OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD Review
Article Publish Date:
OCZ has launched a new product in their famous Vertex line of drives……The Vertex 4. The Vertex series of drives is probably the most numerous and popular line of Solid State Drives ever offered. OCZ has done more to popularize the Solid State Drive than any other manufacturer to date. OCZ started out with an Indilinx SSD Processor in the Vertex 1 and has come full circle by using an Indilinx SSD Processor with the Vertex 4 - well kind of. The Vertex 2 and the Vertex 3 were both based on SandForce SSD processors. The SandForce 1200 series SSD processor found its way into the Vertex 2 and the LSI SandForce 2200 series processor in Vertex 3. This brings us to the Vertex 4. OCZ bought Indilinx last year to give them a better position in the market by having the ability to use their own proprietary controller in their drives. Before the launch of the Vertex 4 there was a precursor if you will, the OCZ Octane. The Octane was the first drive offered by OCZ using their proprietary SSD processor the “Everest” SSD Processor. This was the drive that introduced us to the term “Indilinx Infused” and the drive that ended the cozy relationship between LSI SandForce and OCZ.
OCZ, looking to spread its wings through the acquisition of Indilinx, stopped manufacturing drives based on the LSI SandForce SSD processor. Instead, they chose to use their own proprietary Indilinx branded SSD processor, beginning with Octane. The Octane is a performance drive with great access times and great compressible and incompressible sequential performance; however, the Octane with the Everest SSD processor was not able to de-throne the world’s most prolific SSD processor - the LSI SandForce 2200 series. The Everest controller could not deliver quite enough random performance to unseat OCZ’s own Vertex 3, which is based on the LSI SandForce 2281 SSD processor.
Enter the Everest II SSD processor. After a brief run with the Octane and its “Indilinx Infused” Everest processor, OCZ has come out with the Everest II SSD processor. The second generation “Indilinx Infused” SSD processor came to market in the new Vertex 4. When a drive bears the “Vertex” moniker it means the drive is designed to be the highest performing SATA drive offered by OCZ. This drive is the one designed to take on all others in the performance arena. The “Indilinx Infused” Everest II SSD processor is touted as having the highest read and writes IOPS for any SATA III drive to date and equally touted as the drive that performs best when digesting incompressible data. Incompressible data is an Achilles Heel of sorts for the most prolific SSD processor in the world - the LSI SandForce 2281. Many enthusiasts have been calling for a drive that works as well with incompressible data as it does with compressible data. This has been the niche market of Marvell SSD processor controlled drives, which can deliver great incompressible performance. Not to mention VERY fast access times. OCZ has brought that niche market to the main stream and into direct competition with the SandForce driven drives with the launch of the “Indilinx Infused” Vertex 4.
As you have noticed I have put an emphasis on the term “Indilinx Infused”. So what exactly does that term refer to? Well after much speculation, by many enthusiasts in the industry, OCZ came out and explained what the term means. For a while we have heard rumors that the Everest controller is actually a re-branded Marvell controller. Well…….. that’s what it is… kind of. OCZ has confirmed that the Everest controller is based on Marvell silicon which is a dual core ARM processor. The Marvell SSD processor becomes an Everest II SSD processor when “Infused” with proprietary Indilinx firmware AND overclocked. As OCZ explained, and I have to agree with their assertion, it’s the firmware that makes the biggest difference in an SSD processors performance. Since the Everest firmware is strictly proprietary to OCZ and developed by Indilinx, which is owned by OCZ, the Everest SSD processor does indeed come from OCZ and not Marvell.
Okay, well I’ve tried to explain to you what the “Indilinx Infused” Vertex 4 actually is to the best of my knowledge, so how about we take a look at the drive itself and how it performs?