Before we give our breakdown on Vertex 450 256GB SSD, let's first take a look at Vector to gain some insight. At the time of writing Newegg still had Vector 256GB in stock and selling at $249.99. Vector ships with the same accessory package as Vertex 450, plus two extra years on the warranty, as well as Far Cry 3. The MSRP for Vector is $299.99 and when the drive first went on sale, Newegg held that MSRP for longer than they normally do for SSD's. We know from the OCZ press deck that Vector, as we know it, is on the way out. OCZ is a different company now and they won't have their older drives shipping from warehouses two years after they reach end of life. I suspect current Vector inventory will be gonzo in three months, if not sooner. 25nm flash is hard to come by and sells at a premium. If you want the top tier, your days are numbered to get Vector before it receives a 19/20nm update, and the name Vector 150.
Vertex 450 256GB has an MSRP of $234.99 and we suspect Newegg will use the MSRP as a starting point. Assuming the price for Vector holds steady and the MSRP is used for Vertex 450, I have to tell you to go Vector since it has everything we want right now. Right now is the key though because the window is small and we know it's coming sometime in Q3.
The performance between these two drives is very close, Vector is without a doubt faster, but the difference isn't night and day. It's actually really close, more like 11AM and 1PM. Battery life performance though is a different story. Vertex 450 delivers roughly 20 extra minutes in our test with a six-cell battery. A nine cell would increase that to roughly 30 minutes. That doesn't seem like much, but we are using an expensive workstation notebook. In an ultrabook where battery life can exceed 10 hours, we can see Vertex 450 delivering an addition hour to an hour and a half of battery life over the Vector. All of this time comes from idle power consumption so it's not an exact science since we all use our notebooks differently, but most of the time the SSD idles, so any power savings in that area delivers big battery time rewards.
All things considered, we like this product, but its timing really sucks. There's just no other way to put it. This is why video card makers update their flagship products before they release the mainstream products (most of the time). If Vertex 450 shipped with an equal warranty and Far Cry 3, then the nominal $30 price difference would matter, but there is no angle that makes Vertex 450 look like a better buy than the current Vector right now.
In a few months time, when Vertex 450 is below MSRP and let's theoretically say Vector 150 with 20nm NAND is $80 more, we might feel different. At that point, the game bundle will be gone, at least for this scenario, we'll say it is. At that point you're paying $80 more for what could be very close performance and an extra couple of years on the warranty. At that point I like Vertex 450 and the saved money for something like a new keyboard. That day is not today, get the 25nm Vector while you can, right now it is the better buy.
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