|Review: OCZ Vertex 120GB MLC SSD
Reviewed by: Dee-27
Provided by: OCZ Technology
Model: Vertex 120GB
OCZ Technology was kind enough to send us their latest "high performance" solid state drive for review, the MLC based 120GB Vertex series. The Vertex series of drives have a 2.5 inch form factor, SATA2 connection and SATA power connector. The Vertex series can be fitted to a laptop with SATA hard drive support, or as we have done for this review, the Vertex series can also be fitted to a desktop PC which supports SATA hard disk drives.
The OCZ Technology Vertex series are pretty unique, in that they have built-in cache.
In this review we will test the performance and usability of the OCZ Technology Vertex series (MLC) SSD. Just a few short weeks ago, we reviewed the OCZ Technology Apex series drives, and were very impressed by the performance. Let's find out how the Vertex series drive performs.
OCZ Technology Company Information
I’m sure most CD Freaks members will be familiar with the OCZ Technology brand name. OCZ Technology has been manufacturing high performance, high quality PC memory and flash memory for many years.
More recently, OCZ Technology ventured into the SSD market and has done more than most manufacturers to bring affordable and high performance SSD drives to the mainstream PC user.
If you would like to find out more about OCZ Technology, you can visit the OCZ Technology website.
Box left and right sides
The OCZ Technology Vertex series drives are packaged in an eye catching mainly black and white coloured box. What isn't picked up on our scan is the striking reflective silver flashing around the edges of the main graphics on the box. Inside the main box is a further box and more robust packaging. The inner box is made from tough cardboard with foam protection. The drive itself is housed in an anti static bag. There should be no problem with the way the drive is packaged.
What’s inside the box
Now it’s time to take a look at the drive itself and what the drive came shipped with.
The package contained the drive itself and instruction booklet.
Now let’s take a look at the drive itself.
On the bottom of the drive we can see one label, the label states the drive model number and capacity and, that the drive was manufactured in Taiwan. We can also see the drive’s SATA power and data connectors.
The casing of the drive itself is made of metal and has a tough and high quality feel to it.
Inside the drive
120GB Vertex PCB
Looking at the PCB of the Vertex drive, the first thing we notice is the drive is powered by a new SSD controller, the Indilinx Barefoot. On another chip we can see the drive’s 64MB of cache and that we can also see 8 MLC NAND flash chips manufactured by Samsung.
Let's take a closer look at the two main chips inside the Vertex.
We can clearly see the main controller of the Vertex is the Indilinx Barefoot. This controller is reported to be much more advanced than the previous SSD controllers that OCZ used in their earlier MLC based drives, which were made by JMicron.
Above we can see the 64MB cache chip, the cache is configured for write-back and helps to smooth the writing process. We should point out that 64MB of cache is fitted to the 120GB and 250GB models only. The 30GB and 60GB models have 32MB of cache.
Specifications and features
We found the specifications of the drive at the OCZ Technology website.
The final specifications of the OCZ Vertex drive were only decided a few short days before we tested the OCZ Vertex drives. OCZ Technology asked their perspective customers what they wanted from Vertex, and OCZ tailored the Vertex firmware to meet these demands. I was witness to this, and I have to say that I was very impressed with OCZ technology, and the way they listened to what their customers wanted from Vertex.
All tests in this review were carried out using the firmware that will ship to the end user.
Now let’s head to the next page where we will test out performance...