With SandForce products being so new to the market we knew that additional features would emerge as the firmware is refined. What we didn't realize until recently was that extra capacity for the consumer drives was even possible. Even now we are very early in the lifespan of the SF-1200 and the second Mass Production firmware release will be coming at the beginning to middle of next month as long as no issues pop up in validation testing. I wish more details were available as to what all has been changed, but I, like you will just have to wait and see.
There are a couple of things we were looking to find and answer with today's article. The first and easiest to answer is the performance of the Vertex 2 in both 100 and 120GB capacities. In our testing we only found a couple of places where performance was reduced with the new extended drive and they were so close to the margin of error for each test that we can't even look at the extended drive and say that real performance was lost. Both versions of the drive perform at the same level, as fast as anything else with a SandForce SF-1200 controller. When compared to the other next generation SSD on the market, the Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB, we felt the Vertex 2 E is the way to go.
The next thing we wanted to ponder hard over is the idea of removing capacity from the spare area and making it available to the user. On this we feel that even though a large chunk of space has been given to the user, the new extended SandForce 1200 still keeps a large percentage of space available for internal use. We don't know how this will impact life expectancy, but at this point who has started to kill blocks in their SSD purchased even a couple of years ago? Given that at 100GB a SF-1200 is running at enterprise levels of reliability, typical home users can afford to shave a bit of time off since it is only really going to be used for a maximum of five years anyhow before being replaced with the next great technology.
When it comes to the price, I am still a bit shocked at the deal My Digital Discount has put together. I mean come on! In January we were talking about SandForce drives in the 100GB capacity costing close to 600USD. Now that they are starting to penetrate the market we are talking about 349.99. Maybe I had a bad crash on the race track last week and this is what heaven is like. Life just goes on and good things always happen. If that is true then why do I have a sore throat? Yeah, this is the real deal and no matter how it was achieved, we like the results.
From the time you read this to until May 31st OCZ is offering a mail-in rebate of 20 USD to customers in the United States who purchase Vertex 2 E products at MyDigitalDiscount.com. My Digital Discount is also running a matching special that is instant making it easier for those in the United States to be able to afford the fastest SSD around. Above is a list of prices; I'm thinking a pair of 120GB drives in RAID 0 would make for one helluva boot drive in my new workstation.