OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD Reviewajmatson - June 10, 2010
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Just as with the packaging, the Vertex 2 uses a sleek dark design to hide its mysterious insides. On the top of the drive is the model sticker showing that the drive is an OCZ Vertex 2 SATA II 2.5" Solid State Drive. On the reverse side are the product sticker and the barcodes. On the top left of the drive you can see the warranty sticker covering a screw slot. This sticker keeps you from opening up the drive, which in turn will void your warranty and rendering your expensive drive irreparable should something happen to it. I do not recommend removing this sticker, in order to protect your warranty. I will be opening the drive to show you what is inside, so that you do not have to, thus keeping your protection intact. Once the screws are removed, the housing pulls away leaving the components we are really interested in. The drive is made up of the PCB, flash memory and the controller chip. There are 16 MLC Flash chips which make up the 120GB of storage. The chips total is actually 128GB, though some of the space is reserved for garbage collection for the controller chip. The actual formatted space of the drive equates to 111GB of storage space. The controller for the Vertex 2 series SSDs is manufactured from a company called SandForce which is designed to have better performance and support for features such as TRIM.
The OCZ Vertex 2 uses a SATA II interface for the data transfer. The maximum transfer speed on SATA II interfaces is 3Gbps, which is more than enough for high-speed transfers for the SSD. Next to the SATA data interface is the SATA power interface to provide the low power needed to run the Vertex 2 drive.
Surrounding the PC board are the sixteen MLC NAND Flash chips, which are manufactured by Intel. These chips are model number 29F64G08CAMDB and are 8GB each, which equal up to 128GB total. The extra space that is not calculated in the total of the drive is used for wear leveling, which is needed to keep the drive running at top performance for as long as possible. The heart of the Vertex 2 is the SandForce controller. The SandForce controller used in the Vertex 2 is part of the SF-1200 series, or specifically the SF-1222 controller chip. One thing you may notice on the Vertex 2 PC board, is the lack of a cache chip. This is because the controller itself has a small cache on the chip, which eliminates the need for an external cache. The nice thing about the SandForce controller is no matter what the capacity of the drive is, the rated speeds of the drive remain the same. For the Vertex 2 series, OCZ states a maximum read of 285MB/s and a maximum write of 275MB/s.
Since the Vertex 2 is build using a 2.5 inch form factor, which makes it perfect for notebooks and other portables, OCZ recognizes that users want to install them into their desktops as well. To aid in the installation, OCZ has included a 2.5" to 3.5" desktop adapter for use without requiring any additional mounting hardware.
Now that we have seen the insides and accessories for the Vertex 2, I want to show you a piece of software OCZ is working on.