OCZ Vector 256GB Review (Page 1 of 10)

By: Jonathan Kwan
March 15, 2013

In September last year, we have reviewed the OCZ Vertex 4 256GB. For those who have not read that review, or do not recall the details of it, I would highly recommend you to go through the introduction and conclusion of that article before starting this one. Now, assuming you are familiar with my Vertex 4 review at this point, let's just say the Indilinx Everest 2 in OCZ's former flagship did not quite turn out to be Fala Chen in my books -- at least according to APH Networks' standard battery of benchmarks. Admittedly, it is a very good drive. It is incredibly speedy in real life; beating the SandForce driven OCZ Vertex 3 handily without any issues. I actually use it in my main computer, which consists of only products considered to be the best of the best. Unfortunately, its true speed was not reflected accordingly in our benchmarks, and as such, looses quite a bit of its mojo. What I am trying to say is, while a Civic Type-R could easily whoop a Dodge Challenger around a test track with more than three turns (And uses half the amount of fuel with twice the reliability), wouldn't it be nice if it holds its own in the 0-60 test and the quarter mile as well? Well, OCZ now has an answer. Their latest flagship, the Vector, based on their in-house Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller, is up for the tests. They also claim that through extensive testing and validation, this SSD also represents a shift for OCZ in aiming to make the most reliable and robust storage products in the market today. Let's see if this drive is a winner both on paper and in practice!

As always, our review unit of the OCZ Vector 256GB came in a medium sized, UPS-branded corrugated cardboard box from the company's American headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, USA. Thanks to modern day logistics and a bit of cash for the Express service, it landed on our doorstep here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in less than a day after it departed the Golden State. With cracked open the box, took out a camera, and went straight for the tests. Actually, if you read our Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB and SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB review in the past few weeks, you should be quite familiar with the performance of this drive. Either way, the details count as well, right?

Hollowing up the packing material from inside the shipping package is the retail box of OCZ's Vector 256GB SSD. It comes in a compact and lightweight box, with a design that clearly has family resemblance with the OCZ Vertex 4 256GB. Of course, the black and grey color scheme is now replaced with a cool blend of blue, but it comes with no ambiguities -- you will know this is an OCZ Vector series drive. With a photo of the SSD itself front and center, count how many times the model appears on the packaging -- more than enough to get the point across, haha. A series of bullets at the bottom highlights the features on the Vector, where the lack of "SandForce Driven" now replaced by "Indilinx Infused" at the top right corner should not come at much of a surprise to you at this point. Before we move on, let's take a look at the specifications of this drive, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:

Sequential Read: 550 MB/s
Sequential Write: 530 MB/s
4k Random Read: 100,000 IOPS
4k Random Write: 95,000 IOPS
NAND Components: MLC
Interface: SATA III / 6Gbps
Form Factor: 2.5 inch; ultra-slim 7mm
Dimensions: 99.7 (L) x 69.75 (W) x 7mm (H)
Weight: 115g
Controller: Indilinx Barefoot 3
Performance Optimizations: TRIM, Idle Time Garbage Collection
Power Consumption: Idle: 0.9W Active: 2.25W
OS Compatibility: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX
Included Contents: Acronis cloning software registration key*;
3.5" desktop adapter
Warranty: 5-years

Inside the retail box is familiar black package, consisting of a foam tray enclosed by a cardboard flap to house its internal contents. Despite the natural ability of SSDs to withstand high impact forces, OCZ made sure everything will end up safe and sound for the end user. After all, despite the price drop in recent years, this is still pretty expensive stuff. Out of the box, you will receive an OCZ Vector 256GB SSD inside an anti-static bag, 3.5" adapter bracket, eight screws (Four for attaching your SSD to the adapter bracket, with the remaining four for installing it into your chassis), installation/warranty guide, and a new "I love my SSD" sticker -- although one could read it as "I OCZ-love my SSD". We used to get stickers that says "My SSD is faster than your HDD", but it seems to me OCZ's shift in focus from just pure speed to overall superiority is in full effect. The company also includes a license key for Acronis' True Image HD software for transferring data from your old drive to this one. No CD is included, so if you are still stuck in the dinosaur age without internet, then you are out of luck.

Page Index
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage
10. Conclusion