Hard-Drive Roundup June 2010

5. Kingston SSDNow V Series 30GB SSD7. Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB


Hard-Drive Roundup

OCZ Vertex 2 100GB

The packaging used by OCZ on this SSD is similar to most of their drives and is both compact and stylish. Inside we find the SSD suspended in foam and bundled with it is a small manual as well as a 2.5 to 3.5” bracket and screws.

OCZ are another manufacturer who use a sturdy metal casing on their SSD and attached to the top is a sticker which gives the model name. This drive has reliability specifications of 2 million hours MTBF and a shock resistance of 1500G. Turning the unit over we find another sticker which gives information on the drive including a note that the 3-year warranty is void if opened.

After opening the drive we find the SandForce 1200 based controller which we also saw on the F100 earlier. That doesnt mean that this is the same drive though and upon closer inspection we see that OCZ have chosen to go with sixteen Intel 34nm MLC NAND flash chips rather than Micron. These give the drive a formatted capacity of 93.1GB in Windows 7.

OCZ rate their 100GB Vertex 2 at 285MB/s with read at 275MB/s and this close ratio of read to write is again down to the SandForce controller. There is no external Data Cache to slow down operation of the drive; instead the controller utilizes data compression techniques and algorithms to reduce the amount of information which is written to the drive. For data that does need to be written efficient Page Management algorithms ensure maximum write performance is achieved. This performance is then maintained by the drives garbage collection and support of TRIM in operating systems such as Windows 7.

Finally, as with many of their drives OCZ have a good relationship with the controller manufacturer and this benefits them as far as firmware releases is concerned. More on that later…

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