OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SATA 6Gbit/s SSD Review

by Robert Tanner on June 22, 2011 in Storage

OCZ’s Vertex series of SSDs have earned the reputation as being some of the best, by offering excellent throughput and random 4KB IOPS performance. Vertex 3 takes things to an entirely new level, in some cases doubling the performance of its predecessor, and gives us an uncompromising balance across any performance metric you care to throw at it.

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, from the motherboard to the BIOS/EFI configuration, so these times should not be used as an expectation of how fast the SSD will boot in your respective system. Thanks to motherboards replacing the BIOS with UEFI boot times have dropped significantly in many cases.

It appears that after a certain point the storage drive is not the bottleneck. Users that overclock their Core i7-2500K or 2600K processors can attain even lower results, but changing the OS will have the largest impact at this point.

The Vertex 3 manages a blazing quick 31.5 second boot time from start to finish, but does even faster with warm boots (a restart with the machine powered on previously) requiring around twenty seconds.

Game Level Loading

Last but certainly not least of our benchmarks are the game level-load times. SSDs are great at decreasing load intervals, and having an SSD can appreciably improve game immersion by minimizing load delays. It may not seem like much, but after a few levels, having the load times decrease by even a third compared to a hard drive adds up fast.

For our new regimen we chose Portal 2 and Civilization V. Portal 2 is already a very well optimized game and isn’t particularly demanding, and Civilization V is anything but either of those. For Portal 2 we chose to load the larger sp_a3_03 chapter, while with Civ V we loaded a save game file from late in a large game.

Out of our entire benchmark suite this is probably the worst showing for the Vertex 3, but even so it still wins both game level load tests by a fraction of a second. The important part to take away from this is if you are considering upgrading from a hard drive you will see some very real gains in performance, but the same can’t be said for most SSDs.

The Vertex 3 is 38.2% faster than the hard drive when loading the chapter in Portal 2. After just a couple chapter loads that 38% starts to make a tremendous difference and will go a long ways toward keeping the game experience smooth and immersive.