OCZ Vertex 4 256GB Solid State Drive

We've looked at many SSDs here, and they've mostly been implementations of the popular SandForce NAND controller.  While this isn't a bad thing, as the performance offered by those drives have been good, it's good to see more competition in the growing SSD market.  The last generation of drives we looked at from OCZ fit this mould.  The Vertex 3 series SSDs used the SF-2280 series of controllers, but with the Vertex 4 series, OCZ chose to go with something different.  Fresh off aquisition of Indilinx, the Vertex 4 uses the Everest 2 controller.  We'll see how it performs and if it's a worthy successor in OCZ's Vertex series.


Specifications

Design (Form Factor) 2.5" with 9.3mm height
Capacity 256GB
Sequential Speed (R/W) 560/510 MB/s
Random Speed (R/W) 90/85 k IOPS
Additional Package Contents OCZ SSD Toolbox, 3.5" drive adapter
Warranty 5 Years

OCZ Vertex 4 256GB Solid State Drive

The Vertex 4 may look familiar to many, and your eyes aren't deceiving you.  The Vertex 4 looks almost exactly the same as the Vertex 3 series.  The only difference between the two generations of SSDs is the model branding sticker on the top.  While the Vertex 3 series made no mention of the SandForce controller within, the Vertex 4 proudly identifies its Indilinx infusion.  This shouldn't be any surprise though, as OCZ owns Indilinx.

The Vertex 4 has a height of 9.3mm and fits in the standard 2.5" form factor.  A 3.5" adapter is included in the drive's package.  Two screw mounting holes can be found on either long side of the Vertex 4 (commonly used for notebooks).

The base of the Vertex 4 is made up of a metal plate, and comes with a sticker with the drive's details and identifiers.  There are four mounting screw holes on the bottom of the drive (commonly used fot desktop computer cases).

The Vertex 4 comes equipped with standard full size SATA data and power connectors.  The data connector accepts connectivity from SATA I, II and III.  Connector location is standard for the 2.5" drive form factor, so the drive should fit into most hot-swap bays/racks and notebooks.

Disassembled, the Vertex 4 is made up of three main parts.  There's the top cover, the bottom plate and the SSD's circuit board.  The top cover is made of plastic and the bottom plate is metal.  The circuit board is attached to the top cover with four screws, and the bottom plate is attached to the top cover with four screws.

OCZ's Everest 2 design requires the use of external cache, and thus the Vertex 4 comes with two 256MB DDR2 modules from Micron (512MB total).  The NAND modules used are 25nm synchronous modules of 16GB each.  While the modules are OCZ branded, they're not actually made by them.  The Everest 2 NAND controller used in the Vertex 4 is from OCZ's Indilinx brand.

Each side of the Vertex 4's circuit board has eight 16GB NAND modules and one 256MB DDR module.

With the Vertex 4, OCZ has bumped the warranty coverage up to 5 years from the 3 years offered with the Vertex 3.  Increasing the length of warranty adds to the benefits and value of going with an SSD over hard drives, which have been moving to shorter warranty coverage as of late.  For its consumer line of SSDs, OCZ offers customer support via it's own forums, an online support ticketing system and through a toll-free telephone line.

Included with the Vertex 4 is OCZ's SSD Toolbox.  This allows users to view SMART (health) information on the drive, as well as update firmware and perform secure erases.


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