OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review

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by Robert Tanner on January 14, 2013 in Storage

Vector is OCZ’s first SSD release since the ushering in of a new CEO and fresh perspective on its direction. It’s also the first SSD to come equipped with both in-house firmware and controller. In effect, OCZ has built its Vector SSD from the ground up with its rich internal resources – has it paid off?

Synthetic: AS SSD

As the name implies, AS SSD is a nifty little program written exclusively for solid-state drives. It can still be run on a mechanical hard drive just for fun, but be warned: what takes a few minutes on an SSD will require the better part of an hour on an HDD! It is freely available for download here.

This handy tool measures sequential reads and writes in addition to the important 4KB random reads and writes, then ranks the results with a final score for quick comparison with other SSDs. In addition to the main test there is a secondary benchmark that simulates the type of data transferred for ISO, Program, and Game files. We selected this program for its precision, ability to generate large file sizes on-the-fly, and because it is written to bypass Windows 7’s automatic caching system.

4K-Thrd is similar to the 4K test but spawns multiple requests; basically this tests how good the SSD is at handling multiple file actions at once, aka queue depth. Queue depth wasn’t an issue with HDDs as they were generally too slow to handle more than a few simultaneous IOPS at a time (as illustrated in our Iometer results), but with SSDs it is important to have a good controller with a high queue depth capability for the best, most consistent performance.

Once again we can see the Vertex 4 is slightly faster at a lower queue depth with 4KB Writes , but once the controller is given additional simultaneous IO (a higher queue depth) it is able to extract better parallelism and resumes the lead in both 4K-Thrd tests. Read performance is particularly strong for the Vector, although it also manages to leave a wide gap between itself and the V4 in the sequential write test.

The Vector gives itself a comfortable lead in the three transfer scenarios as well and is about tied for write latency to the V4, but offers the lowest read access latency we have seen yet. With such a strong performance in almost every category it should be no surprise that the Vector receives the highest AS SSD score we’ve yet seen, 1145, giving it a respectable lead over the only other SSD that’s broken the 1,000 point mark.