OCZ technology has launched a new model to their venerable Vertex lineup of Solid State Drives. Known for providing the best performance available for gamers, the Vertex line, other than the last couple of years has relied on use of LSI’s SandForce controllers. The Vertex 4 returns to its roots however, offering an Indilinx controller, sort of.
The Indilinx made a name early on providing a solid, reliable controller for early generation SSDs. The rise of the SandForce controller moved the company to a role player, rather than a contender for a while, coupled with the rapid adoption of SATA 6 Gbps by others for which they had no controller in production, moved them into relative obscurity for the performance PC enthusiast. The acquisition by OCZ last year is pushing the name back into a PC builders lexicon, however within a year moved many of their lineup to the new “Everest” and Everest 2” controllers.
The Everest and Everest 2 controllers however are not completely built by Indilinx, but in fact are Marvell controllers. It was quite a shock when the revelation was made earlier this year. The Everest controller uses an overclocked 88SS9174 while the Everest 2 leverages the Marvell 88SS9187. Marvell controllers are excellent and have been proven time and again over the last couple of years. While the Marvell drives suffer from poor write performance in low NAND density situations, performance remains relatively unchanged whether in clean or dirty states making them an excellent all-around solution for mobile devices or desktop systems.
The Everest 2 controller advertises the following features.
If you have not heard of OCZ technology, you probably are not reading this review either. The company has changed a bit over the last few years, changing over from a renowned memory stick supplier to a more financially successful Solid State Drive producer. This has launched the stock back to its former glory, and things are only looking better as just a few hours BSN reported that Seagate put the ink to paper and purchased OCZ Technology. How will this effect OCZ technology? for the end-user it probably will not change much, for the company it will change a lot.
OCZ has historically morphed its business to suit consumer demand. While OCZ started off as a performance memory company, they have dabbled in other areas as well. From Power supplies and PC cooling solutions, to peripherals like gaming keyboard and mouse setups, laptops and even an OCZ branded video card. Show of hands how many people knew there was a 8800 GTX OCZ card? Okay maybe a show of hands does not work over the ‘net.
Back to the test setup today. The Vertex 4 128 GB is part of OCZ’s gamer lineup of Solid State drives typically offering excellent 4K performance for improved OS performance. Over the last two generations the Vertex lineup has leveraged the power of the SandForce controller delivering neck snapping performance, with a MAXIOPS edition available to boost small file size writes even further.
The change to an Indilinx controller is odd for the Vertex lineup, typically requiring more expensive Synchronous NAND and a DRAM cache, Marvell based SSDs offer good performance without the hit SandForce suffers in dirty writes. The write speeds typically suffer greatly especially in 64/128 GB sizes. So where does the new Vertex 4 fall into this maelstrom of SSD decision making? Lets see if this metal has the mettle to be granted the Vertex name.