It has been a few years but Indilinx is back! Since their splash into the consumer markets in 2008, SSDs have characteristically been doubling in performance with each successive launch of some controller on a roughly annual basis. Yet more recently, SandForce has managed to recapture and hold onto the performance crown. If a consumer wanted the fastest drive around it was simply a matter of picking what flavor and brand of SandForce one felt the most secure about safeguarding their data.
Today, on 4-04 day OCZ has announced it is launching the Vertex 4 SSD, in a long continuation of its venerable, performance-focused flagship brand. Cutting to the chase, the Vertex 4 is packing an Indilinx “Everest 2″ controller on board, and advertises sustained performance above those seen on current generation SandForce controllers. But perhaps most importantly, the Vertex 4 is receiving a full 5-year warranty.
The Vertex 4 features sequential reads/writes of up to 535MB/s & 475MB/s with a maximum random performance of 120,000 IOPS. OCZ points out that the Vertex 4 will deliver 95,000 4K random read and 85,000 random write IOPS with incompressible data, when the previous SandForce powered Vertex 3 was only rated for a sustained 60,000 4K random write IOPS.
The Vertex 4 is obviously a SATA 6Gb/s drive. The Everest 2 controller packs a dual-core, 400MHz architecture which is fairly similar to previous generations of the Everest controllers, so a great deal of work has been done elsewhere in the design to boost performance up to these high levels. As expected the controller includes ECC correction, dynamic wear leveling, AES 256 encryption, and Indilinx’s Ndurance 2.0 flash management technology to increase drive endurance.
Overall the Vertex 4 looks like a very promising alternative to the SandForce controller on the performance front. But even more importantly, it will hopefully do away with the reliability issues that have plagued just about all models of SandForce drives, which incidentally have impacted OCZ’s image amongst general consumers. Switching to OCZ’s own in-house controller company will ensure OCZ has total control of the firmware, controller design, and SSD design itself, leaving it in a great position to ensure drive reliability and that no bugs can slip into the final design. This is very likely why OCZ will be just the second SSD manufacturer we have seen to offer a full 5-year warranty on its solid-state drives with the Vertex 4.
Drive pricing is not yet known, but is being hinted at around $1.35 per GB to start with, with retail prices expected to slot in even lower. Capacities will start off at 128, 256, and 512GB varieties and models should begin showing up on shelves within a couple of weeks.