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: Boot Times, Game Level Loading

For the boot test, we perform a cold boot with the stopwatch starting the moment the power button is pressed until the last systray icon has finished loading. A large number of factors can change how fast a computer starts; whether the motherboard uses a BIOS or the newer UEFI; if a RAID controller has to be initialized; to delay timers or other motherboard optimizations. In other words, individual results will vary depending on the system hardware.

OCZ’s Vector manages to edge out this test by a fraction of a second, although all SSDs are fairly even here and all of them will boot the computer in a third of the time of the HDD.

Game Level Loading

SSDs deliver some of the most benefits to games. Not only can the game load significantly faster so users can hurry up and wait to get through various advertisement screens, but they also boost level or map load times. For games where player immersion into the new world is important, the difference between 15 and 25 seconds can seem huge when waiting for the next part of the level or world to load.

For our new regimen we chose Portal 2 and Civilization V. Portal 2 is already a very well optimized game, but it’s immersive, so we time how long it takes to load the sp_a2.bts6 custscene. With Civilization V’s recent overhaul to game storage files to help decrease load times, and the new option to disable the intro movie trailer, it becomes possible to time how long it takes to start the game.

OCZ’s Vector does very well here, although we won’t quibble over fractions of a second. Again, any SSD is going to deliver a substantial boost to game, map, or level load performance when compared to a mechanical disk drive. Between modern SSDs, the differences will be indistinguishable.

  • http://techgage.com/ 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.

    • http://www.facebook.com/deathspawner 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.