OCZ Vertex 460 240GB Reviewccokeman -
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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OCZ Vertex 460 240GB Introduction:
As OCZ's return from the edge is now complete, the Vertex 460 drive is positioned to take advantage of OCZ's proprietary Barefoot 3 M10 controller, partnered with Toshiba's 19nm MLC toggle mode NAND Flash ICs, to deliver high end performance with a mainstream price tag. OCZ's Vertex 460 drive is available in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities, with read performance ranging from 530MB/s for the 120GB drive to 545MB/s for the 480GB drive, and write performance ranging from 420MB/s for the 120GB drive to 525MB/s for the 480GB drive. The 240GB version that I will be looking at today is rated at 540MB/s read and 525MB/s write; just 5MB/s off the read performance of the 480GB version. By using its own controller, OCZ was able to design the Vertex 460 240GB drive to deliver superior mixed workload performance, not just when it is new out of the box, but over the long term as well, rated for 20GB of data reads and writes combined per day. As mainstream-level drives, OCZ has managed to hit a pretty solid price point on the Vertex 460s, ranging from $0.74 per GB on the 120GB drive to $0.58 per GB on the 480GB, with the 240GB version I am looking at today at $0.62 per GB. Add in the accessory bundle and the value just gets better. Available with a three-year warranty, OCZ is pretty much stating it will be around to manage any issues. Let's take a look at what OCZ has put together for the mainstream user.
OCZ Vertex 460 240GB Closer Look:
OCZ's packaging is striking and is designed to stand out in the crowd. The front panel illustrates the drive along with the name of the drive, the capacity, and if you were not sure, the fact that this is a solid state drive. The back side highlights the feature set of the drive, the accessory bundle, and a little blurb about the drive in multiple languages. The drive comes packaged in a dense foam enclosure inside the box to protect the drive from any harm during transport. The accessory bundle included with this drive is fairly standard for OCZ as of late and includes an installation guide, 3.5-inch bay adapter, warranty paperwork, and an "I love my SSD" sticker. While it does not look like it, this accessory package is an added value of over $50 thanks to the software and bay adapter.
OCZ's Vertex 460 drive is a 7mm form factor drive rated to run sequential reads/writes of 540/525MB/s and deliver read/write IOPS performance of 85000/90000 with a sustained level of 21000 IOPS. The chassis of this drive is an all-metal design that improves durability along with providing a method of transferring any thermal load from the controller for dissipation by the chassis airflow. The front side shows the OCZ and Vertex logos, while the back side of the drive shows the part number and serial number with a warning that, while durable, it can be damaged from rough handling. One of the screws holding the Vertex 460 together is covered by a small no-tamper sticker, which is used to validate whether the drive has been opened for warranty purposes.
Connectivity to the drive is standard SATA, using both a data and power connection. Use of the standard connection options means this drive can be installed in both desktops and laptops. At 7mm thick, this drive can be used in laptops or ultrabooks that require a slimmer form factor drive. The connection points are standard for the 2.5-inch form factor, allowing the drive to be easily mounted in any chassis with 2.5-inch drive compatibility. If your current chassis does not have the ability to hard mount the Vertex 460, a 3.5-inch drive bay adapter is included as part of the accessory package.
Opening up an SSD is going to void the warranty, so do not try this at home! Inside the 7mm thick aluminum and steel shell is an OCZ-manufactured PCB that holds the NAND, controller, and DRAM cache. The OCZ Barefoot 3 M10 controller sits in the center of the PCB surrounded by eight 16GB Toggle mode Toshiba 19nm MLC NAND modules. Eight modules sit on the back side as well to make up 240GB capacity of the drive. This means there is about 16GB, or roughly 6.5% worth, of over provisioning for the controller to use. A pair of Micron 256MB DRAM modules are used with an open slot on the PCB for another, which is used on the 480GB variant of the Vertex 460.
OCZ is using great parts to make this drive. With the hardware under the hood, it should have no problem meeting or exceeding the raw performance numbers OCZ advertises. Let's jump into testing this drive to see just what kind of performance it delivers.