Thirty days is about what it took for OCZ to increase the read speed by around 150MB/s on the 512GB model at one transfer. That's not too bad at all; I can't wait to see what the next update brings. Users on the other hand might be a bit disappointed in the firmware progression. The reason why I say that is because this update is a destructive update. You will need to backup or clone your data before performing the update or your data will be lost. Destructive updates are a bit of a pain in the ass. When it comes to my personal systems I tend to wait to do the update for when I reformat or rebuild a system.
The Vertex 4 update is destructive, but on the other hand the performance increase is significant, at least in the benchmarks. As I've stated, we have not ran this new firmware in a daily use system yet and that is unfortunate. The real beauty of the Vertex 4 is how it feels and not so much how it looks in the performance charts. If the read latency would have stayed the same we wouldn't really worry about a change in the feel, but the read latency increased and with the 512GB model it doubled.
The pesky 200MB/s read limit has gone away, something we are grateful of. If you are a power user or someone who transfers large files, you'll enjoy the new 309MB/s to 345MB/s read speed as measured in HD Tune Pro. I download my Linux installs to the OS SSD so the PAR and RAR can take advantage of the high IOPS and then transfer them to a high capacity spinner array once the intense workload has completed. This is one area where the 200MB/s limit was noticeable and unwelcome. When working with 45 to 50GB ISO files, the extra bandwidth is significant.
OCZ has made significant progress with their new flagship Vertex 4 line up, but I doubt this will be the last time we test a new firmware for this drive. Indilinx Infused A.K.A OCZ firmware engineers will continue to increase the performance of the Vertex 4 just like we've observed with other OCZ SSDs in the past.
At this time it's really a bit of a tossup between the Vertex 3 and the Vertex 4 depending on what type of data you work with mostly. Incompressible data like pictures, music and such get the nod for the Vertex 4. The Vertex 4, at least with the old firmware (we want to spend time with the new fw to confirm) does feel snappier in the OS than the Vertex 3. On the other hand the Vertex 3 is still faster at many tasks, an area that we can't overlook. The new SandForce SATA III drives did just get a blazing fast firmware update (5.1), but as been the case too many times, there is a bug in the firmware, this time with TRIM.
Decisions, decisions... let's let this one play out a little longer and see what happens over the next few days when we get to use the new firmware in a daily use computer. Look for an update in the Vertex 4 128GB review coming soon.
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