential write speed enhancements (from 200 to 420 MB/s, in the case of the 128 GB model).

Since that introduction, OCZ has rolled out revisions and, which appear to correct bugs, rather than augmenting performance further. We do hear, however, that the imminent release of firmware 1.5 will provide the Vertex 4s with additional performance.

The table below reflects the same information presented in our earlier news post. Mainly: sequential writes speed is most significantly impacted by firmware 1.4.

So, within three months of our initial review (OCZ Vertex 4 Review: A Flagship SSD Powered By...Indilinx?), one of OCZ's newest SSDs has had its performance profile almost completely transformed. But do you end up making any compromises for the additional sequential write speed? Today, we take a look at the 128 GB Vertex 4's exceptional sequential performance results, which, to date, have only been achieved by competing architectures heavily reliant on compression algorithms.

Test Setup

Test System
Intel Core i7-2700K (Sandy Bridge), 3.5 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-saving features enabled
Asus P8Z68-V, Z68 Express Chipset, LGA 1155, BIOS 3402
4 x 4 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
AMD Radeon HD 6970 2 GB
OCZ Vertex 4 128 GB, SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware
Software Setup
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Service Pack 1
Intel Chipset Drivers
AMD Graphics
Catalyst 12.4
HD Tune Pro
Anvil's Storage Utility