The OCZ Vertex Limited Edition (LE) was the first generation SandForce SSD to hit the market. At the time of release the LE was plagued with one issue after another. Many drives were shipped to customers with the same on drive serial number which caused issues for RAID arrays. Drives were dropping dead left and right according to forum posts all over the place, too. Even calling the LE an official SandForce was a bit of a stretch since the drives shipped with a OCZ logo rather than the SF-1222 that in the last three months we have become accustomed to seeing on consumer SandForce drives. OCZ had a head start on their competition but some users walked away from the early adapter experience feeling a disappointed.
OCZ remained dedicated to the Limited Edition product line and turned things around as the firmware evolved. At this time nearly all of the known issues have been resolved and the firmware for the LE is now in line with the Agility 2 and Vertex 2; all three now share FW 1.10. One thing is clear; the latest version of the OCZ Vertex LE is not the same as the first run of drives that had a lengthy issue log. That log has now been cut down, shredded and is in little pieces. There are a couple small issues that remain, but we will tell you about those and how to avoid them later in the article.
When the LE launched we were told that this was a special run of 5000 drives. At no point were details given on whether that was a run of 5000 total or 5000 per capacity and we may never know for sure. What we do know is how many drives OCZ had remaining at their factory last week. Here is that list:
60GB - 150 Pieces
120GB - 150 Pieces
240GB - 250 Pieces
Well, that was at the factory, but now the last remaining stock of OCZ Vertex LE drives is sitting at the headquarters of My Digital Discount, the same e-tailer that brought us those killer deals on OCZ Vertex 2 drives a couple of weeks ago. The Vertex 2 campaign went so well that OCZ offered My Digital Discount special pricing on the last remaining stock of Limited Edition SSDs. In the negotiations for the order My Digital Discount was able to convince OCZ to reconfigure the last remaining stock to the new extended capacity software. These are going to be the only extended capacity Limited Edition drives sold, making them a My Digital Discount exclusive.
Don't let the low piece count and exclusivity involved get you thinking that My Digital Discount is going to try and rob you blind on the pricing. MDD is following their same strategy, purchase in bulk and make their money off volume sales. In order to sell in volume My Digital Discount makes less per piece than what other e-tailers normally do. That means you are getting the OCZ Vertex Limited Edition for less at My Digital Discount. They just hope you will buy two instead of one. If not, that is OK, too. Just be sure to tell a friend about the deal (and send them here to read all about it, too).
Let's take a moment to look at the specs, go into some detail on the known issues, pricing and then get down to business putting our sample 240GB Limited Edition through hell and back to see if we were able to find any issues of our own. The real story today is going to be if the Vertex LE is able to perform at the same high levels as its younger sibling, the OCZ Vertex 2. We will put those head to head and include benchmarks from other leading products as well.