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OCZ Vertex 460 120GB SSD Review

OCZ Vertex 460 120GB SSD Review

OCZ's Barefoot 3 controller has a history of performing very well in lower capacity sizes, so we wanted to get in the other capacity sizes to test.

@ChrisRamseyer
Published Tue, Mar 11 2014 3:04 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: OCZ Storage Solutions

Introduction

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VIEW GALLERY - 48 IMAGES

Around the same time when OCZ Technology announced the new OCZ Storage Solution name and became a Toshiba brand, the Vertex 460 launched. The Vertex 460 is much like the Vertex 450 it replaces but uses Toshiba 19nm flash. The flash is the same as used in Vector 150m, OCZ's flagship product.

Even though the 460 shares the same Toshiba Toggle NAND flash as Vector 150, the controller's clock speed is lower. In our testing with the 240GB models, the lower clock speed didn't have a large impact on performance.

With the performance only a few percent different between the flagship and the 460 just one grade down, the 460 is a good value for those of us satisfied with 95th percentile performance at a significantly lower cost. Just after the launch, the Vertex 460 sold for $149.99 at Newegg, but the 120GB model is now down to just $99.99, which is around $20 less than the Vector 150 120GB.

So how does the Vertex 460 compare to Vector 150 and other 128GB class SSDs? I can't give everything away in the introduction, but we'll cover that topic and more in this review.

Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

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OCZ's new Vertex 460 replaces the 450 model we reviewed back in May. The capacity sizes are the same: 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB. OCZ used the same M10 version of the Barefoot 3, but the flash is now from Toshiba, a move we applaud. Toshiba's 19nm MLC flash uses 64Gb dies and is considerably faster than IMFT's 20nm with 128Gb dies in lower capacity SSDs. OCZ claims sequential read performance for the 120GB model at 530 MB/s. The sequential write performance is 420 MB/s, and 4K IOPS comes to 80K read and 90K write.

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OCZ put together a nice slide showing the feature list for the Vertex 460. Some of this we'll cover in the next slide. OCZ again used the alloy case for Vertex 460, so the drive has a 7mm z-height. Internally, the drive has 256-bit AES encryption but does lack eDrive and TCG Opal support.

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Here we see the current OCZ 2.5-inch product line up. The Vector 150 recently replaced the original Vector, uses the Barefoot 3 M00 controller, and pairs it with Toshiba 19nm Toggle MLC rated for 50GB per day of data writes to the flash. Vertex 450 and Vertex 460 both use the slower clocked Barefoot 3 M10 controller. The difference between these two drives is the new 460 uses parent company Toshiba's 19nm MLC and the 450 used IMFT 20nm flash. The new 460 model has higher performance specs sprinkled here and there.

The Vertex 460 is very close to the Vector 150 performance wise, but the warranty drops to three years for the 460, and the endurance rating is only 20GB per day.

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OCZ checked all of the right boxes for performance, and now we get to look at the price. OCZ's MSRP of $99.99 is the current price at Newegg for the 120GB model. That price is $10 more than Samsung's 840 EVO bare drive price but $24.99 less than the EVO 120GB with a desktop accessory package. OCZ includes a key for Acronis, so you can copy the data from your existing drive to the Vertex 460, a desktop adapter bracket, screws for mounting the drive, and a sticker for your PC.

PRICING: You can find the 120GB Vertex 460 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The 120GB Vertex 460 retails for $99.99 at Amazon.

OCZ Vertex 460 120GB SSD

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The drive packaging keeps the drive secure and away from the other components. OCZ includes a desktop adapter bracket, but it's mounted on the back of the foam case so we don't see it in this image.

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Here we get our first look at the actual drive.

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The mounting points are where they should be, and OCZ used a 7mm case design. That means Vertex 460 will work in Ultrabooks designed for 7mm drives only.

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Inside, we found an OCZ Barefoot 3 controller, two DRAM packages, and eight NAND flash packages.

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The Vertex 460 uses the M10 design with a slower clock speed than the M00 used on the Vector 150.

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There are two Micron DRAM packages, one on each side of the PCB.

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OCZ uses Toshiba 19nm Toggle flash in this product.

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Benchmarks - Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance

Desktop Test System

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Lenovo W530 - Mobile Workstation

We use two systems for SSD testing. The desktop runs the majority of the tests, and the Lenovo W530 runs the notebook power tests as well as the real-world file transfer benchmark.

ATTO Baseline Performance

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34

ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufactures with data used to market storage products.

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The Vertex 460 120GB has lower peak write performance than the 240GB and 480GB models. We recorded a sequential write performance of 426 MB/s and a sequential read performance of 542 MB/s in ATTO.

Benchmarks - Sequential Performance

HD Tune Pro

Version and / or Patch Used: 4.00

Developer Homepage: http://www.efdsoftware.com

Product Homepage: http://www.hdtune.com

HD Tune is a Hard Disk utility which has the following functions:

Benchmark: measures the performance

Info: shows detailed information

Health: checks the health status by using SMART

Error Scan: scans the surface for errors

Temperature display

HD Tune Pro gives us accurate read, write, and access time results and, for the last couple of years, has gained popularity amongst reviewers. It is now considered a must have application for storage device testing.

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OCZ limits the queue depth 1 performance at 64KB, so the Barefoot 3 drives always have a poor showing in some of our early tests. This increases the user experience factor when multitasking as it keeps performance in reserve when transferring data.

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Barefoot 3 also plays tricks on our sequential write test at 64KB. The first half of the test runs at very high speeds but then drops down to a low state for the second half. Since you will never write to the entire capacity of the drive at the same time under normal circumstances, this isn't an issue.

HD Tach - Sequential Write Performance after Random Writes

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Here we see sequential performance after a number of random writes. This test uses 128KB blocks so we don't see the 50/50 split in write performance on this chart.

Benchmarks - AIDA64 Random Access Time

AIDA64 Random Access Time

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.60

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

AIDA64 offers several different benchmarks for testing and optimizing your system or network. The Random Access test is one of very few, if not the only, that will measure hard drives' random access times in hundredths of milliseconds as opposed to tens of milliseconds.

Drives with only one or two tests displayed in the write test mean that they have failed the test and their Maximum and possibly their Average Scores were very high after the cache fills. This usually happens only with controllers manufactured by Jmicron.

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Barefoot 3 performs very well in read and write access tests. The Vertex 460 release firmware is faster than the Vector 150's release firmware, but OCZ has moved to firmware 2.0 for the Vector 150. We haven't tested the new firmware for the Vector 150, so, in some situations, the Vertex 460 will be a little faster.

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We see the firmware difference on both the read and write access tests where the Vector 460 does a little better.

Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities

Anvil Storage Utilities

Version and / or Patch Used: RC6

So what is Anvil Storage Utilities? First of all, it's a storage benchmark for SSDs and HDDs where you can check and monitor your performance. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test or just the read or the write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4K QD16.

Anvil Storage Utilities is not officially available yet, but we've been playing with the beta for several months now. The author, Anvil on several international forums, has been updating the software steadily and is adding new features every couple of months.

The software is used several different ways to show different aspects for each drive. We've chosen to use this software to show the performance of a drive with two different data sets. The first is with compressible data, and the second data set is incompressible data. Several users have requested this data in our SSD reviews.

0-Fill Compressible Data

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Incompressible Data

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The Vector 460 performs the same regardless of the data type used. Here we see a test with compressible data and incompressible data.

Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale

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Here we see the newer firmware propelling the Vertex 460 past the Vector 150 in our IOPS performance test. When we get time, we'll retest the Vector 150 in all three capacity sizes with the new 2.0 firmware and write an updated article.

Scaling Write IOPS through Queue Scale

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Barefoot 3 performs very well writing 4K data. It's hands down the best 4K write controller on the market, and OCZ keeps increasing 4K performance to increase the user experience.

Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0 Technical Preview

Developer Homepage: http://crystalmark.info

Product Homepage: http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskMark/index-e.html

Download here: http://crystaldew.info/category/software/crystaldiskmark

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software that allows us to benchmark 4K and 4K queue depths with accuracy.

Key Features:-

* Sequential reads/writes

* Random 4KB/512KB reads/writes

* Text copy

* Change dialog design

* internationalization (i18n)

Note: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 Technical Preview was used for these tests since it offers the ability to measure native command queuing at 4 and 32.

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CDM gives us our first look at threaded sequential read performance for the Barefoot 3 drives. The Vector 150 is a bit faster reading sequential data, but the older firmware of the Vector 150 makes the Vertex 460 a bit faster at random data.

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Here we see Barefoot 3's superior 4K write performance. All three of OCZ's Barefoot 3 driven drives do very well with 4K writes even at queue depths.

Benchmarks - PCMark Vantage Hard Disk Tests

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/pcmarkvantage

Buy It Here

PCMark Vantage is the first objective hardware performance benchmark for PCs running 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista. PCMark Vantage is perfectly suited for benchmarking any type of Microsoft Windows Vista PC, from multimedia home entertainment systems and laptops to dedicated workstations and high-end gaming rigs. Regardless of whether the benchmarker is an artist or an IT Professional, PCMark Vantage shows the user where their system soars or falls flat and how to get the most performance possible out of their hardware. PCMark Vantage is easy enough for even the most casual enthusiast to use yet supports in-depth, professional industry grade testing.

FutureMark has developed a good set of hard disk tests for their PCMark Vantage Suite. Windows users can count on Vantage to show them how a drive will perform in normal day to day usage scenarios. For most users, these are the tests that matter since many of the old hat ways to measure performance have become ineffective to measure true Windows performance.

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As we expected, the Vector 460 120GB does very well in real-world tests. The Barefoot 3 controller does very well in the 128GB capacity class.

Benchmarks - PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing

PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing

For a complete breakdown on the Drives with Data Testing, please read this article. You will be able to perform this test at home with the files provided in the article as full instructions are included.

Brief Methodology

SSDs perform differently when used for a period of time and when data is already present on the drive. The purpose of the Drives with Data testing is to show how a drive performs in these 'dirty' states. SSDs also need time to recover, either with TRIM or onboard garbage collection methods.

Drives with Data Testing - 25%, 50%, 75% Full States and Dirty / Empty Test

Files needed for 60 (64GB), 120 (128GB), 240 (256GB)

60GB Fill - 15GB, 30GB, 45GB

120GB Fill - 30GB, 60GB, 90GB

240GB Fill - 60GB, 120GB, 160GB

Empty but Dirty - a test run just after the fill tests and shows if a drive needs time to recover or if performance is instantly restored.

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Even with data on the drive, the Vertex 460 does very well. The Samsung 840 Pro 128GB does a little better with both drives at 50 percent of capacity used, but the difference between these two drives is minimal.

Benchmarks - PCMark 8 Hard Disk Tests

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/pcmark8

Buy It Here

Note: PCMark 8 Storage benchmark is ideal for testing the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives. Using traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games, PCMark 8 Storage highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

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Measured in time, it's difficult to see the differences between the drives on the chart.

PCMark 8 Storage Bandwidth

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Broken down in megabytes per second, the performance differences become more apparent.

Benchmarks - DiskBench

DiskBench - Directory Copy

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.6.2.0

Developer Homepage: Nodesoft

Product Homepage: DiskBench

Download here: http://www.nodesoft.com/diskbench/download

Note: In this test, we use the Lenovo W530 Mobile Workstation and a SuperSpeed S301 SLC 128GB SSD to move a 15GB block of data to and from the target drive. This is part of our real-world test regiment. Roughly 45GB of data resides on the target drive before the '15GB Block' is transferred. The 15GB Block is the same data we built for the Data on Disk Testing and is a mix of compressible and incompressible data.

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This is the start of our notebook tests. In this test, we transfer data to and from the target drive. The data set is 15.2GB so we overrun the cache schemes. We're looking for balanced performance with the power limits imposed by notebooks. The Vertex 460 120GB does very well here.

Benchmarks - Power Testing

Bapco MobileMark 2012 1.5

Version and / or Patch Used: 2012 1.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

Test Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

MobileMark 2012 1.5 is an application-based benchmark that reflects usage patterns of business users in the areas of office productivity, media creation, and media consumption. Unlike benchmarks that only measure battery life, MobileMark 2012 measures battery life and performance simultaneously, showing how well a system design addresses the inherent tradeoffs between performance and power management.

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The one area where Barefoot 3 is behind the competition is power. The Vertex 460 120GB draws nearly as much power as Vector 150, putting both towards the bottom of the battery life scale.

Final Thoughts

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The 128GB capacity size is still very popular with users new to solid state drive technology. With prices often less than $100, it's a good way to test the waters and see what all the fuss is about. Products like the Vertex 460 also deliver amazing performance even though the amount of flash doesn't offer the same amount of interleaving of data between the flash. Some controllers do very well without large scale interleaving and others, not so much. Barefoot 3 is one of the better controllers when working with less flash.

The Vertex 460 120GB has more going for it than just performance and price. OCZ still includes the same accessory package that they do with the flagship Vector products and the larger capacity offerings.

Every Vertex 460 includes a desktop adapter bracket, mounting screws, and key for drive cloning software that you download from OCZ.com. OCZ also has an SSD Toolbox that allows end users to easily update firmware and to run a secure erase cycle when you need to clean the drive.

All things considered, the 120GB Vertex 460 is a solid product with a great accessory package and best-in-class performance. This capacity size is a little small for gamers and power users, but if you want a great user experience for everything else, this is the drive under $100 that I'd buy.

PRICING: You can find the 120GB Vertex 460 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The 120GB Vertex 460 retails for $99.99 at Amazon.

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Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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