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

Testing The Effects Of Vertex 4's Firmware 1.4

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 1.4.1.2 and 1.4.1.3, 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
CPUIntel Core i7-2700K (Sandy Bridge), 3.5 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-saving features enabled
MotherboardAsus P8Z68-V, Z68 Express Chipset, LGA 1155, BIOS 3402
Memory4 x 4 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 6970 2 GB
StorageOCZ Vertex 4 128 GB, SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware 1.4.1.3
Software Setup
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate x64 Service Pack 1
Intel Chipset Drivers10.8.0.1003
AMD GraphicsCatalyst 12.4
Benchmarks
HD Tune Pro5.00
Anvil's Storage UtilityRC2
Iometer2006.07.27
  • danielkr
    This is unfortunate. I purchased four of these drives and configured them in RAID 10. I wanted the read performance and the security of knowing I would not have to reinstall everything if a drive failed. I understood I would only have double write performance. But now that I have about 100GB of free space left, I am realizing only single drive write performance. Now I will have to rebuild into a RAID 0 and do regular image backups. :(
    Reply
  • edlivian
    What is with these games these vendors are playing with firmware. Sandforce has a trick with compressible data, indelix controllers now expects you to have half your drive empty to get the performance boost?!?

    Why can't you just get the consistent performance like you do on samsung 830's ad crucial m4's, there is nothing wrong with consistency.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Thats too bad.:(
    i was almost on the point of buying a 128GB Vertex4.

    NOT NOW. will wait for the next 1.5 firmware.
    its strange that such type of behavior was documented on Toms only, while multiple other sites have already reviewed this drive with 1.4 fw, giving it a very good rating.

    +1 to Toms review team
    Reply
  • kikiking
    so let me get this.. just like vertex III max iops and regular edition there is a performance drop? I sworn this drive had no garbage collection? either way I may buy one, and wait on 1.5. might as well or wait till I see 1.5 firmware.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    Man I was really interested in seeing what Indilinx could do, and I've been recommending this drive on all high end builds. I was even thinking of replacing my Intel 320 with one. Guess I'll be sticking with the Crucial M4 and Plextor M3 from now on.
    Reply
  • Todd Sauve
    According to OCZ this is the way the firmware for the Vertex4 128GB is designed to work and part of the reason is because of the way MS made the NTFS file system. They say the SSD will only slow down for a short time and then go back up to near normal speeds.

    They also tell me that Tom's Hardware is actually aware of this.

    Read about it here: http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?102254-Anormal-128GB-Vertex-4-Performance
    Reply
  • waxdart
    danielkrThis is unfortunate.I read that RAID doesn't support TRIM (never checked beyond that) so I've not bothered with it. Have you done any tests with this?
    Reply
  • edlivian
    Todd SauveAccording to OCZ this is the way the firmware for the Vertex4 128GB is designed to work and part of the reason is because of the way MS made the NTFS file system. They say the SSD will only slow down for a short time and then go back up to near normal speeds.
    I am sorry, but there should be never be a slow down, this is ssd, people expect top speed all the time from their drives.
    Reply
  • you guys releaize that all ssds slow down when they're half full?
    Reply
  • Kurz
    edlivianWhat is with these games these vendors are playing with firmware. Sandforce has a trick with compressible data, indelix controllers now expects you to have half your drive empty to get the performance boost?!?Why can't you just get the consistent performance like you do on samsung 830's ad crucial m4's, there is nothing wrong with consistency.
    Reading Comprehension Fail... Let say you have a 20 Gigabytes of Free Space (The SSD has 512GB total).

    If you try to write a file that is more than 10 GB you'll experience less than optinum performance.

    Note we are talking about Sequential Writing.
    Reply