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Review: OCZ Vertex 460 (240GB)

by Tarinder Sandhu on 7 July 2014, 16:30

Tags: OCZ (NASDAQ:OCZ)

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Consistency is key

Those who follow the solid-state drive (SSD) landscape will know that earlier this year Toshiba purchased OCZ's assets and launched a subsidiary company known as OCZ Storage Solutions.

It can be reasonably argued that OCZ was very much at the vanguard of the SSD revolution, pushing out a number of drives before the big players - Intel, Crucial/Micron, SanDisk, et al - really took notice. Now, having transitioned and owned by another industry giant, OCZ is looking to reinvigorate the consumer SSD market with a new range of drives.

Kicking off the Toshiba-owned era is the Vertex 460, available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities.

OCZ Vertex 460 SSDs

Model
120GB
240GB
480GB
Controller
OCZ Barefoot 3 M10
NAND
19nm Toshiba MLC
Total Drive Capacity
120GB
240GB
480GB
Onboard DDR3 Cache
256MB
256MB
512MB
Interface
SATA 6Gb/s, compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s
Sequential Read Speed
up to 530MB/s
up to 540MB/s
up to 545MB/s
Sequential Write Speed
up to 420MB/s
up to 525MB/s
up to 525MB/s
Random IOPs (4KB Reads)
up to 80,000 IOPs
up to 85,000 IOPs
up to 95,000 IOPs
Random IOPs (4KB Writes)
up to 90,000 IOPs
up to 90,000 IOPs
up to 90,000 IOPs
Available Form Factors
2.5in
2.5in
2.5in
Active Power Consumption
2.7W Typical
Idle Power Consumption
0.6W Typical
Life Expectancy
2 million hours Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)
Endurance
21.9TB TBW - 20GB per day for 3 years
Warranty
3 Years
Current Retail Price
£68
£117
£205

Evolution

The Vertex 460 represents a bridge between the mainstream Vertex 450 and enthusiast Vector 150; it uses the controller from the former and the NAND from the latter. Providing a means by which to improve endurance, OCZ equips the Vertex 460 with 12 per cent overprovisioning, meaning there is 16GB of spare capacity set aside for memory management on the 240GB model we have in for review today. More overprovisioning is better for endurance but, obviously, worse because it reduces capacity.

Speaking of endurance, OCZ says the Vertex 460 is good for 20GB writes per day based on a three-year warranty period. That sounds impressive but isn't as long as some of the competition. It's also significantly lower than the Vector's 50GB per day over five years. Do take this into account if your intend to engage in heavy writing on a daily basis.

The drive

Standing at 7mm tall, making it useful for including in Ultrabooks, OCZ's full-metal casing is heavier and better built than any we've seen before. Removing it is a simple process of taking away four standard screws.

OCZ doesn't provide a 7mm-9.5mm adapter for fitting the drive into regular chassis, unfortunately, but does include the standard 2.5in-3.5in desktop adapter Adding value to the bundle, there's a copy of Acronis True Image Software. We've used it for a while in the labs, for making images of test systems, and it works well and is easy to use.

The Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 controller is surrounded by eight Toshiba 19nm 128Gbit NAND chips on the topside. This is the same memory as present on the faster, more expensive Vector 150. The controller uses two 256MB cache chips for buffering, with space for one more, presumably for the 480GB model.

OCZ is keen to point out that the Vertex 460 performs better than comparable drives when running sustained, steady-state performance achieved after 12 hours of writing. To this end, it quotes steady-state random 4K QD32 IOPs of 21,000 for this model, down from an out-of-the-box 90,000. This 21K number is approximately 2x that achieved by other popular drives, according to the company.

Finally coming on to price, the 240GB drive is currently retailing for £117, representing middle-of-the-road pricing for what is an upper mainstream SSD.

Summary

Built with the foundations laid down by the Vector 150 and promising class-leading performance when in a steady state, the Vertex 460 appears to have all the bases covered. Let's find out if this assertion is true.