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OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB SSD Review

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AkG

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ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark


The ATTO disk benchmark tests the drives read and write speeds using gradually larger size files. For these tests, the ATTO program was set to run from its smallest to largest value (.5KB to 8192KB) and the total length was set to 256MB. The test program then spits out an extrapolated performance figure in megabytes per second.





As with most of the other synthetic tests the Vertex 3 Max IOPS shows how much of an improvement it is over the standard version but only when the file size is small to moderate. With large file sizes, both are extremely good but neither really has a clear cut advantage over the other.
 
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AkG

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Vista Start Up / Adobe CS5 Load Time

Vista Start Up


When it comes to hard drive performance there is one area that even the most oblivious user notices: how long it takes to load the Operating System. While all the other tests were run with a Windows 7 operating system, this particular test uses another older test bed's “day to day” OS (copied over to our new testbed) which has accumulated a lot of crud over the months from installs and removals. We chose the Anti-Virus splash screen as our finish line as it is the last program to be loaded on start up.



A two second advantage may not sound like all that much, but it is significant nonetheless. More importantly it shows that OCZ's Max IOPS is not just some synthetic test only “benchmark ranger” and there is an honest to goodness difference between it and the standard model.


Adobe CS5 Load Time


Photoshop is a notoriously slow loading program under the best of circumstances, and while the latest version is actually pretty decent, when you add in a bunch of extra brushes and the such you get a really great torture test which can bring even the best of the best to their knees. Let’s see how our review unit faired in the Adobe crucible!



Well there you have it, the first drive ever to post single digit load times in our Adobe test. Once again, that 2 seconds may not look like a massive improvement but it is the difference between a champion and a runner up.
 
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AkG

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Real World Data Transfers

Real World Data Transfers


No matter how good a synthetic benchmark like IOMeter or PCMark is, it can not really tell you how your hard drive will perform in “real world” situations. All of us here at Hardware Canucks strive to give you the best, most complete picture of a review item’s true capabilities and to this end we will be running timed data transfers to give you a general idea of how its performance relates to real life use. To help replicate worse case scenarios we will transfer a 10.00GB contiguous RAR file and a folder containing 400 subfolders with a total 12,000 files varying in length from 200mb to 100kb (10.00 GB total).

Testing will include transfer to and transferring from the devices, using MS RichCopy (set to 1 file depth) and logging the performance of the drive. Here is what we found.






This has been alluded to in the past but we are now absolutely positive that our real world data transfer test is being bottlenecked by our PCI-E based RevoDrive. But let's put this into context here: a previous generation RevoDrive is slower than this Max IOPS version. It’s a brave new world indeed.
 
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AkG

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Conclusion

Conclusion


The Vertex 3 Max IOPS is a classic example of what can be accomplished when a company thinks outside the box. OCZ took a step back from the current SSD market and decided to introduce something different that blazes a new path for enthusiasts.

Most of today’s SSDs use 25nm NAND due to its broad availability and cost saving transistor structure. Even OCZ decided to go this route with the original Vertex 3 drives but the Max IOPS does things a bit differently by using 34nm NAND. On the surface of things, 32nm NAND is supposed to be superior from a longevity standpoint but it is OCZ’s use of Toggle Mode modules which really take things to the next level.

The difference in performance between this new drive and its older sibling is especially telling when dealing with uncompressible data. This is the one area in which SandForce-based drives stumbled but by swapping out the standard NAND for the higher performance variety, OCZ was able to virtually negate these limitations in most real world scenarios. Granted, the controller still seems to struggle a bit when handling uncompressed data but the increased NAND performance makes up any shortcoming. This NAND really is the Yin to the SF 2281’s Yang.

Now that the details are out of the way, let’s focus upon the overall performance of the Max IOPS. In a word, it is superb. There isn’t a single drive in our charts (other than the original Vertex 3) that can come anywhere close to the synthetic numbers it posted. But the real litmus test for any SSD lies within the real world results we run and this is exactly where OCZ’s tweaks have the most profound impact. A few seconds here and there may not seem like much on paper or within a chart but during day to day operation the benefits of the Max IOPS are definitely noticeable.

While the Vertex 3 Max IOPS’ actual value may be dubious for some, bleeding edge performance doesn’t come cheap and there is definitely a market for high end SSDs. If anything, this drive shows how seemingly minor changes can make a world of difference on the performance front and create one hell of a product.


 
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