OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD Review
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OCZ’s first foray into the world of 20nm Synchronous NAND has arrived. Dubbed Vertex 3.20; this is an update to OCZ’s highly successful Vertex 3. Instead of 25nm synchronous NAND under the hood of the Vertex 3, OCZ is now utilizing 20nm IMFT Synchronous NAND. This smaller lithography NAND promises lower cost and better battery life while at the same time providing comparable endurance ratings of 25nm NAND. The lower cost comes about through higher yields from the same amount of silicon. This photograph gives us a sense of the physical size differences between lithography’s:
This photo shows a comparison of two 32 Gigabit (Gb) Intel Micron Flash Technologies (IMFT) 34nm die versus one 64Gb, or 8 Gigabyte (GB), die on 25nm and new 20nm processes. Shrinking NAND lithography is the most cost-effective method for increasing fab output and reducing die cost. Shrinking from 25nm to 20nm process will provide an approximately 50 percent more gigabyte capacity from IMFT factories when compared to current technology. The new 20nm process maintains similar performance and endurance as the previous generation 25nm NAND technology.
It’s pretty easy to see the motivation behind using smaller lithography NAND. Potentially 20nm NAND will be 50% cheaper to use than 25nm NAND and retain the same endurance rating as well as provide nearly the same performance. Cost savings will take a bit to trickle down to the consumer as is always the case for newly launched technology.
Even though OCZ as a company is restructuring they remain the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer based SSD’s. OCZ built its reputation and consumer base by offering cutting edge performance at an affordable price. In the past OCZ had some reliability issues with some of their drives which in turn alienated some of their customers. To mitigate this problem OCZ has implemented a new stringent validation process that includes burn-in testing of every drive before it’s packaged for sale to insure the reliability of each individual SSD they sell.
Here’s what OCZ has to say about the Vertex 3.20:
Built to Provide the Best Bang for Your Buck
OCZ Vertex 3 Solid State Drives are designed and built to significantly improve your gaming, multimedia, and overall computing experience over traditional mechanical hard drives. In addition to maximized productivity, a Vertex 3 upgrade makes a hard drive-equipped notebook more portable than ever with superior durability and reduced power consumption. Using proven controller and next generation MLC flash memory technology, Vertex 3.20 SSDs deliver the performance and responsiveness your hard drive-ridden Mac or PC has been begging for.