OCZ Vertex 4 256GB
We've already taken some pretty deep looks at the OCZ Vertex 4. Our initial review of the 256GB and 512 GB drives started things off. Then firmware 1.4RC hit the lab and the 256GB and 512GB were once again under the microscope. Just days after that the new Vertex 4 128GB arrived and we were once again testing with FW 1.4, this time in public release form.
All three capacity sizes share the same accessories, five year warranty and package design.
It's difficult to nail down specific performance numbers in a data sheet because as you'll see today the Vertex 4 is growing in the performance area and with that appeal to enthusiasts. As these updates progress and the general consumer market will find purchasing an OCZ Vertex 4 more appealing.
In our reviews so far and more importantly in our real-world use of the Vertex 4, we've found that with this release, benchmarks only tell part of the story. With a massive DRAM buffer, the real-world feel of the drive supersedes the performance seen in benchmarks.
The buffer allows Vertex 4 to achieve extremely high IOPS performance. In the past we only related high transaction counts from IOPS to enterprise level tasks, but the numbers have increased so much with SSDs that high IOPS counts are having a direct affect on how a drive feels in your system.
Large buffers are generally associated with increased cost, but OCZ managed to deliver Vertex 4 at a solid price point. Newegg currently sells the Vertex 4 256GB that we're looking at today for $239.99.
SSDs for less than a dollar per GB are becoming common place, but it's still somewhat rare to see premium flagship models break this price threshold on a regular bases, i.e. not on sale or accompanied by a mail-in-rebate.
The performance we're about to see is just a snapshot of what I'd call a long term work in progress. Striped carnivorous types are already hinting at even larger improvements coming to the Vertex 4 line in the future. This led us to believe OCZ is being extra cautions with their validation process.