OCZ Vertex TURBO 120GB Solid State Drive

Test Setup & Initial results

Test Setup
The test setup we will be using today for evaluation of the GSkill Falcon drive is fully optimised for compatability and performance for testing SSD drives:
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 @ Stock Speed
Motherboard: Gigabyte UD4P X58
Memory: 6GB Corsair XMS2 1600MHz
SATA Controller: On-board ICH10R Southbridge
Chipset Drivers: Intel
Operating System: Windows Vista x64 Ultimate SP1 + most recent Updates
Most people who will be considering the upgrade to an SSD drive will likely be making the jump from one of the many 'favourite' mechanical hard drives. With this in mind we will be assessing the GSkill Falcons capabilities in comparison to the following drives:
  OCZ Vertex TurboGSkill Falcon OCZ Summit OCZ Vertex WD Velociraptor Samsung F1 WD Caviar Black
Read Seek Time 270<0.1ms <0.1ms
4.3ms 8.9ms 12.2ms
Write Seek Time <0.1ms
4.7ms 8.9ms 12.2ms
Average Latency <0.1ms
5.5ms 4.17ms 4.17ms
Read Transfer Rate 270MB/s230MB/s 220MB/s 250MB/s 120MB/s 175MB/s 106MB/s
Write Transfer Rate 200MB/s190MB/s 200MB/s 180MB/s 120MB/s 175MB/s 106MB/s
Capacity 128GB128GB 250GB 120GB 300GB 1TB 750GB
Cache 64MB64MB 128MB 64MB 16MB 32MB 32MB
Rather than search for and flash the drive to the latest firmware, for our reviews of SSD drives we intend to test the drives as you would recieve them. Obviously flashing and thereby upgrading the drives will have an effect on the scores so this should be taken into consideration when viewing the results. Various Operating system and BIOS tweaks were however performed to obtain the absolute maximum operating conditions for the OCZ Vertex Turbo. These tweaks are:
  • Superfetch: Off
  • Indexing: Off
  • Search indexing: Off
  • Defrag: Off 
  • SATA Mode in BIOS was set to IDE for all hard disks
  • Drive was formatted with a 4096 cluster size
  • Enable Enhanced Performance was selected in device manager for all hard disks
Testing Methodology
While synthetic benchmarks such as HDTune offer a good insight into the performance of a mechanical disk drive, these figures do not always translate directly into real world performance, this is especially so for Solid State Drives. For the purposes of comparison to some of our previous reviews though I have included a couple of screenshots of the GSkill Falcons performance here although these should be taken with a pinch of salt due to the sporadic nature of HDTune Pro in testing SSD's:
read write
HDTune showed some excellent read and write speeds almost hiiting 200MB/s. However when you consider that the read speed of the Vertex Turbo is advertised at 270MB/s, some may feel a little short changed by this result.
Before we get on-board with the testing, let's also perform a run of HDTach, again not the best utility to use on SSD's but it should give us an idea of the performance to expect and it's perhaps the most common utility used to compare hard drives:
hftune rw
HDTach backed up what HDTune was telling us and recorded speeds well below that what was advertised. This was on a clean, pre-formated drive. I decided to format the drive again using the 'default' cluster size but alas the results were the same. While these results are hardly what you could call slow, if they are to be believed then they are well below the advertised 270MBs which is not good at all as this drive is barely faster than a standard Vertex according to these results. However, as previously stated, HDtune and HDTach are not the best methods to test the true speed of an SSD so we have our own suite of benchmarks to try the OCZ vertex Turbo out on.
Along with many other synthetic benchmarks run today, I decided to perform several day-to-day operations (such as file transfer and Windows start up) in addition to the synthetic benchmarks. The full set of tests can be seen below
Synthetic Benchmarks
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.34
PCMark Vantage HDD benchmarks
CrystalDiskMark 2.2.0f

File Write & Manipulation
Random file creation (15GB)
Sequential file creation (100GB)

OS & Gaming
Windows Vista Startup time.
Windows Vista Shutdown time.
Unreal Tournament III map load time.
Let's see how the OCZ Vertex Turbo performed...  
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Most Recent Comments

16-09-2009, 07:34:45

It's fast. It's also a little over £2.50 a gig, a little under when the online stores massage it a bit.

I'm interested in this optimizer, in terms of how prone it could be to screw up the disk.

1. Does the OS recognize it as being in-use. Especially in regards to closing down.

2. If there's a power-off, or maybe a power failure, would it condemn the drive.

I'm guessing it judges itself when "idle" actually is. If u happen to want to do something whilst it's in the middle of "optimizing", do u have to w8 for it to finish, or does it just break off what it's doing - indeed, is it like a sleeping drive waking up.Quote

16-09-2009, 07:42:02

It works just like a defrag tool m8 in that respect. It will only optimise the drive when idle. Closing the PC down will obviously read/write files to/from the drive so it will no longer be idle. Dunno what would happen if the pc shut down 'unexpectedly' while the drive was being optimised.Quote

16-09-2009, 07:44:42

U reckon it'd be like closing down a pc that's in the middle of a defrag.

More importantly to that maybe, would a chkdsk have a chance to solve the issue afterwards.Quote

16-09-2009, 07:50:13

I don't think the drive would be mashed if thats what you're getting at. It would just be fragmented and performance would suffer as a result until the drive was optimised fully.Quote

16-09-2009, 08:33:47

I think your best bet would be to send it to me and I'll test it for a few years and let you know :P

In other news, great review as always W3bbo, shame about the mental price. Even for 120 SSD it's steep, especially as it doesn't hit the speeds it says Quote

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