OCZ Vertex 2 SSD Review
When reviewing Solid State Drives it is very easy to find your head turned by gaudy numbers and snappy system response. Even a very poor performing drive is so comprehensively better than a hard drive that it's always difficult not to be impressed.
Strangely though the OCZ Vertex 2 never really gave that "wow" feeling.
For a long while SSDs used a combination of drive controllers, cache and NAND MLC that have constantly edged the performance boundaries upwards. The SandForce controller dispenses with the cache but, looking at our performance data and testing results, doesn't actually supply any benefit.
Read speeds are acclaimed at 285MB/s for this model, with write speeds around 275MB/s. In a couple of tests we certainly saw read speeds around 225MB/s, but once we moved into more thorough benchmarks that test the drive in "real-life" conditions, that figure quickly fell to under 200MB/s.
Write speeds conversely were significantly higher in some tests with speeds above the read results. HD Tune saw an average write of over 240MB/s in write tests. Even the harsh IoMeter test managed 220MB/s.
Considering we were using a i7 930 on the latest Gigabyte X58A-UD9 motherboard we clearly get nowhere near the reported 50000 IOps, getting just 14000 in our testing, and the read and write speeds are nowhere near OCZs claims either. Although the write speed is far greater than they claim and bettering proclaimed performance is never a bad thing.
When we take into account that SSDs are still are the very expensive end of the price/capacity bracket, it becomes clear that the SandForce controller actually lessens the performance over cache endowed models. It becomes pretty clear that the extra 8GB used up by the SandForce could be much better served as data storage.
If the loss of a chip did result in a much cheaper product then we would make allowances for some performance foibles in the name of good value. Unfortunately the OCZ Vertex 2 is available online for around £10 more than the Corsair Nova. As we have to acknowledge the Nova has the edge in price and capacity (another 8GB) and comprehensively bests the Vertex 2 in performance testing it becomes almost impossible to recommend.
It's too expensive, under performs and has reduced capacity compared to similar drives. Technology has moved on, and the Vertex 2 is clearly a step behind.