As it sits right now you can't buy the OCZ Technology Vertex 2 Pro and you will never be given the opportunity. I don't even get to keep the drive sent to me, but there is light at the end of the availability tunnel. The OCZ Technology Vertex 2 Pro does have a closely related cousin that will be available in limited numbers. The drive is called the Vertex 2 Limited Edition (LE). At the start the LE model will have a newer but slower performing firmware out of the box. Since the LE is limited to around 5,000 units we are not sure how OCZ will handle future resources when it comes to firmware updates. My guess is OCZ will still work on the firmware while updating their SandForce 1200 consumer class and SandForce 1500 / SLC enterprise class products. This limited edition drive may actually turn out to be the fastest drive ever offered to date after a few firmware revisions, but that is a gamble you have to be willing to take.
At CES we were told that the RunCore Pro V was ready to go with final firmware. Since then we have learned that isn't the case at all. With Anand's Vertex 2 Pro dying and mine on its last leg when we shipped it back, the only thing we can really hope for at this point is that OCZ gets these issues worked out. It is fair to say that when a drive comes in for review we beat the hell out of it, but a consumer expects to be able to do that as a boot drive for at least a couple of years.
For us the OCZ Vertex 2 Pro is little more than a nice little technical demo of things to come, well, things to come, but only for a short while. OCZ made a lot of ground with their Indilinx Barefoot drives. The benchmarks that were ran on the early firmware found when the drives were released is nothing like the current firmware. OCZ played a large role in the evolution of Barefoot firmware and were always the first to release code to enthusiasts. Some companies have yet to release a single update for their Indilinx Barefoot drives. Clearly OCZ is a leader, if not THE LEADER when it comes to added value and support after the purchase. I like to judge companies on their past actions and if OCZ treats their SandForce products like they did the Indilinx drives then the performance we observed today is only the starting point.
When it comes to the price we already know that the Vertex 2 Pro will never have a retail SKU, but we can look at the LE version for pricing. The 100GB drive should be available by the time you read this for 499 in limited quantities. This is a significant dollar amount since it is the exact same as Crucial's 128GB RealSSD C300. The obvious here is that the C300 has 28GB more space, but it also has SATA 6G connectivity (that actually adds performance in real world environments and not just a paper increase) as well as a guaranteed future supply if you are looking to RAID drives in the future.
In the coming days we will have a full breakdown of SandForce's technology and how the company is positioning their products in the market. We have been going back and forth with the company for the past month on some of the finer details.