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OCZ Vector 256GB SSD Review

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?

Real-World: File Transfers, dBpoweramp R14

Finally, we reach the first of our real-world tests where there are no unusual testing or scoring algorithms to leave us scratching our heads, just simple tests to see how an SSD changes actual system performance.

For the File Transfer test we took a 4.5GB compressed archive and measured how much time was required to transfer the file to another folder on the same drive. Keep in mind that with a hard disk, this requires the actuator arm to seek back and forth between the source and destination sectors on the disk platter, with the destination sectors often not sequentially aligned. In contrast, any SSD can concurrently perform read and write operations simultaneously on any NAND chip without regard to spatial considerations of bits strewn randomly around a disk platter, which gives them a large advantage here.

The Vector delivered the best sequential write performance in Iometer, and we can clearly see those results backed up by the substantially lower transfer time of the compressed file. The Vector was able to complete the file copy in almost half the time of the next quickest drive.

dBpoweramp R14

Either you’ve heard of FLAC, or it is an integral part of your digital life. But iTunes and Apple devices do not support FLAC files, leaving those with discerning ears forced to use Apple’s Lossless codec. dBpoweramp makes it possible to convert between them utilizing as many threads as are available to the system.

In this test, we take 10 albums amounting to 4GB of FLAC files and convert them to Apple’s lossless format. This creates exactly 3.96GB of new data. This scenario is even more applicable for those users with six or more physical CPU cores available, because as the core count increases, the more the storage system will become the actual bottleneck. Our test rig is limited to only a quad-core processor, but even then we can see clear differences amongst the various contenders.

As was quickly becoming no surprise, the OCZ Vector delivers the best performance here. But even more interestingly, dBpoweramp was useful in another fashion. Out of all the drives tested, the Vector delivered identical results of 69 seconds for four out of the five runs, meaning it offered the most consistent performance as well.

  • Brett Thomas

    Looks like OCZ is finally making good on its promises. It’s a little unfair to put this success on the new CEO (products like this were all under design from the old management and the roadmap was well in the works), but I think the new leadership will hopefully help to keep the company “on track” with this success. This is impressive, and though the price may be a little higher, I can’t imagine people wouldn’t be willing to pay that premium in many environments. Just looking at these figures makes me think it might be time to make a switch for some of our office systems.

    • Rob Williams

      I had concerns about this drive leading up to its launch, but OCZ delivered on all accounts. Unlike many SSDs, it doesn’t have a strength in just one area… it’s fast as hell all-around. I’m pretty excited to see what the company has in store next.

    • Kougar

      Thanks for the feedback!

      It was not my intention to give the new CEO credit for this drive as you are indeed correct. Development of the Vector has been between 6-12 months from what I’ve heard, longer than typical for OCZ drives and long before Ryan Petersen was ousted. I was merely attempting to point out OCZ has done a number of things differently, both with this SSD and within the company itself as part of an overall concerted effort.