Just a couple days ago we published the Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB review and found that in the very competitive 100 / 120GB market the drives from Team SandForce (the collective manufacturers selling SF based drives) were faster in this capacity range for consumers. We also observed and pointed out that the SandForce SF-1200 based drives at this capacity are now quite a bit cheaper than the Crucial C300 128GB, making the SF-1200 the undisputed king in this capacity range / price point.
With Team SandForce on top, the only question remaining is which manufacturer and drive should we choose to purchase. There are a few variables here and most are personal choices. You might be looking for all out speed, the fastest drive on the market or maybe warranty length weighs more in your purchasing decision. Some consumers may just simply be loyal to a company's products due to past experiences with customer service, warranty issues or forum activity.
Today we are looking at the OCZ Vertex 2 100GB Solid State Drive. The Vertex 2 uses the SandForce SF-1200 consumer controller, but things are not as they seem from the outside looking in. OCZ was given the exclusive rights to a special firmware that enabled some of the features normally found in the SF-1500 enterprise controller. The main benefit to the exclusive firmware rests in the 4K performance and the Vertex 2 is able to achieve around 10K more IOPS at 4K than most, if not all SF-1200 controlled drives on the market. How much faster the Vertex 2 is when compared to other SF-1200 controlled drives is just one area that we will be looking at today. Pricing, availability, competition and other factors will also be examined.
Let's take a look at the official specifications and start looking at the pricing details.