Daily Reviews for November 27 - OCZ Vector SSD Review Edition


At the time of writing OCZ didn't have its product page up so we're using the specs presented to media in the reviewers guide. So far OCZ has released details on three capacity sizes. Vector is the new flagship in the OCZ SSD product family so we don't expect to see a 64GB model. We don't expect to see anything larger than 512GB either until a move to 20nm flash occurs.


The Indilinx badge has popped up again on OCZ's new Vector SSD, but this time it has a deeper meaning. Yes, the Vector boasts custom firmware like its similarly infused predecessors. Unlike those other drives, though, the Vector has controller silicon all its own: the Indilinx Barefoot 3. This long-anticipated chip makes its debut in the Vector, and we've run the drive through its paces to see whether it's been worth the wait.


The new Barefoot 3 controller and firmware are specifically tuned for long-term performance in steady state conditions. This controller also does not rely upon compression for its performance.  The result of this hard work comes with some truly impressive specifications with the 256GB model touting 550 MB/s read and 530MB/s write speeds. The Vector also tops out at 100,000 4k random write IOPS and 95,000 random read IOPS, all delivered over a SATA 6Gb/s connection. The OCZ Vector SSD comes in a mobile-friendly 7mm form factor and three capacities of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.


Today, OCZ is launching its Vector SSD, based on a brand new Barefoot 3 controller. Unlike the Vertex 4's Everest 2 logic, which was clearly branded as an Indilinx IDX400M00-BC, and at least made to look like an in-house design, we're assured that Barefoot 3 (IDX500M00-BC) is, in fact, OCZ's own, a product of its Indilinx and PLX acquisitions.


If you're the SSD savvy type, you may know the Indilinx branded Octane and Vertex 4 drives were actually Marvell based controllers with custom Indilinx firmware. Not so this time. The Indilinx Barefoot 3 is 100% OCZ in-house hardware and software. In fact, the entire drive is OCZ fabricated with the exception of the IMFT NAND as we'll see when we peek inside. The 6Gbps interfaced Vector carries some hefty read/write maximum specifications at 550/MBs and 530MB/s respectively with IOPS to match at 100,000/95,000. Although yet to hit shelves, the MSRP OCZ has relayed for each is as follows: $149.99, $269.99 and $559.99 for the 128GB, 256GB and 512GB drives.