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OCZ Vertex 2 100GB SSD Review

Rating: 8.0.

As SSDs continue to grow in popularity and more users realise their value, companies are releasing a staggering array of drives to market. Months ago OCZ released the Vertex 2 Pro, an enterprise class product which delivered staggering performance. This was followed shortly afterwards by the OCZ Vertex LE, part of a 5,000 unit limited edition run based around a hybrid Sandforce SF 1200/1500 controller. This limited edition unit was close in performance to the more expensive Pro drive, which utilises the class leading Sandforce 1500 controller.

The drive we are looking at today in our labs is simply entitled the Vertex 2 and it is the true successor to the original VERTEX unit and is based around the affordable Sandforce 1200 controller which OCZ claim will outperform the Limited Edition.  The idea is that OCZ will be dropping the price of the original Vertex drive for the mainstream marketplace while targeting performance users with the Vertex 2.

So what does the rest of the OCZ lineup look like? Well, they are still offering the Agility SSD units which are aimed at the lower end of the market and they have also released the new Agility 2 drives which share the same ‘next generation’ SF-1200 controller. The Onyx unit is also available in the UK right now which is targeted as an entry level unit, costing £75 for 32GB. This is sure to be competing with the excellent Intel X25-V 40GB drive we recently reviewed. The Onyx drives use a new Indilinx Amigos controller which while budget oriented, should still give relatively good performance – rated at 125mb/s read and 70 mb/s write.

The drive on test today is MLC based (multi level cell) which is cheaper and less reliable than SLC (single level cell), however for this marketplace SLC is still too expensive. Manufacturers quote ‘Mean Time Before Failure’ (MTBF) as millions of hours now, and we find this quite pointless – no one really knows when they will fail, its all guesswork. I would assume even under continuous heavy load that these drives will last a good 8-10 years, the technology has wear leveling incorporated which automatically maps out bad cells as they fail.

Specifications
Size 99.88 x 69.63 x 9.3 mm
Operating Temperature 0c – 70c
Max Performance Read up to 285 MB/s
Write up to 275MB/s
Sustained Write up to 250 MB/s
4kb Random Write Up to 50,000 IOPS
Shock Resistance Shock Resistance
Vibration 20G Peak, 10-20Khz with 3 axis
MTBF 2,000,000 hours

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