OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB Review (Page 1 of 10)

By: Jonathan Kwan
June 14, 2013

Sometimes, us engineers have the best logic in the world. One time, in the office, I heard my coworker say, "If I leave a minute late every day for the next sixty days, then I can leave an hour early today." Another time, I was reading the newspaper, and I saw an advertisement from a luxury car manufacturer offering $10,000 cash incentive for one of their vehicles. I pointed at the ad and said to a few of my friends, "I think if you buy five, then you will save $50,000!" As you can see, you really cannot argue with sound logic. When OCZ announced the Vertex 3.20 series SSDs a few months ago, something made me wonder what the heck does that decimal mean. It was not long until my logical mind kicked in again, and a series of questions popped up. Is it 0.20 better than the Vertex 3, but 0.80 worse than the OCZ Vertex 4? But if it was really 6.7% better than the Vertex 3, then what about the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB? Of course, in the same way leaving a minute late for work every day will not really compensate for your hours, and buying five luxury cars to save $50,000 is not exactly how math works, the OCZ Vertex 3.20's little decimal at the back does not necessarily mean it is 0.20 better than the original either... or is it? Based off the renowned SandForce SF-2281 controller, the latest in OCZ's third generation SSD lineup uses Intel 20nm MLC NAND ICs -- hence the "3.20" designation. But for the interest of science, will the reduced flash die size make a 6.7% improvement in performance? Read on to find out!

Our review unit of the OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB came in the classic UPS branded medium shipping box. Originating from the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, USA, the two thousand kilometers trip across the 49th parallel in less than twenty four hours via UPS Saver is painless as always. As always, the guys in the brown suits did a great job in ensuring everything is handled with care. I know, that sounds kind of funny, but they have been pretty darn good to us, haha. We here in APH Networks Calgary excitedly opened the package with the camera ready, and got straight to work.

We have seen this type of retail packaging used with OCZ's solid state drives before. No, it is not the standard box used with the company's performance line such as the OCZ Vertex 4 256GB and OCZ Vector 256GB. Instead, it takes on the simplistic rather simplistic approach we have previously seen with the Agility 4. Enclosed by what that appears to be a blister pack -- thank goodness it is actually plastic shell with two button clips at the top -- this appears to the the standard for OCZ's value and mainstream drives. The clean layout allows you to grab all the information you need at first glance; the OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD itself is shown prominently in front, capacity at the bottom left, and the model name near the upper right corner. Detailed specifications are not found on the outside, but we have them here, as taken from the OCZ's website:

Sequential Reads: 550MB/s
Sequential Writes: 520MB/s
Random 4k QD32 Read: 35,000 IOPS
Random 4k QD32 Write: 65,000 IOPS
Maximum Random 4k Write: 90,000 IOPS

Usable Capacity (IDEMA): 240GB
NAND Components: 20nm Synchronous Multi-Level Cell (MLC)
Interface: SATA 3 6Gb/s (Backwards compatible with SATA II 3Gb/s)
Form Factor: 2.5 Inch
NAND Controller: SandForce® 2281
Dimension (L x W x H): 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm
Weight: 83g

MTBF: 2 million hours
Data Path Protection: ECC corrects up to 24 random bits/512B
Endurance: Rated for 20GB/day of host writes for 5 years under typical client workloads
Product Health Monitoring: Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) support
Power Consumption: Idle: 0.55W, Active: 2.1W
Operating Temperature: 0°C ~ 55°C
Storage Temperature: -45°C ~ 85°C
Shock Resistance: 1500G
Certifications: RoHS, CE, FCC, KCC, C-Tick, VCCI, BSMI

Serial ATA (SATA): Fully compliant with Serial ATA International Organization: Serial ATA Revision 3.0. Fully compliant with ATA/ATAPI-8 Standard Native Command Queuing (NCQ)
Operating System: Windows / Mac OS X / Linux

Performance Optimization: TRIM (requires OS support)
Other Performance Features: SandForce’s DuraClass™ technologyfor reliability, performance, and power efficiency. DuraWrite™ architecture extends flash rated endurance
Service & Support: 3-Year Warranty, Toll-Free Tech Support, 24 Hour Forum Support, Firmware Updates

Popping the packaging open, there isn't a whole lot of stuff included. Other than the SSD itself, clipped inside the background insert is an installation/warranty guide. What you won't get anymore is the not-so-modest "My SSD is faster than your HDD" sticker. Instead, the "I love my SSD" sticker -- although one could read it as "I OCZ-love my SSD" -- we have first seen in the OCZ Vector 256GB is included. No cables, no adapter brackets, just pure Vertex 3.20. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the solid state drive itself.

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