Review Index:

OCZ Vector 150 240GB and 120GB Full Review - Barefoot 3 pushes 19nm flash

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup


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Warranty voidance procedure complete. Now for the guts. First the front:

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Layout is identical to the prior Vector. Here's the rear of the 240GB model, showing 8 additional flash chips.

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The rear of the 120GB model (shown below) has the rear mostly vacant, as it fulfills its capacity with only the front mounted flash.

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Now for some close ups. Here's the trusty Barefoot:

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...and a shot of the rear-mounted RAM and power electronics:

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Testing Methodology

Our tests are a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. PCMark, IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out! 

Test System Setup

We currently employ a pair of testbeds. Our trusty Z68 SandyBridge testbed sits along side a newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt.Results between both boards have been +/- 2% of each other - well within the best data scatter of a typical benchmark.

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V Pro
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card Intel® HD Graphics 3000
Video Drivers Intel
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 7 X64
  • PCMark05
  • Yapt
  • IOMeter
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • PCPer File Copy Test
  • Write Caching Test


November 7, 2013 | 12:28 PM - Posted by David Willmore (not verified)

That is one enthusiastic enthusiast. Is anyone else having Aperture Labratories training films flashbacks?

November 7, 2013 | 04:03 PM - Posted by YTech

Flashback? Like this >

Actually no, but I do want a shirt like that so I can do the same in my office! :D

November 7, 2013 | 01:05 PM - Posted by Havor (not verified)

Seriously Allyn still using PCMark05 for what imho is the most important real world test, the trace test.

Record your own traces, or get a newer PCMark version, because 05 dose not cut it for years anymore.

Or do you have a special reason to still use it?

November 8, 2013 | 04:42 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I actually run 3 different pcmark versions on each SSD, but the later ones give a whole lot of data that seems to dance around the original point of just how fast (generally) the SSD will be. In that respect, PCMark 5 does just as well to show overall differences as Vantage or 7 does.

More importantly, the trace tests used by PCMark (all versions) are only run for a few passes. You'd have to re-run the test dozens or hundreds of times for a given SSD to reach any sort of true steady state value, and that value would still not be real world, as each time you re-run the test and it re-writes the test file (sequentially), it partially defragments that portion of the SSD. For example, a *real* windows start-up would be reading files that were randomly written to the SSD, not chunks of a large sequentially-written test file.

I'm working on a 'standardized' trace to play back and benchmark, but the catch with those is that they are 100% compressible data, so drives with inline compression give artificially inflated results, which is bad news.

Sometimes the dated benches just work better than the newer versions. This applies to IOMeter as well, where different versions were more / less compressible as far as the data written, which translated to artificially high results on some models.

November 7, 2013 | 01:49 PM - Posted by derz

That Enthusiast user looks so happy. If only we could all be like that.
Good review as always Allyn, happy to see OCZ focusing on longevity. Though it is apparent that the SATA 3 pipeline is now a barrier.

November 7, 2013 | 03:54 PM - Posted by razor512

How long is the endurance. 50GB a day does not mean much if it is rated for 50GB a day for 1 month.

These companies need to list the total write endurance and not pull to borderline false advertising/ trick that you will find with some products (eg the vuezone advertising 6 month battery life, but if only used for 5 minutes per day (this you only get the rated life if it is placed in a location where there will be at most 5 minutes of movement a day)

edit: it seems they list it as 50GB per day for 5 years though the warranty does not cover writing it to death.

November 10, 2013 | 11:48 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

They clearly state 50GB per day for 5 years, so they should honor the warranty at that level of writes. I do agree that's pretty steep for a consumer drive. It's doubtful a typical user will hit 10% of that.

November 8, 2013 | 01:38 AM - Posted by pdjblum

I still cannot see how ssd's to be used for storage, 500GB and up, priced around $1.00/GB are not too expensive for most of us. It seems that is where the price has been for quite some time. I get that you made the initial msrp a negative, but you did so with a caveat. I am not suggesting that ssd pricing should be in line with hard drives, but the premium for ssd's to be used for storage seems way too much after all these years. From all the podcasts I have listened to over the years, I get that you have enough money to buy everything ten times over, but you must remember that most of us do not. I only wish demand would support me, but obviously the ssd manufactures see no reason to lower the price. Wish you would stop condoning the pricing, especially when they keep using nand with shorter lifespans to justify a less expensive drive and not make the drive less expensive.

November 8, 2013 | 11:31 AM - Posted by Panta

you have to wonder what will become of OCZ
with its stock falling 40% in short time.

November 9, 2013 | 05:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Saw the game level load times on Tech Report...I`ll keep my WDCB 1TB
If I`m waiting 12-13 seconds for an SSD , I can wait another 8 seconds...big deal.
If the SSD loaded INSTANTLY....that would be different.

November 9, 2013 | 06:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Doesn`t say if you are using W8.1 or 7.
According to Paul Thurrott , 8 is massively faster on file copy as compared to 7. Night/day difference.

November 10, 2013 | 11:42 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Thurrott is right - for copies done within the Explorer GUI. Our test is done via the command line, and is not subject to that speed difference.

November 9, 2013 | 07:58 PM - Posted by Steve, UK (not verified)

I just want an answer to this question, please. If I get an SSD and load it with my OS and most used / fav. programs. At this point the drive is 80-90% full (because I'm cheap and bought a small ssd 64-128GB). If I use the SSD over the next five years will the remaining 10-20% of the drive be hammered with read/writes because its the only spare space, or do drives actively shift data around (even parts of the flash storing my win 7 dll files for example) so the same spare blocks don't get used over & over. Quoting a warranty if a drive is completely empty and filled with xGB everyday is one thing, in the real world I would have my SSD filled with only a small amount of space spare every day. Thanks anyone who has/knows the answer.

November 9, 2013 | 09:41 PM - Posted by pdjblum

I am in the same boat. I am sorry I do not have an answer, but I would certainly hope the manufactures wrote algorithms in the firmware to guard against this. It also occurs to me that I don't write gigs of data to my small op sys/program ssd. Actually, when I thing about it, I doubt there are that many writes to the op sys/program drive, but rather a lot of reads. One of my intel x25 m80 ssd's that I have had for years and use it for this purpose is still close to 100% life and top health according to the intel ssd toolbox. Having said all that, I think we are probably fine.

November 10, 2013 | 11:45 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

SSDs implement wear leveling. Data that is 'stagnant' is not really so. The SSD firmware will juggle this data around as other data is written to your 10-20%. In fact, if you filled / empted that 20% 5 times in a row, you would have written approximately one pass to the *entire* area of the SSD.

November 11, 2013 | 03:25 PM - Posted by Steve, UK (not verified)

Thanks Allyn for the answer.

November 11, 2013 | 10:53 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

On paper it looks pretty good. After all the reliability issues this company has had in the past with other products, I might have held off for a while to look at actual RMA numbers.

Personally, I hope they have cleaned it up and we have another good competitor in the mix. However, I've been burned enough- I'm waiting before I jump on this one.

Allyn- you do good work.

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