Just a few months ago we were told OCZ was done for, a goner before the end of the year, but we don't think OCZ is going anywhere now. Sure, there are some good drives on the market from companies with slush funds larger than OCZ's annual sales, but OCZ has proved time and time again that they are the one to beat. After several years leading the 'me too' crowd, OCZ had to rely on common market controllers to build innovative products like the RevoDrive Series. Now they have their own controller and with it they pose a serious threat to companies that once looked at OCZ as a small fish in a very big pond.
That said, this is a critical time for OCZ to make the right moves because what happens now is amplified in the future. We've had innovators in the computer market before fizzle out after making poor decisions - ABIT and DFI come to mind because they too were on the bleeding edge. In their final days, those companies chose to expand into other markets with their last breath, but OCZ made the correct choice and consolidated, choosing to focus on what should lead them into the future as a prosperous company, high-end solid state products.
As we stated early in the review, we don't expect OCZ to lower the prices on Vector anytime soon. Vector has a nice performance lead over everything else on the market including the Samsung 840 Pro (review coming just days after this one). Baring a CES surprise, Vector looks to lead the performance category all the way to CeBIT and maybe even as far as Computex. My glass ball is hazy beyond Computex and the Magic 8-Ball is only for market analysts that claimed OCZ was finished for good.
Still, the Vector 512GB has an awfully high price point right now, costing as much as a notebook on Wal-Mart special. I think desktop users running anything newer than a P67 chipset with dual native SATA III would be better off with two 256GB Vector drives and the 1000+ MB/s performance that comes with them. Notebook and ultrabook users on the other hand don't have the luxury of RAID and that's where Vector 512GB really has to be taken seriously. The 7mm z-height means Vector will fit your ultrabook and the power consumption isn't as bad as Vertex 4. After running Vector next to a Samsung 840 Pro in identical Lenovo w530 notebooks, I can tell you that Vector is faster in real world tasks when writing data. When reading data the two are very close, nearly identical. The power consumption nod goes to Samsung though, but not by a large margin. The 840 Pro uses more power than the vanilla 840 with TLC flash.
The more I play with Vector on my own time and explore the features the more I understand why the drive is programmed the way it is. The limited single request read performance used to annoy me when testing, but after using the drives, even Vertex 4, I've learned that is the secret sauce for why both of these drives feel faster than the benchmark results show. At that point I would have to say that Vector is like a workstation computer with multi processors. You can tackle more tasks at the same time without feeling like you have intensive apps running. The difference between what OCZ did with this drive and older SSDs is like moving from a single core computer to your first dual core computer. I know that comparison goes back a few years, but it's the best way to describe what's going on. Just like when dual core and SMP systems hit the consumer market, we really don't have benchmark software to really show the real performance increases. You just have to take one for a spin to understand it.