Recently, OCZ began simplifying its SSD product line quite significantly in order to make the decision-making process easier for consumers. This was also encouraged by the fact that even budget models today offer some great performance. OCZ’s Vertex 3.20 targets that market, replacing the Agility and Vertex 3. Is it a worthy successor?
At Techgage, we have been longtime proponents of SSD adoption; there just isn’t any other component that can deliver the same increase in system performance and system responsiveness as switching the OS drive to a solid-state one. Replacing a five-year-old Core i7-920 with a Core i7-4770K will save on power and make for a faster system, but it still won’t deliver the bump in OS and program responsiveness that is felt during everyday use of a desktop or laptop. I’d recommend checking out Brett’s recent editorial which talks about this in good detail.
The Vertex 3.20 only ships in a 9mm 2.5” form factor, so it may not be compatible with all laptops. Both capacities do not include additional software nor a 3.5” bay adapter, which while simplifying product models is still something to keep aware of. All OCZ owners will of course have access to OCZ’s Toolbox program for SSD Smart info and general health monitoring of the company’s drives.
OCZ’s Vertex 3.20 is a nice modernization to the SandForce family. As opposed to the V3 or Agility 3 models still plentiful on the market, when it comes to the 3.20 users will be sure at a glance that they are getting the latest SandForce firmware when adopting one of these drives. The Vertex 3 at one point was a flagship model, so it is great to see it brought back into a cost efficient market as the 3.20. It isn’t going to be leading any benchmarks but nor is it designed to. Performance-wise it performs on par with other similar budget SSDs, making it an attractive alternative if the price is right.
That said, the pricing currently makes any sort of recommendation cumbersome. Currently, the 120GB model starts at $130 and the 240GB at $260. Not only does this place them above similar budget models but pits the 3.20 directly against mid-range and higher end drives. For example, the V300 (our review) is $25 cheaper, and even performance SSDs such as the Neutron GTX (our review) are $5-10 cheaper.
Odder still is that for the 240GB model, it is priced completely out of the market, and has been for several months according to the pricing engine camel. The 240GB 3.20 is priced $20 above Intel’s 335 (our review), and Intel drives typically commend their own price premiums. Even OCZ’s own Vertex 450 series, which will debut as upper-midrange drives, will launch at the same price or, in the case of the 240GB model, will launch $25 less than the 240GB 3.20. Probably most amusing is that OCZ’s own flagship, the Vector, costs less than the 240GB 3.20 at most retailers. However, all of that said, market prices do fluctuate and we suspect at a future date after this writing the 3.20 will regain competitive pricing.
OCZ’s Vertex 3.20 is a welcome replacement to the venerable Vertex 3 and Agility 3 models, delivering good performance for a budget model while giving consumers a single product instead of a myriad of models to choose from. It is impressive to remember that the Vertex 3 first launched as OCZ’s flagship SSD two years ago and today consumers can get that level of performance from even a budget model SSD. Once the prices align with the current market, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Vertex 3.20 as one potential candidate when looking for an affordable solid-state drive.