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OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,270
Partial and Full Drive Performance

Partial and Full Drive Performance


While it is important to know how a drive will perform under optimal conditions, more realistic scenarios are just as important. Knowing if a solid state drive will behave differently when partially or even nearly full than when it is empty is very important information to know. To quickly and accurately show this crucial information we have first filled the drive to 50% capacity and re-tested using both synthetic and real world tests. After the completion of this we then re-test at 75% and 90% of full capacity.

Synthetic Test Results
For our synthetic testing we have opted for our standard PCMark 7 test.

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Real World Results

For a real world application we have opted for our standard Windows 7 Start Up with Boot Time A/V Scan Performance test.

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When the Vertex 4 first arrived on the scene this was one area the Everest 2 controller had serious problems with. To be blunt, when you hit over 50% capacity, its performance took a nose dive. Thankfully, this is not the case with this new controller. In fact, the performance retention of the new Barefoot 3 based Vector is the best we've seen to date. Obviously, OCZ’s firmware team learned from the Everest 2 and took the time to thoroughly vet this drive in real world scenarios.
 
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AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,270
SATA 2 Performance

SATA 2 Performance


In a perfect world everyone investing in a new solid state drive would have access to a SATA 6GB/s controller which could pass on the TRIM command. In reality not everyone has this and for many the decision comes down either giving up TRIM – never a good idea with most controllers – and running it off a secondary controller; or taking a performance hit and running in SATA 2.0 mode.

These tests will consist of some of our real world and synthetic benchmarks run on our standard 1155 test-bed; but the drive will be attached to an SATA 2 port.

For synthetic we have opted for the newcomer to our charts: Anvil Storage Utilities Pro. For real world we have opted for our Adobe test. These two tests should give you a very good idea of the level of performance impact you can expect from running a modern SATA 6 drive in compatibility mode.


s2_adobe.jpg

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These results tell us a lot about the Barefoot 3’s design priorities. Obviously less emphasis was placed on SATA 3Gb/s performance and it may even have been even more of an afterthought. To be rather blunt, while the performance of the Vector is still very good here, the impact from running in SATA 3Gb/s mode is rather significant. Obviously this is one area the firmware team needs to spend more time on and for the time being, the Vector would not be our first choice for older systems.
 
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AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,270
Conclusion

Conclusion


After all the setbacks in recent months, OCZ needed a new consumer-level product which categorically proved they were still a force to be reckoned with and worthy of consideration. To accomplish this, a fresh start was required and the introduction of a new flagship drive like the Vector using technology developed in-house is certainly a step in the right direction. More importantly, OCZ has proven that you don’t need to use endlessly rebadged designs in order to find success in this industry.

OCZ’s new Vector takes the Vertex 4’s far-reaching abilities and ups the ante with better long term performance and stability. Sustained performance is going to be an indispensable characteristic for the next generation of controllers and the Vector gives us a great glimpse of things to come. While certain aspects of its benchmark numbers do point towards a focus towards the professional and workstation segments, a 5 year warranty and great all-round situational adaptability will surely appeal to mass market users as well.

The Barefoot 3 controller is nearly everything we could possibly want to see in a next generation controller. It offers blistering performance, can take care of itself without capacity being lost to over provisioning and most importantly it remains fast for the long haul. This last point is the linchpin in the Barefoot’s potentially market dominating equation. While the Vector 256GB may not have topped our charts when empty, it actually blasted ahead of every other drive available when there was actual data housed on it. To us, that’s even more important than initial performance since no one keeps their brand new drive completely empty.

There are still several areas where the Vector needs some improvement. While its initial firmware is stable and offers plenty of great benchmark numbers, as with any new SSD / controller combination, future firmware development rollouts will be needed. Given OCZ’s years of experience and obviously talented engineering team, we are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in this situation. OCZ’s investment in extensive real world beta testing is already paying dividends in this arena and we expect the Vector’s firmware to mature like fine wine. The promise of more testing before a firmware is released is just another in a long line of included bonus features sure to impress even the most jaded of consumers.

The Vector was obviously meant to win back some of OCZ’s lost ground in the consumer market and it succeeds in spectacular fashion. Its performance, warranty and many other aspects have put an exclamation point on OCZ’s 2012 lineup. While there is still a truckload of negative press surrounding the company’s current financial situation and some improvements have yet to be incorporated, the Barefoot 3 controller and the Vector 256GB have offered us a tantalizing look into the future.

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