OCZ Technology Vertex 4 Launch Review (256GB and 512GB)
A few months ago we reviewed the OCZ Octane SSD. This was the first OCZ drive for a while to be powered by an Indilinx controller and was particularly interesting as it was the first collaboration between the two SSD giants since OCZ purchased the controller manufacturer.
Octane was a solid entry at a point towards the top end of the SSD market and proved that Indilinx were able to compete with the latest technology having essentially missed a generation of SSDs. That said in a number of scenarios OCZ’s SandForce based Vertex 3 range of drives did offer better performance so there was still room for improvement. Some of that improvement arrived in the form of a firmware update for Octane which significantly increased aspects such as 4k results and truth be told it was one of the most impressive performance gains from a firmware we have seen to date.
Now OCZ (and Indilinx) are back with a new family of drives and are aiming to unseat the Vertex 3 at the top end of the SSD market. There is more than one way to build a performance SSD though and in addition to controllers from Indilinx and SandForce there are drives based on Samsung or Marvell technology, all looking to compete at the top end of the market. Today we have two of the new Vertex 4 drives on our test bench and will be comparing it in real world and synthetic test against drives based on the latest Sandforce, Marvell and Samsung controllers.
Packaging and Bundle
OCZ package their new Vertex 4 series products in a box almost identical to the previous generation models with some of the key features listed on the back. The only difference between models on the front is the capacity logo and inside we find a decent bundle which includes manual, case sticker and desktop kit. The desktop kit allows those who don’t have a case which supports 2.5" drives to install the Vertex 4 Series in a 3.5" bay.
Available on OCZ’s website is their Toolbox application. This is a tool which allows us to monitor and manage our SSD to ensure maximum performance over time. On the first screen we get a breakdown of the drive specifications and elsewhere, in the Tools screen we can upgrade our firmware. Under the Security tab we can Secure Erase to wipe the drive to a factory state and the final tab of note is Details which lets us view the SMART readings for the drive to identify any hardware issues.